Back to the Beat


Photo by Sofia Oakley

What would it take to keep you from what you love most? Sofia was not about to let her medical issues stand in the way of her love for dance.

Have you ever had an injury that seemed to end your sports career before your eyes? Like hearing that you’ll be out for a season or maybe even, out forever? In and out of physical therapy trying to heal as fast as you can? We’ll, I can relate.

In 2017, I had woken up with unusual pain in my foot. When I walked it sent shooting pain up my leg. It looked a little swollen but I didn’t think much of it. I just told myself that I must have slept wrong. 

After a little I realized it was not getting better. Eventually I went to the doctor and they took an x-ray. From the x-ray all they could see was that it was inflamed so they put me in a boot and sent me to an orthopedic.  They also prescribed me some pain medications to ease the pain. 

The orthopedic took a bit to make an appointment but after a couple weeks I was able to be seen. They talked about how it could just be a little irritated or a spider bite but they did not believe it was anything  too serious. This made me happy because it meant I could hopefully walk without a boot real soon. Although the doctors still wanted me to get an MRI to be sure. After they took my MRI, they recommended I stayed in the boot until my results came back.

After one month, I was scheduled to see the orthopedic again. I couldn’t wait. I had such high hopes since they did not believe it was anything serious. I was still in pain but I didn’t let it get to me.  While I was waiting for the doctor to come in I was so anxious.

When the orthopedic came in and said he had bad news, my heart dropped. He told me that I had a bone infection which caused my bones to shift a little which then had lead to bursitis.

My dance career flashed before my eyes. There was no date given as to when I was able to resume physical activities. Then, they told me my next step was to go to the podiatrist. 

 Once I was seen by the podiatrist, they took more x-rays. I was then told that I would have to get these special sneakers with insoles once my inflammation is gone to get out of the boot.

Also, the podiatrist told me to see a physical therapist to help build up my foot to be able to start to walk normally again. 

It took a long seven months until the boot was finally able to be removed. It was a long and painful time in physically therapy trying to walk properly again.

I was still constantly in and out of doctors to make sure it never came back. They all told me that doing a sport didn’t seem like the greatest idea. They told me to just relax and let my foot be. Hearing this news made me furious.

Dancing was all I knew. I’d been dancing since I could walk, and it was always a career aspiration of mine to become a dance teacher. So to hear that sports as a whole seemed to be officially off the table made me heartbroken.  

The summer of 2018, I kept going to physical therapy to help my foot but at home I would still dance a little. It hurt a bit but I was determined to get back to what I love. Regardless of what the doctors had told me.

Right before summer came to an end I had received a card in the mail saying there was a dance studio having an open house. I had convinced myself that I was going to check it out and audition for the team.

My family thought I was crazy but proud that I didn’t let the odds of what the doctors say stop me. After auditioning, it turns out I made the team. I was beyond happy.

Still to this day I dance competitively and the bone infection has not come back. I know that at the time finding out about the news seemed like a huge boulder in the road that seemed unbearable to move but I’m so glad I conquered it.