On July 5th, 2021 my life irrevocably changed when I experienced a freak accident that resulted in a shattered kneecap. In an instant, I couldn’t walk, bend, or bear any weight on my strong, sturdy legs that had carried me for over 30 healthy years.

I’m a New Yorker, so I’m always on the move. In recent years I’ve developed a passion for running, and was actually in the midst of training for the NYC Marathon when my injury happened. Most importantly, I’m a dancer and performer — I use my body to tell stories, to create, to live out my passion and career.

Never in my life have I experienced such immense depression, and complete loss of self. So much of who I am holistically is connected to what I do physically — I suddenly felt useless, hopeless, and pointless.

I write this now almost a year later, and it isn’t a heroic story of a miracle recovery. I learned this year that Courage isn’t just about the extraordinary, awe-inspiring, instagram-able feats. Perhaps more importantly, it’s about all the accumulated small moments — persevering through the difficult times that no one sees, being forced to face your limitations, getting quiet and honest about where you’re at and what you need, and promising yourself to get up and try again tomorrow.

“Courage is not defined by those who fought and did not fall, but by those who fought, fell and rose again.” — Adrienne Rich