Malcom in the Middle‘s Frankie Muniz has revealed he suffered a major injury during his years as a professional race car driver.
“I had a crash and broke my back and injured my hands and ribs,” Muniz, 31, told his Dancing with the Stars partner Witney Carson on the premiere episode of the ABC reality dance competition Monday.
After the show, he opened up to PEOPLE about how his injuries have had a lasting affect on him and his DWTS rehearsals.
“I think we talk about my injuries every day because I have a creaky, old body. I’m 31 but feel like I have the creaky, old body of a 71-year-old,” said the actor, who also suffered mini strokes in 2012. “But I’m doing whatever it takes to take care of my body so I can continue dancing. I’ve raced Indy cars, I’ve played every sport, I consider myself a pretty athletic person, but I’m so sore. I’m so dead. I’m in the sauna, I’m icing. Everything that I’m doing every minute of the day is to make me a better dancer in this competition and make it to the end.”
PEOPLE’s special issue, 25 Seasons of Dancing with the Stars, is available now.
And Carson is thrilled with her partner’s enthusiasm.
“This guy is amazing,” said the pro dancer, 23. “He’s so hard working and wants to do the best that he can. We’re having a blast.”
“I’m so scared to dance in front of people. I didn’t even know if I could dance, but now that I’m doing it I don’t want to stop any time soon,” said Muniz. “I’m having the time of my life.”
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (at 8 p.m. ET) on ABC.