I fractured my tibia in a bout on June 27th. A medial tibial plateau fracture. A small 3mm piece of my posterior tibia was found separated from the bone only after an MRI. If I followed the total non weight bearing protocol, I would avoid surgery. A follow up xray two weeks later confirmed that I could indeed follow directions when scared enough--and the fracture was no longer visible. I was ready to lose the brace and the crutches. But Mr. Orthopeadic Surgeon reminded me that even though surgery wasn't indicated at this point, my injury still required 12 weeks to heal.
I watched the rest of the derby season from behind my Merchandise Table at bouts. I attended practice and pretended to be super psyched to be sitting in a chair with my leg propped up while my teammates swooped around the track and banged each other up. My heart hurt with every jam.
No one just "plays" roller derby. I think we all become a wee bit obsessed. I am no exception. This was my third season with the team. I prepared for this season all winter: watching bouts on my computer, practicing footwork, conditioning. You can roll your eyes as many others do. I already admitted that roller derby consumes my life. I make no apologies as I was physically, mentally, and spiritually happy.
I was hoping to make it back for the last bout of the season, even if just to gear up to keep the bench warm. However, my 12 week time frame to return to normal activities just missed this mark. For the last two practices of the season, I skated the modified version for gimpy girls. I continued with physical therapy and then moved onto more personalized training. Bulgarian Squats=Ouch!! I comforted myself with the thought that I have all winter to once again, prepare for the next season--Season #4. (Am I a veteran yet?) Then we received exciting news that SRD actually has a winter practice space! Starting in 2 days?!?!
I think I just got a wee bit scared. Returning to the track, which I wanted for so long, is starting me in the face and I feel like I need a shot of whiskey. I feel like I need to have a 1 on 1 conversation with the tibia and knee to learn if they're structurally sound. Maybe they need a shot of whiskey. I never actually had a mental meltdown yet after my injury. My personal belief is that you need the darkness in order to see the stars. I should let the darkness in, the anger and pain demons, the self doubts, the what ifs; let the disappointment of a season gone engulf me. These feelings will ebb away to leave an empty space, ready to plant anew the love I have for this game.
So I will head to practice tonight in full gear, no red pinny to indicate that I am not "hittable." I hear we are dressing up with tutus and fancy tights so this might be a slight mental diversion.
Roller derby til I die. And I'm not dead yet.