Retiré

Kyah is still improving day by day. At dancing today she had a few photos taken showing her in the retiré position on demi-point.

The pictures show the range in Kyah’s left foot on demi-point, (which is also total weight bearing),  has improved significantly.  Nika has reported this has improved noticeably even compared to a week ago.  Considering she is in full weight bearing on her foot in the demi-point position she is doing really well. Mentally and physically she is improving.

Her turn out is considered pretty good with her retiré leg. Her posture and position definitely shows the potential she has to be the ballerina she wants to be.

She must continue with her training and rehab in order to continue improving so she can get back to where she was and progress even further.

Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. Phil 3:13

            

 

The Whale

…The Whale…  If you saw a recent front-page story of the San Francisco Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider’s web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so badly off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her. They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her.

When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around as she was thanking them. Some said it was  the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you. And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.
Original article from: http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/whalethanks.asp

 

Strike 2!

I took Kyah and Emily ten-pin bowling today. They had lots of fun. Challenged themselves in a friendly environment. Kyah managed to get 2 strikes, which isn’t bad for someone that has done ten-pin bowling probably 5 times in her life! They chatted about their past week including school and dance, for Kyah, and figure skating for Emily, and discussed their settling in issues with their respective schools. They just seem to get on so well. It is really nice.

Kyah also saw another couple of her friends today that she used to dance with;  Emily (yes, another Emily) and Kyannah. We ran into them at the shops and they were all so pleased to see each other. They caught up on their stuff and basically they were so happy for Kyah that she is back dancing again. We plan to catch up with them soon.

I also ran into some friends from church today, that I haven’t seen for  a while and just chatting to them, they did not even know about Kyah’s accident. I told them the story and showed them the photos. They were so amazed at the testimony –  just over 4 months on.  How protected Kyah was and how blessed she is now to be able to dance already (not en pointe yet) and to not have to have an operation of any sort. Yes, God’s hand was, and is, all over Kyah.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, Heb 12:1

I managed to finish completely one of Kyah’s tutus for this year – totally finish it, headpiece and all. One down, one to go… so far. This year, we plan for Kyah to dance in an international competition in April in which she needs a rather specific tutu design. I have completed that one now, and the other one has had lots done to it, but still requires more work. This second one will be worn more through the year at most of her eisteddfod competitions.

I am finding that sewing the tutus and having Kyah make an input into the design on them has also helped keep her focus with her dance. It is a very time consuming task, but I think it is worth it. Kyah likes the final product and it is how she wants it, colours, style, patterns… custom made if you like. It does save me a lot of money in the long run and there’s a sense of satisfaction when it is done and it helps to inspire Kyah to continue with her journey.

A Bit Bendy

This could be one reason why Kyah never tore any soft tissue when she injured her foot. Not one tear in her muscles, tendons or ligaments with her injury. She is a bit bendy, otherwise known as hyperflexibility. This level of flexibility is required in ballet in order for the ballerina to perform certain poses and jumps and positions and still look graceful. Kyah definitely is hyperflexible.

Kyah can probably take her leg further than that and that is why she doesn’t look uncomfortable. This is Kyah and Nika working on what she needs for her performances throughout the year.

5

Kyah and Nika Photo by Karl Neal

Part of the requirements in ballet is to also be able to hold a position using your own muscles. The more extreme the position, the more difficult it is to hold with your own muscles.  Something Kyah needs to work on a bit, but she is improving. At least she is pointing that foot a lot more than she was …even a week ago.

6

Kyah and Nika Photo by Karl Neal

It has been a long road back, but we are believing Kyah is on the right path now and nothing will cause her to deviate from that path.

For it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 1Pet 3:17

 

Moving Along

Well, the first week of full time dancing is complete. Again, Kyah has managed to get through. Her foot feels ok. She has not complained of a sore foot much at all this week, which is good. Her foot is obviously getting stronger and her endurance must be improving. Her range still needs improving and she is working on it. We must start thinking about putting pointe shoes on soon… The big test.

Nika has had Kyah rehearse her new contemporary routine for this years’ competitions as well as the class work that will help improve her Classical Solo and her Repertoire Variation that she is doing in April.

There has been lots of practice and positive reinforcement to help Kyah’s confidence improve with how far she can push herself and what she can do. As I said in the last post, they have to go back over things that should be second nature to Kyah by now, because she must either relearn the technique or figure out how to do it another way so she feels confident in doing it and executing it properly.

We went to Planet Commando again and we did a few extra activities tonight. It is great fun and Kyah challenged herself a bit more.

Pursue…overtake…and recover all. 1Sa30:8

8

 

Displaying 4.jpg

The Time Line

The time line has been drawn up. Kyah is doing her first eisteddfod in March 2017. She needs to make sure she is able to perform her classical and her contemporary solos properly, otherwise she may as well not perform them until later in the year. It is good ot have a deadline, to set goals and to challenge oneself. This will be a challenge for Kyah.

Nika has her practicing things that used to be a walk in the park for Kyah, like a grand jeté. For a long time Kyah has been able to jump high enough to get the height needed, as well as possess the flexibility for her to get into the splits while in the air  and then land gracefully and continue on dancing. Now with her foot, Kyah needs to retrain herself. It is more the confidence in taking off and getting enough height again, as well as landing gracefully and confidently, are both huge factors that must be dealt with. Anyone knows that recovering from a foot injury, you are apprehensive about jumping. Dancers jump quite high and they need to look and sound graceful Not an easy feat. This is where they are up to.

This photo was taken of Kyah in  March, 2016, doing a grand jeté. At the moment she is not able to achieve this, but we are hoping she will get there very soon.

sb0-31

Nika and Kyah have to deal with most of the choreography planned for Kyah, to ensure she is able to perform it correctly, as well as Kyah must believe in herself that she can perform it correctly. It is not just an issue of designing the choreography and hoping it looks good and the dancer performs it well. They both need to consider if Kyah is physically capable of performing the choreography at this stage, plus Kyah needs to believe she can perform it properly and will not injure herself again, and therefore be confident in her technique and execution of the steps, as well as perform it as perfectly as possible, so it looks good. This is much more of a challenge for them than if she hadn’t had the injury.

It is a lot of hard work for both of them, but we are believing and praying Kyah will get there.  “This is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome”  1 John 5:3,

Some High Ropes

Well another day of dancing today. This week is the first week of full time, lucky it is one day short for Kyah. She had Monday off.. so really only 4 days of dancing this week. Yes, she is dancing tomorrow too, which is good. Monday was a day for her to rest from the summer school. A nice way to ease into full time dancing.

Kyah is really enjoying the classes she is having with Nika which is great. There is no escape from the teachers’ eyes, so she cannot slack off. That is good.

After dancing, we went to a new business recently set up, called Planet Commando. It is an indoor recreation centre that offers a range of challenging high ropes courses and other fitness and strength activities. We had fun today. We only managed to get through a couple of the courses but we will definitely be back.

It is a great fun way to improve general stability, strength and confidence while challenging yourself and accomplishing tasks you did not think you were capable of. It’s great for a change and a challenge. Today was the first day Kyah competed a large rock climbing wall and the first time she has ever abseiled. She was pretty pleased with herself. We were crawling through tunnels, climbing ropes, swinging on rope swings, walking across metal cables a fair distance in the air, climbing over poles, walking across moving timber pieces strung by rope from above, trying to find our way out of a rather dark maze… It was all so much fun and rewarding. The exercise benefits will be felt tomorrow, I’m sure. (In other words: I am certain we will both be very sore from the different activity!). It’s good; exercising without realising.

For those of you looking for something different – this is great.  For those of you that see increasing your shopping time from 2 hours to 5 hours in a day your type of challenge – this is not going to appeal to you.

img_7218

Kyah doing some rock climbing

img_7220

Part of one of the courses 

Best thing is it is indoors, so we have no excuse not to attend because of adverse weather. Let’s see how the foot feels tomorrow.

 

Full Time Dance Begins

Today was the start of full-time dance for Kyah. Full-time means 3-4 hours per day every weekday morning with Nika Sheremetieva, from Russian Ballet Studio.

Nika has proven to be fantastic with instruction and encouragement for Kyah and we are so glad we found her when we did. We know Kyah can cope with the workload of 3-4 hours per day, because she did more than that with the Queensland Ballet Summer School, and she survived.

I am certain Kyah’s ballet technique will improve immensely with the intense supervision and regularity and consistency that Nika will be providing. All we have to do is hope and pray her foot gets to the point Kyah feels confident to jump, hop, dance, fully weight bear and move freely on it again, so she can then dance properly again.

There are lots of target dates set for this year. The idea is to set goals for each of the target dates and work backward from each date and figure out what criteria need to be achieved before specific dates. This should help us stay on target to achieving Kyah’s goals. I want Kyah to write the plan up tomorrow.

Kyah’s education starts next week so she has plenty of time to sort it all out before then. She will be doing her school work every day after her dancing commitments. It is amazing how flexible the education system is becoming in relation to accommodating children and their extra curricular activities.

The downfall in starting school another week after everyone else in QLD starts, is that Kyah has plenty of spare time, hence the photos.

 

image-1

 

Plantar Flexion is Improving

Well first day back at school for most children. Normality again.

Kyah did some dancing and a bit of rehab today. She is still commenting that her fibula is sore. I am assuming it is because the muscles that attach to the fibula have been really affected in this whole injury and after doing 5 1/2 days of dancing they would be a bit fatigued. I’m certain there is no damage done to anything.

There is a huge psychological barrier Kyah needs to get over in order to make a come back. Understandably, she is very fearful of re-injuring her foot. I can pretty much guarantee she will never do the same injury ever again.

We went and saw our doctor today, Dr Jason, and showed him the photos the ambulance staff took of Kyah’s foot. He was so encouraging toward Kyah that, yes, she had a horrific injury, but he is even more so impressed with her remarkable recovery. He is just so encouraging, it is really nice. Thank you Dr Jason.

We did the knee to wall measurement today for comparison from previous results.

November 22, 2016  left foot: knee to wall measurement was 3cm, right foot was 13cm.

December 6, 2016m left foot: knee to wall measurement was 9cm, right foot was 13cm.

Today, January 23, 2017, left foot: knee to wall measurement is 11.5cm, right foot is 13cm.

At least the right foot is consistent! More importantly, the left foot is improving; slowly but surely.  This time the improvement is less, but it is always the last bit that is the hardest. At least she is improving. This test measures the flexibility in the achilles and the range in the ankle joint itself.

We also looked at plantar flexion (pointing of the toes), range too; just to see how the total range in her foot has improved.

Here are the photos of the comparisons:

img_6491-1

Taken November 11, 2016

img_7026

Taken December 26, 2016

img_7209

Taken January 23, 2017

While there is progress, we are happy. The strength and control in her foot is obviously much better than what it was. She seems to be more forceful and determined in activating the correct muscles in order to execute the movement.

We are just hoping and praying and believing her foot will more than fully recover.

Back to Normal

Well, life today slowly returned to normal. Kyah’s dad went back home, we caught up on the household chores and Kyah got ready for school that starts tomorrow.

Kyah and Emily went out to the movies and saw Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. They enjoyed it.

Even though Emily is an excellent figure skater she also does ballet as part of her training. Here is a photo of them both doing and arabesque in the shops. Well, why not indeed?

img_7149

Kyah is pretty weary from the intense week she has had, so it was predominately a restful day for her. Tomorrow, once we receive her timetable for school, we will sit and plan her weeks ahead.

Our next goal is an eisteddfod competition in Nerang, closely followed by Alana Haines international competition in Wellington. This is the big one – she must perform en pointe.  No pressure….

God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect. 2Sa 22:33