Dancers are some of the most resilient people out there—but coming back from a serious injury can test even strongest dancer's will. American Ballet Theatre corps member Lauren Post has proven up to the challenge.
"I tore my ACL on my left knee while I was on stage at the Met performing in Sylvia," Post says. "Once I realized I couldn't keep dancing, I just crawled behind a piece of scenery and waited until the scene was over so I could be taken offstage." In order to replace the ACL, Post's doctors had to take muscle and tendon from her hamstring and put it in her knee.
During the first stage of her recovery, Post decided to take time to travel, and even picked up a new skill: crocheting. (Her newfound hobby benefited her young niece, who has received many of the stuffed animals she crocheted.)
When Post did begin physical therapy she took things slow. "It took me weeks to work up to be able to bend my knee to a 90-degree angle after my surgery." Post took her workouts to the pool so her leg would become accustomed to movement in a low-impact environment.
Though Post was discouraged at times, she said that talking to a fellow dancer who was going through a similar injury and recovery process kept her optimistic about being able to dance again. She also mentioned how powerful a positive attitude can can be when you're trying to heal.
"I reminded myself that millions of people went through what I was going through, and I had to just tell myself that if they could do it, I could too," she said. "I think the mind is really powerful and if you can convince yourself of something, your body just follows."
The positivity paid off: Nine months after her operation, Post was able to return to work, just in time for ABT's 2017 Met season. She even performed soloist roles in Le Corsaire.
Post said the recovery process taught her how to cross train and take better care of herself: "You have to listen to your body and know when to back off and rest." To read the whole interview, click here.