Me Mondays: Sydney Southern

We all know that Studio Poise is a pretty special place - and that's mostly due to the amazing clients who show up each and every day and dedicate themselves 100% to their classes. We love any opportunity to celebrate #poisenation, and that's how Me Mondays were born. Today, we welcome Sydney Southern to the blog. Sydney joined Studio Poise last year and has been such an inspiration to us, so we asked her to share her story with us on the blog. Sydney, take it away!

Spring semester 2014. I was a senior at Bentley University, mere months away from graduating with a Bachelor’s degree. Four years of all-nighters, presentations and partying comes to end as I crossed the stage May 17th. As I began packing for my final Spring Break trip in March, my doctor called with a devastating diagnosis: A Giant Cell Tumor in my left hip, and immediate surgery.

I’ve always been an athlete; from the youth cartoon leagues through three varsity sports in high school, being an athlete defined me. So naturally, I joined the club ultimate Frisbee team at Bentley to continue my athletic career. Returning from summer break for my senior year, I felt some pain in my hip after our first fall tournament. I attributed it to sore muscles from getting back to it after a long summer. Like any athlete, I took some ibuprofen, iced my hip, and stretched. After the problem persisted and pain worsened, I stopped by the school nurse for a diagnosis; ‘bursitis’ she thought, and directed me to take it easy and ice. Over Thanksgiving break, when the pain only worsened, I saw an orthopedist that agreed with the school nurse’s diagnosis and shot me with cortisone. A few weeks later, the pain returned, this time stronger than ever, impeding me from walking. I returned to the orthopedist for an MRI. A week later, the diagnosis: Giant Cell Tumor. Essentially, this type of tumor is benign, but very aggressive. The tumor itself was actually in the head of my femur, which connects into the hip bone. I saw an Orthopedic Oncologist, who would be performing the surgery. He not only canned my Spring Break trip, but the rest of my senior spring semester. I was weeks away from the finish line, senior Bahamas trip, graduation, and instead I was heading into surgery. 

The tumor was removed from my femur, filled with cement, and reinforced with a metal rod and seven screws. With a new 12-inch scar down the side of my leg, I started physical therapy, re-learning to walk, lift, hop and push. As an athletic girl, I’ve always found relief and solace through sports. Now, barely having control over a pertinent muscle to perform in athletics, I felt defeated and unsure where to find my release. 

Nine months later, enter Studio Poise.  After trying other forms of exercise (spin, swimming, Pilates) I was discouraged with the results and the lack of progress. I was introduced to Studio Poise through an instructress I went to high school with (shout out, Kelsey!) I went to my first class, Poise Fusion, and fell in love. It was the perfect combination of physical therapy, muscle-toning and stress-relief. Never mind the strong “Poise” community and support. At the beginning of my Studio Poise experience, there were many moves I had to modify or couldn’t do because of my weak muscle. However, with the support of the instructresses and a winning attitude, I’ve seen huge improvements in my abilities during class, and find things I was once unable to do, achievable. Because of the weak muscle, I walked with a “hitch” in my step, so bad, in fact, I was once asked if I was drunk at work! Now, after attending Poise classes, the hitch is nearly gone and I am walking more confidently, holding my head a bit higher. 

After experiencing a crushing blow to senior year, a little perseverance and luck landed me at an amazing studio that has given me back what I was sure was lost: the confidence after losing a huge part of my life in athletics. I truly look forward to attending classes, seeing strong results week to week.  I can’t even begin to thank the staff at Studio Poise enough!

And if you’re wondering…I was able to attend my senior trip to the Bahamas with my class, and walk at graduation with a degree!

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Sydney! We love having you in class with us!