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👣 Ballet 101💗

Hello all! Happy Day after Halloween! Feliz Dia de los Muertos! Today is Sunday November 1, 2020. I have been so busy working on the timeline of revolving Drs. blog that I have not actually posted in a minute about how I am doing. I am elated to say that I am doing amazingly well and have been smiling and laughing a lot (like the old days before PD). What has changed? I am finally on the right meds for me and am working super hard to get strong again and stay flexible. I have scoured Youtube for stretching and ballet videos and have found some perfect ones for me. As I mentioned in an earlier blog entry, I have gone back to doing Jane Fonda's original video from the mid 1980s. I am a huge fan of her workout ethics and program. I consider myself extremely lucky to have taken many many classes at one of her studios in Los Angeles back in the 1980s. Her video includes a ton of stretching and in my humble opinion, is by far the safest workout of its kind ever made. Her videos are NOT beginning classes, but are doable once you work up to them (depending on your fitness level). With that being said, you can always check it out and see what you think. I work out to Jane's video every Saturday morning, followed by a Professional Ballerina's 18 minute intense stretching class. There is no talking at all in this video, only music. Besides the obvious reason of why I love this intense stretching video, the woman who I follow along with moves very quickly from exercise to exercise. So...... I have to be ready to switch to my other leg when she does. Any activity that I can do to keep my brain sharp is a plus. Before I was on the correct medications, there was absolutely no way I could have kept up with her quick change of directions. There are also segments where she kicks her legs up very quickly. I can totally keep up with her now, but again, until recently I would have had to stop the video at least ten times to move to the other leg. At that time, I felt like I was moving through molasses.

Today I found another stellar video (all stretching and strengthening), also taught by a Professional Ballerina whose name is Yelena. I love this video because she talks us through the stretches and also gives modifications. My flexibility is definitely getting looser, but I have still yet to lay my chest and upper body on the ground when I am sitting in a straddle stretch. I am soooooooo close, it is ridiculous.

There are so many reasons why I am enjoying these videos. Ten years ago, I had major invasive surgery on my left foot. My foot was already broken (due to stress and strain over the years). Unfortunately during surgery, my foot had to be re broken, reconfigured and then put back together. I had PT for a year and a half after surgery. It truly helped me so much. I had to learn how to walk again on that foot, because I had bone work done, and an arch was created (my foot was flat before this surgery). So I had to get used to maneuvering a completely reconstructed foot after surgery. Once I finished PT, I didn't really think about doing anything more to rehab my foot, as I got so busy with work and life in general.

Today for the first time since surgery, I had a serious wake up call. Cecilia had us doing heel raises and plies repeatedly (during my Mat Pilates class). These were to be done while standing on my mat. I was able to do about three reps just on the mat, but my heels barely lifted off the ground. I ended up holding onto the wall for support because I felt a little unbalanced on my feet. It really did not make a difference because at that point, my ankles were too weak to continue to lift my heels. Now with PD, it is crucial for me to strengthen my right foot as well, since that is the side that has been affected, so I am concentrating on both feet. I can see lots of heel raises in my near future, as well as more balancing activities.

It is also critical that I go right back to all the original exercises I learned as a ballerina to stretch and strengthen my feet. Because of my years of ballet training, I am very intoned with what my body needs to get better and stronger. By strengthening my feet and toes and working on my ankle mobility, I will be better equipped to balance my weight and strengthen my gait. One of the exercises I do on a regular basis is to point and flex one foot at a time. Before PD it was completely normal to hyper extend my feet, when they were pointed. My feet took on the shape of a U. When in a flexed foot position, I was able to lift my heels off of the ground and hold that pose indefinitely (not quite as easy for me now, as it takes a ton of ankle strength to lift my heels off of the ground when seated on the floor. I know that I mentioned in a previous entry that ankle circles are so fabulous for ankle strength and mobility. My goal here is to be able to once again put on my pointe shoes and stand on my tippy toes without my ankles collapsing. Yet again, PD is trying so hard to take away my foot and ankle strength. My answer to PD is as follows.... "You are NOT and will Never be welcome here.

Bottom line here is that I know PD is trying its hardest to tighten me up, until I can't think straight anymore. I am mindful to the fact that I need to stretch and exercise every single day to stay well "oiled". My suggestion to you is to look on Youtube and go to the search bar and type in the kind of video you would like to watch. If you want any further information on the videos I watch or the specific exercises I do, please let me know.

💚 Me before PD. My back posture was completely upright and straight. My feet were strong. Pointing and flexing my feet was as comfy as laying my chest down on the ground while in a straddle stretch. I never even thought about how flexible I really was! I will never ever stop exercising and doing everything I can to stay flexible, well balanced and healthy 💚

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