Well – give or take a couple of days, it’s my first Blogiversary!

In plaster

Breaking a bone in my foot which stopped me doing my favourite workouts was just the catalyst I needed – as I never have been an “ideas woman”, yet knew I needed to blog.

The idea was ultimately to give hope, not least to myself, but to anyone else for whom exercise is a way of life that’s suddenly taken away from

I broke my fifth metatarsal in my left foot falling off the arm of the sofa whilst swatting at the smoke alarm – my boyfriend had been cooking sausages.

Gratitude is no bad thing. Today I just threw on my kit and did what I normally do, just go out for a run. This time last year that simply wasn’t an option.

therapeutic shoe - me
Ugh – just LOOK at that shoe!

We are talking a crazy-sized granny shoe and the geriatric “hobbling” which easily made me appear much older than my years.

And I’m comparatively lucky.

During the course of this blog I featured the story of Austin Rathe, who faced the real possibility of leg amputation after a road accident – and developed his resolve to run a marathon whilst recovering in hospital.

Detail from The Hostile Forces, Beethoven frieze, by Klimpt
Flab fear – I don’t want to look like this

I wanted a dancer who’d recovered from injury – and she came along in the unlikely form of Amber Kershaw, then aged nine, who’d recovered from a broken arm to street-dance on a competitive level.

Blogging is a steep learning curve and I’m still learning.

Part of the fun, of course, is seeing how well each blog post does – it really is quite fun looking at the stats.

In that respect, by far my most successful post was Maxing Out, which featured fellow blogger Christian Boyles, from Illinois, US, of Maxed Out Muscles.

guerrillas shakey selfie
Nerves? Yes! A shaky selfie just before my return to Guerrillas


Having suffered depression and flare-ups of Crohn’s Disease he told me: “I wanted to take control of my life and not allow myself to become sick again.”

Another high-hitter was Does Yoga Heal? a Q and A with my yoga instructor Espi Smith.

My inevitable fears over putting on weight led to an article on my pet hate – dieting. And I’ll level with you, the inevitable flabbiness caused by lack of exercise did impact on the choice of clothes I could wear for work in the unforgiving summer.

skeleton pray
Yup, I’ve learned to be grateful

Of course there were land-marks along the way in my recovery – getting the six-week all-clear at the fracture clinic, my return to running – and Guerrilla Training!

And whether I was able to run or not, I kept in regular contact with ParkRun – where, much to my surprise, I returned to do a Personal Best.

In the end it was simply a question of patience and letting the bone recover, as it inevitably did.

But this blog did (and still does , as I have no intention of finishing it) help tremendously.

So it’s true – Time really is the great healer.

Along with blogging!


No Surrender from Street Dancer Amber

I promised in an earlier post to bring you a real live dancer whom injury had stopped doing the one thing she really loved.

Amber broke her arm whilst doing a handspring
Amber broke her arm doing a hand-spring

Meet nine-year-old Amber Kershaw. She’s the first child to feature on this blog – but her frustration – and determination – is just as real as anyone else’s!

For the last three years or so, Amber’s enjoyed dancing with Stoke-on-Trent based Urban Vibez and has entered many events with her crew Crazy 8’s.

All this changed last June.

Amber told me: “I was doing a hand-spring and I slipped.”

Amber (third from right) with her crew Crazy 8
Amber (third from right) with her crew Crazy 8’s

Her mother Roisin McKinney added: “She came in from the park one day and said, ‘I think I’ve broken my arm’, and I didn’t take her seriously! So I sent her to bed with some ice on it and when we woke up in the morning it was the size of a football.”

They went straight to A&E, where doctors confirmed Amber had not only broken her tibia and fibula, but had dislocated her elbow too.

Amber was told by medics her fracture was one of the worst they’d seen in a child.

She's always dancing
She’s always dancing

But her fellow dancers were very supportive – “I got a lot of attention, they just looked after me a lot.”

Fate being what it is, Amber injured her arm the day after her plaster cast came off in September, prompting more trips to the hospital, more time away from dancing and another plaster cast. She’s undergone surgery too.

Watching her friends dance when she couldn’t join in soon proved frustrating for Amber and she preferred to stay home rather than sit on the side-lines.

Goofing around with mum Roisin after one of her operations
Crazy selfies with mum Roisin after an op

Roisin said: “She’s had to miss a lot of dances, and I think that’s affected her in all aspects of her life because she did say to me once that music and dancing was her whole life.

“But she’s determined and she’s never stopped practicing – even when she shouldn’t have been! And now she’s going to go to the world dance competitions in August.”

That’s right – Amber and her crew are off to Glasgow this summer to compete at the UDO Worlds Street Dance Championships 2015.

In the more immediate future, she may even be off to compete in Blackpool.

Amber's looking forward to competing on a world class level
Amber’s looking forward to competing at a world class level

Amber’s under no illusion that she has a lot of moves to learn – and she still has to be careful doing anything that involves putting weight on her hands, such as the “drop”.

Pain, too, is an issue. It’s certainly affected her confidence.

Grandad Martin McKinney said: “I’ve watched her practicing, and yes, she has shied away from her dance because of the wariness she might hurt something. But bit by bit she’s getting better.”

“Obviously pain sometimes meant that she’s had to miss lessons so she’s missed a hell of a lot and she’s joined in when she can,” Roisin explained, “But I know it’s frustrated her, because she can’t do the things she used to do and she’s been in a lot of pain over the months.”

Judging from Amber’s dedication, I for one reckon this won’t stop her making a complete return to street dancing – and I wish her all the best in Glasgow this summer.

Please note – full parental consent was given for this interview and an adult family member was present at all times.

Dangerous Dancing

An injured ballerina begins her return to dance as she regains her confidence.

Is confronting her fears
Is confronting her fears “too dangerous”?

The Anthony Byrne-directed music video for Rumer’s single “Dangerous” focuses on a studio manager who fancies one of the male stars of her ballet company.

A serious injury has halted her career as a ballerina, as well as her attempts to dance again – until now.

Now I don’t do Romance – but the song is actually just a vehicle for how Rumer herself confronted her own concerns over returning to the music industry, as she has said in various press interviews.

The song’s fantastic – with a Philadelphia and Soul influence (I adore 70s Soul!).

And the video, performed by members of the English National Ballet, tells a great upbeat story.

The song explores Rumer's own concerns about returning to the industry
“Dangerous” explores Rumer’s own concerns about returning to the industry

In the future I want to bring you dancers who recovered from injury in real life.

Meanwhile, read more about “Dangerous” and Rumer’s third album “Into Colour” here

And click here for her website.