Essenceís Rehab and Fashion Update!

By Ros Gold-Onwude

Describe a day in the life of Essence Carson these days?
Usually just rehabbing and working on music. The time I wake up depends on what time rehab is. I usually wake up around 830/9. First thing I do each day is rehab. Itís not too far from my house. I go for about two to two and a half hours. Then I grab some lunch really quick and come back home to ice my knee. Then I work on my music and relax with that for the rest of the day and night.

Is there anything else beside basketball and music that you do for fun?
Nope! Not at all (laughs). Those two things are what I love. Itís not just my music; I produce for other people, too. I had a session with a musician last night. Iím supposed to have two more today.

Are you on schedule with your rehab?
Iím ahead by a week or two. I hit six weeks out from surgery and I have the rehab schedule of someone out eight weeks. I have 125 degree flexibility and range of motion. I leg press 70 pounds but I can do more; we just donít want to over do it. I took a piece of my hamstring to repair my ACL so I am also rehabbing my hamstring.

What do your doctors say about your rehab progress?
They said I have unbelievable hamstrings! (Laughs) They said my hamstrings are very strong. They said everything else in the knee: the cartilage and the other ligaments all look good. I should be on track for a full recovery probably in nine months.

Due to the injury you spend game-days on the sideline. How do you pick out your game-day outfits? Why do you wear so much black?
Itís really whatever I feel like that day. I like earth tones and black because those colors go well with my skin. All black. I rock all black sometimes. Why? Because black matters. Go in your closet, nothing to wear? Black matters.

How does the knee brace change what you wear?
I wear a lot of tights and skinny jeans now with the brace outside of it. The bigger brace limited what I could wear; some styles look weird with it. I have a smaller brace now.

Have you considered bedazzling the knee brace?
(Laughs) No bedazzle. If anything I would bedazzle my crutches but since I donít need crutches any more I probably wont be bedazzling anything.

When you were healthy you got the team pumped before games with your dancing. Who is the hype-woman now?
I just started dancing again! I danced last game. Itís a modified version, not so much dancing and bouncing, and a lot more arms. By the end my shoulders are tired like how your arms feel when you blow dry your hair for too long!

Why is staying connected to the team so important to you?
These are my sisters. Iím still part of the team, you know. Iím not just going to check out because Iím hurt. I want the team to do the best they can do. Thatís just who I am. Iím happy when the team is doing well.