HOW TO SURVIVE YOUR FIRST MAJOR SETBACK
I HEARD A TERRIBLE SCREAM AND REALIZED, IT CAME FROM ME.
I DIDN’T EVEN SEE THE OTHER CAR COMING.
I WAS HIT SO FAST THAT I FELT LIKE MY HEAD HAD SNAPPED OFF MY NECK.
I wasn’t sure what the hell just happened.
I immediately began feeling a sharp pain in my right shoulder and neck.
I rubbed my neck vigorously while turning the corner to make sure my car hadn’t been severely damaged.
The young latina with bright blonde hair approached my window with an anxious voice and said, “I’m so sorry, my kids are in the back seat, they peed on themselves, I turned around for a quick second and…”
I could barely hear her.
I was still in shock.
I let her go without taking any of her information (Stupid I know!) The adrenaline had me thinking I was fine so I went on with my day and rushed to my nail appointment like nothing happened.
30 min later at my appointment, I started to feel a splitting headache.
FAST FORWARD TWO DAYS LATER AND I COULDN’T MOVE FROM MY BED. THE PAIN WAS UNBEARABLE. IT RADIATED FROM MY LOWER BACK ALL THE WAY UP TO MY RIGHT SHOULDER.
I could not sit, stand, walk or do ANYTHING without feeling e x c r u c i a t i n g pain.
I went to urgent care, a Chiropractor, my doctor and then to physical therapy but nothing seemed to help. I couldn’t go to work on Monday the Chiropractor strongly suggested I refrain from teaching for the next two weeks.
No Zumba®, No Bootcamp, No Training, No lifting, No Yoga… NOTHING.NADA. ZILCH. My Bootcamp co-instructor Karla Lopez, took over all the instructing that week and my good friend Ana Migo came to my rescue a few weeks later to cover my Zumba® class.
I figured I’d be back in no time but I was wrong.
My former personal trainer & massage therapist called me in a frenzy and yelled, “ I heard you were in a car accident and aren’t teaching! We can’t have that. I need to see you asap.”
He saw me every day for two weeks.
Once the swelling went down, he put suction cups down my back, my tight IT bands, and shoulder blades to alleviate the tension created by the accident.
I screamed every night in agony while he worked patiently to repair my damaged muscles. I cried every time I entered treatment. I did my due diligence to let all of my employers know that I had been in a car accident and was unable to work.
A WEEK LATER, I WAS ABRUPTLY LET GO FROM MY ZUMBA® GIG. WITH NO EXPLANATION.
Perplexed as to why I was fired - I called the gym furiously.
I was determined to fight to get my job back and continued to call all week along with texts and voicemails to my ex-boss but heard nothing. This small accident took away my hope, my courage, and my strength. I was so down and disappointed that I couldn’t recover faster.
I cried a lot that month and wondered I would ever teach again or if I’d ever be the same Massi who could shake it like crazy in Zumba.
Then I stopped.I realized that NOTHING was worth working through an injury. Not my mind, body, a job and most definitely not a gym that didn’t value or care about my health and wellness.
I DECIDED TO LET THAT SHIT GO!
Letting it go allowed me to lay the foundation of my “house” back. The blocks of my recovery have been about regaining strength, coordination, and agility.
After countless weeks of seeing three different physical & massage therapists on August 20th, 2015 I woke up pain-free.
I put my polka dot gym pants on, my headphones in, turned on my audiobook (I’m a nerd and proud of it!) and slowly started walking down my street.
I was used to running not walking & decides to take a detour. I was grateful for the flowers on the way, the sun kissing my face, the crisp summer air and the feeling of my thighs burning as I went up the steep hill.
It felt like a completely different experience from anything I’d ever done before.
I was connecting, with life and with myself again. Most importantly, I felt grateful that God gave me the opportunity to walk, to breath and to WAKE UP another day.
“Yasssss Girl! You’re getting there!” I said to myself.
After my walk, I stretched and practiced 15 min of Yoga Hip Openers. I’d never been so excited to do a downward facing dog at 6 AM like I was that day — PAIN FREE!
Only after my massage therapist Juan & Physical therapist Shira showed true compassion, understanding and care for my injuries— were my muscles able to respond to treatment.
Now, not only was I able to walk and run again pain-free I realized I had the power to get my joy back.
A huge THANK YOU and shout out to those who’ve bared with my tears, fears, and relentless questions when I was unable to move with ease = You know who you are. I am grateful for you & I couldn’t have survived this slump without you.
Everyone falls off at one point or another. Surviving is contingent on your support system. Sometimes you have to just let the bullshit go to move on to where you’re really meant to be.
It’s scary to let down our walls and allow ourselves to be imperfect. I often struggle with that both in my personal and professional life.
Sharing my journey with my readers and knowing that this could help you, your friend or family member get back up, brush yourself off and trying again, makes it all worth it.
NEVER GIVE UP!
THE COMFORT ZONE IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE BUT NOTHING EVER GROWS THERE! MUCH LOVE AND RESPECT 💖 — MASIEL ENCARNACIÓN