Hope you guys are well! Today I want to speak on an anniversary. Generally, the term is used for something worthy of celebratory cheering and gallivanting around with excitement, yeah? I’ll let you be the judge of that.
The date was October 19, 2016.
I remember it all: The emphatic booming of metal busting my eardrums rendering my brain’s ability to tell whether or not I was still alive useless, the scent of talcum powder filling my nasal cavities, the sound of an engine dying as the seconds passed by like clumps of sand in a tight hourglass. I thought perhaps I was done for. That the impact of the crash had taken me out passing my soul over to another realm and the bright light that I saw was the one that everyone talks about and not another car’s headlights blinding my barely opened eyes.
I had to crawl over the center console, disregarding the incessantly growing throbbing in my foot, using all the upper-body strength that I could muster. I was alone and it was my duty to get myself out.
Elapsing time, from the date of the accident–10/19/2016–to the endless amounts of treatments and medical advice doubting my return to anything physical, to the date of my medical release of 11/17/2017, to say I was lackadaisical would be an understatement.
Me: indignant, full of piss and vinegar, constantly waking up on the wrong side of the bed even when the cast was off and crutches laid down to rest, my broken heart just wouldn’t heal at the same pace as my broken foot.
A life without dance made me realize how much I loved it, how much I needed it, how much I would give for it! But not all is lost here. With dance absent, I learned who my true friends were, I learned a lot about what could be–no matter how disgruntled I may have been about it.
Silence in one arena of my life brought my attention to another, opening my eyes to the things that I had lost sight of prior to the accident: I mattered and was more than a career, my true friends remained by my side day-by-day assuring me that I mattered and that this wasn’t the end–no matter how much I yearned for it to be–and that good would come out of this!
God, if it weren’t for the antidepressants I was taking at the time it sure could have ended differently. But my support system was stable–even if was one or two people constantly by my side enduring my countless cries and whimpers full of depression and suicidal thoughts swirling in the whirlpool of my mind. A BIG thank you to those individuals by the way!
We ALL need our circle to keep us whole when we fall apart; You can only be strong alone for so long in the moments when life literally brings you to your knees.
2017, to me, passed with a speed comparable to molasses dripping over the edge of a spoon. Things were changing, whizzing by me as I sat idle wondering what to do next. I was medically released yet had no inclination of what my foot could take with a damaging permanence that will plague it for the rest of my life. Doctors were doubtful that I’d return to an active lifestyle, but something lit up in me. I had nothing else to lose and all to gain.
Come April of 2018, I decided to give dance a chance. When I tell you my life has been restored in ways that I could never have imagined, I mean almost every bit of it!
Not only am I able to now teach 5 classes again–keeping caution to not further damage my foot in my pocket–but I even had the blessing and honor to co-teach with Rachel Newsham! Me? The guy who missed over a year and some change of instructing, the guy who had to work on getting back in shape after gaining 60 pounds while recovering? Me?
Hell yes, ME!
And even better than that, I now have a platform that I can share the things I learned in desperate times to aid and abet those who are enduring a struggle now. Lord knows I wish I had someone with the words and the spiritual wherewithal to effectively communicate the tiresome struggle of overcoming the odds that life stacks in our way.
Let me tell you something, Maniacs: Hell is a real place and you do not have to die physically to get there! You can be hit head-on with an automobile, the pressures of life, or burdened with the overwhelming tragedies it presents on a poisoned platter. Yes, you may have to crawl your way out of the wreckage, but I am living, breathing proof that when the fire freezes over and you can see clearer, life will turn around. It feels like it takes an eternity but even then, you will make it, I promise.
Surround yourself with genuine people who love you unconditionally and take in the minute breadcrumbs that bring you an inch of happiness as the darkest of days pass you by.
Wherever you are reading this, you can make it, you will make it and YOU MATTER!
Love you guys!