I believe in exercise. When I was practicing for a dance competition, my junior year in high school, I injured my knee. The injury was so severe I had to see a doctor, who told me I could not do any physical activity for at least 3 years. I was devastated because I was supposed to audition for a Dance Company in New York the next week. I felt like all the sweat and tears I spent on this dream of mine was being taken away.
The next three years were hard for me. My life style had changed from doing sports and dancing to doing nothing. For the first couple of months, I could not even walk to and from my classes; I had to be pushed in a wheelchair. I thought after I got out of the wheelchair I could start easing my way into doing physical activities, but I could not. For the first time in my life, I went home after school, did my homework, had a snack, and then watched television. This is when I realized I had taken advantage of my ability to exercise.
Within those three years I developed bad eating habits and gained weight. Throughout this time, I would think back to the days I was able to exercise and wished I could be active like my peers. I went to my team’s dance competitions and supported them, but I still wanted to be up there with them. I missed the practices and the anticipation and excitement that came with performing. I could not wait for the doctors to allow me to be active like I wanted to be. I dreamed about the day I could dance again.
Throughout this experience, I have learned the value and the importance of having a healthy body. I have learned to be more careful when doing activities because I know I do not want to hurt myself again. I have also had to learn the importance of listening to my body and how important it is to stop when my body needs a break. Most of all, I have learned not to take advantage of the gift of exercise and mobility I have been given, and to appreciate the little things in life.
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