03/19/2013 12:57 am ET

GPS Guide: Suzanne Goff, Professional Ballerina, Gets Inspired To Enjoy Every Single Day

The stress and strain of constantly being connected can sometimes take your life -- and your well-being -- off course. GPS For The Soul can help you find your way back to balance.

GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others' stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing "secret weapons" that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony, or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to look at the GPS Guide below, visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.

As a former semi-professional ballerina and belly dancer, being physically active has always been a centerpiece of 69-year-old Suzanne Goff’s life. Her ballet career ended when she was 34-years-old with the birth of her second daughter, and she resumed her previous career as a graphic designer. During that time, Suzanne also began learning to belly dance, and at age 50, she performed and choreographed locally near her home in East San Marcos, California -- a suburb of San Diego. Into her retirement, Suzanne enjoyed staying healthy and fit by walking outdoors, lifting weights, gardening and doing aerobics.

One morning while making her bed in December of 2011 she felt a sharp pain in her back. It wasn’t until then that she worried her ability to stay active would be cut short. After multiple visits to the chiropractor yielded her no relief, and her pain intensified, she took herself to the emergency room where an X-ray revealed she had osteoporosis and had suffered a spinal fracture as a result. Physicians initially recommended she combat her symptoms with pain medication and a brace. But three weeks into pursuing such a regimen, her condition worsened and she found herself unable to do everyday activities such as household chores, getting dressed, and preparing meals -- let alone aerobics.

Suzanne took matters into her own hands, determining that this was no way to live. She sought out the opinion of an orthopedic surgeon who informed her that a minimally invasive procedure, called balloon kyphoplasty, could be the key to getting her back to exercising and eliminating her pain. In balloon kyphoplasty, orthopaedic balloons are inflated to lift the fractured bone and return it to the correct position. Bone cement is then injected into this newly-created cavity to stabilize the fracture.

Since having the procedure in January of 2012, Suzanne is back to walking, weight lifting, tending to her plants and aerobics. She has even taken up tai chi. “I’ve gotten my life back and honestly feel even better than I did before knowing the osteoporosis caused my spinal fracture,” Suzanne said. In addition to keeping up her exercise regimen, Suzanne plans to soon begin volunteering at her local animal shelter and historical society. “You’ve gotta pay it forward,” Suzanne said. In her GPS Guide below, find the inspiration that keeps Suzanne moving and enjoying each and every day.

Suzanne Goff's GPS Guide

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