Updated: Feb 26, 2020
“Sometimes a warrior has to let down their shield in order to discover true strength within.”
Meet Laura: (@lauramsavage)
In her own words:
“December 20, 2017, I suffered a possible career ending injury. During a performance of Newsies at the Marriott Theatre I was dancing my usual track which included a tumbling sequence on top of and then off of a table. I don’t know what was different about that dismount. I did not fall, but when I landed it felt as though my left leg had broken into two pieces. To my surprise, my leg was still intact so I continued to dance on it despite it not supporting me in the way I needed it to, especially with a very strenuous lift coming up. I wisely decided to hobble offstage where I proceeded to dance captain my cast through finishing the show without me. Two days later, I cried throughout an MRI that revealed a complete tear of my ACL. Three weeks later on January 23, 2018, I had reconstructive surgery.
My physical therapy experience did more than bring my body back to health. It became a metaphor for my life, mainly, how to embrace the ebb and flow. One day you are feeling strong, inspired and positive. The next day unbearable pain, frustration and negativity. It was a constant battle. I knew I had to come back as good if not better than I was before. I was not done expressing myself through movement and I was not done sharing light and joy with others through performance. Persistence was essential.
In many ways this devastating event helped to heal what I did not know was broken within me. It reminded me to remain open and receptive to what the universe tells me. I kept myself too busy to listen. I was far too caught up in the daily responsibilities that allowed me to keep my shield in place. I was not taking care of my emotional health so the universe took my external health into its hands and quite literally sat me down. It was the time for a journey back to me- a journey back to Savage. I was forced to turn inward for a solid 7 months. This was a time for lessons in vulnerability and life alignment. Every day I had to choose to put down my shield.
It’s hard for me to fathom that my new ACL is one year old today. Doctors and physical therapists told me that after a year I would begin to feel “normal” again. It’s true, my leg is almost as strong as the other, but I can assure you, what I used to consider “normal” will never be. I am not the person I was before my injury. I am better, forever changed physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
And I have learned that choosing to lower your shield allows you to be the warrior you never thought you were.”
*** Please follow along on instagram as well and learn more about Laura. This year for my birthday, I am embarking on a weekly photo essay project highlighting 52 Phenomenal Women. This is week 20 of 52. Participants in this project will be supporting the efforts of Dress for Success Worldwide – Central. We are all stronger together and it is my sincere hope that we will be inspired by each other’s stories. Now is the time to celebrate as well as encourage one another. Tell your story!***