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30 by 30

30 By 30: My Knee.

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This is probably common knowledge to you. Or maybe not.

My knee is a bit of a mess.

It’s been that way for a long time. After a dance injury, I’ve been dealing with pain and inflammation in my knee for over 17 years. The symptoms would come and go, depending on the weather and my work load, but there was always some kind of discomfort. My youngest brother calls me “Old Lady Melanie”.  I tell my students I sound like Rice Krispies (crepitus) whenever I plié or bend. You can tell when I’m coming by the creaks and pops.

Timing and other situations discouraged me from getting it checked out.  I kept on teaching and performing; I had to. My livelihood is based around me moving around. But it put a damper on everything. Being in constant pain made me rethink if I wanted to continue dancing or could continue.  After a lot of thinking and prayer and discussing with folks close to me, I realized it was time. In the last month, I’ve been on a fast track to finding solutions. One MRI and a visit to an orthopedic surgeon, I found out what’s wrong.

Here’s what happened: I dislocated my kneecap when I was 12 (the initial injury), and on top of that, the cartilage has thinned a bit. A lot of medical terms are involved.  So with those ingredients = not-so-happy Melanie.

I won’t lie, I was concerned. Concerned that I wouldn’t be able to keep the career I have. There was a lot of fear behind my thinking. Not good, but it happened. But I’ve been staying positive and focused on what I need to do.

So thankful that my doctor specializes in Sports Medicine – perfect! We talked about options on the healing process. Now, I’m wearing a new brace (my sister thinks it looks like an action figure mask), started physical therapy again, and doing more to give my knee the boost it needs throughout the day.

It’s not easy. I get frustrated. I want to get better but there are some hurdles.  But I’m feeling more confident in my work. I can go the extra mile during those long teaching days. But still, making sure I take care of myself when I’m at home or on the weekends.

Good news: Right now, I don’t need surgery (thank God)! That was my ultimate hope.

This was one of my goals for this year – to make moves in regards to my health. And thankfully, I am!


March 14, 2016

30 BY 30: Do!

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Right before the new year, participants in an online group that I’m in, challenged themselves to find a word or phrase that would shape or guide their 2016.  It took me a few days to find the “perfect” word.

So, with that in mind…


That’s right. DO. An active kind of word. A right now kind of word.

This is what I wrote on the forum:

Accomplishing what I want to do with love, joy, and excellence! Including goals I set for myself and making sure the friendships and connections I have are successful. Just getting stuff done. 

A Bible Scripture that motivates me is from Habukkuk 2:2 – “Write the vision, make it plain!”

This is how I can start – writing thoughts down, making reasonable to-do lists, willing myself to make it happen.  It helps to see visuals to push me along on my journey. Like right here; this post is a reminder that I can do what I want to do.


  • I’m drinking more water.  I bought a big, blue container from Five Below and I fill it up!
  • Speaking up and voicing my opinions, whether or not they are popular.
  • Trying new things – makeup, travel routes, food, exercises, etc.
  • Also, here is a big deal – I’m getting my knee checked out again (very old dance injury) and finding out what I can do to make it better. If that means surgery, okay, but hopefully not!

So that’s my “word” for 2016.  Not just thinking and wishing things would change.  But just going for it. Taking small steps, that elevate to huge leaps.


January 25, 2016

Much Love For 2016!

Posted in My Life by


2015 was fun, very challenging, and actually successful. There were times (a lot of times) I wanted to give up and not try anymore, but I had to keep going. I couldn’t have done it without my faith in God and my friends, who kept me afloat.  I found this quote online and it made me smile! Very true for the people I have in my life.

Here’s to new beginnings, reaching milestones, kicking major butt, and making our dreams come true in 2016!

There will be more posts coming in January!

P.S. The Retype app is really cool. That’s how I made the graphic above.



December 31, 2015

30 by 30: Part One

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Back to the introspective me…

What are my goals? 

How will I get them done? 

For the next twelve months, I am challenging myself to transition into the best me. So, why not create a fun twist on these goals? A few things I would to do/accomplish/see, etc. by my birthday:

Read more…

October 15, 2015