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Dancing's Derek Hough: Injuries Are "Incredibly Frustrating"

Why he feels "like an idiot"

Derek Hough

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So, yeah... where do I begin? It was a fluke accident. I was practicing for the 10th anniversary special Monday night after the show. I was dancing with Amy Purdy, Maria Menounos, Amber Riley and all the girls near the judges' table. It was the last run-through and I basically just kicked my foot and broke my toe. I knew something was wrong right away and I was hopping around, going like, "I think I broke my toe." But you know how you say that but you don't really know? But then I was like, "No, I really think I broke it. Let me get some ice." I had a lot of adrenaline and I was probably moving faster than I should have. As I was going down the stairs to get the ice, I rolled my ankle and fell down the stairs. Imagine hopping on your ankle with your full weight and then rolling your ankle with your full weight. I pretty much fell down the stairs and I basically just started screaming, "No!!!!" I knew what it meant. I just couldn't believe it. I'm dancing, I'm traveling and I've been feeling so great, healthy and stronger than ever. So to do something like that, so silly and so ridiculous, is just incredibly frustrating. I felt like an idiot. One of my friends said to me, "Maybe this is just God saying, 'Hey, you need to put your feet up, both of them.'" But for me, I hate that idea.

The good news is I'm healing quickly. I don't need surgery or anything. I'm already off the crutches, which is really good. I've been doing physiotherapy and rehab, and it's very promising. I'm just trying to be careful because I have a busy year still left. I just want to make sure I'm 100 percent in shape. I talked to my physio and he said, "There's gonna come a time where you feel good and you feel like you can dance. But remember you still have a tear in your ankle and a broken toe." I'm trying to be smart and intelligent about it and make sure I truly am feeling good. It's one thing if you heal something like this and you're just going about the day, walking again, but dancing is a different beast. You twist and turn and jump and flip. It's a whole different level of recovery that you need to achieve.

Nastia's been rehearsing with Sasha this week. I'm still choreographing the routine and I'm in all the rehearsals. We're figuring out some different little things to do. We'll make it fun and interesting. Sasha's doing a great job. It's cool because we have the modern Charleston this week and he's got some good ideas.

Withdrawing was never an option. Dancing with the Stars is not about me or any pro. It's about the celebrities. It's their journey. I'm part of the journey, but it's not my journey. I want Nastia to have the best possible chance of winning. You know, she makes it look easy, but we put the work in. You see some of it, but I think a lot of people overlook the amount of work we put in and how much goes into putting together a routine and teaching and learning it. She's a very hard worker and very determined, and I definitely feel like she can go all the way. There are other factors in play, but I feel like she can win.

I'm just kind of taking it one day at a time right now. I have never broken a bone in my body before, so that's the only thing I'm not used to because I literally can't push through it. Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and be magically healed! I'm really doing everything I can to recover as quickly as possible. I'm still doing cryotherapy, taking some herbs, I have topical medication that makes the skin heal faster. Whatever it takes! I'll probably never look at ice the same way again though! I know you're thinking I should've just asked someone to get ice for me, but you know, that's me in a nutshell. Instead, I hobble and fall down the stairs! It's like the universe was saying "sit down" the first time and I didn't listen, so then it was like, "OK, now you really have sit down!" It sucks, but there's always a reason for everything. I always say life doesn't happen to you, it happens for you, so I just have to wait this out.

Thanks again for your support!

Derek
VIDEO: How well do Derek and Nastia know each other?