Wash out

I’ve been putting this post off and avoiding this blog for several weeks.  I kept hoping that the situation would change before tonight; but, here we are.  Three months after sucking it up and hauling my cookies out onto the track, tonight is the skills testing night.

And, I’m not there.

Several weeks have passed since my urgent care visit.  My foot, though definitely better with no skating, is not back to where I can strap my skates on again.

The other night, while the home alone, I put my skates on.  I just rolled around a bit on what little tile we have.  The nagging pain that I’d experienced before sharply reintroduced itself.

I’ll admit it…I cried.

I don’t know what to feel.  Part of me is so disappointed to be missing the skills test…so disappointed that it almost chokes me.  As I follow the progress of my fellow Cherries on Facebook, I am jealous and I feel left out.

The other part of me – the scared, really bad skater part of me – is relieved.  Derby is hard.  It’s one of the most physically and emotionally demanding things that I’ve ever done.

Several of the trainers and other Cherries have encouraged me to try again with an upcoming group and that originally was my intention.

However, as the weeks go by, and my foot is not showing enough improvement, I’m worried that it will never cooperate.  It’s not like this was a new injury.  The only time that I can remember suffering a broken bone in my foot was in college.  That was almost twenty-five years ago.  Pressure is never going to improve with more skating.

So, if I can’t skate, what?

The league is always looking for non-skating officials (NSOs) and I could do that, but, that’s not why I started this whole thing in the first place.  I wanted to be a derby diva, crashing through the pack, not standing in the middle with a clipboard.

I am torn.

I’m going to have to think long and hard about this.  As my mother says, “When the mom goes down, it’s hard on the whole family.”  Is it really worth pretty certain additional damage to my foot to be scared out of my mind, yet exhilarated beyond belief?  There are still several things demanding attention, with family, work, the other hobbies that I’ve taken up.  Derby is a huge commitment, and I would need to invest a lot of myself to get better than I am.

Tonight, the Cherry Posse is skating their 25 laps in 5 minutes, running the obstacle course, jumping, falling, sliding and celebrating.

To my fellow Cherries, KICK ASS!  I am so proud of all of you!  To the trainers of our league, you are my heroes.  Even if I’m cheering you on from the cheap seats, I am your number one fan.

Daddy, We’re Down! #derby

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I’m feeling a little bit sick tonight.  I’m disappointed, and secretly, just a little bit relieved.  Last week, at Wednesday’s practice, we had our first scrimmage.  We were absolutely terrible; but, it was SO MUCH FUN!  THIS is what I’ve been waiting for!

We practiced skating in the pack and started with one jammer.  We’d take turns at pivot, wearing the striped “panty” on our helmets.  At first, we weren’t doing any hitting.  We had to start learning what we can and can’t do with our hands, and start figuring out what is legal…no back blocks, no tripping, etc.  It’s much harder than you would think.  Several of us took to skating with our hands clasped together like we were praying.

After several jams, the trainers lined us up around the track.  We were facing forward, each at a point around the track, with spenty of space in between.  The trainers started weaving in between us, alternating inside & outside.  As they came up next to each skater, they would throw a shoulder hit.  It was our job to take the hit and stay on our feet.  I quickly figured out that the lower I was, and the more I leaned into the hit, the less likely it would be for me to get knocked on my can!

Some trainers would just sort of lean into the skaters as they went by.  Some seemed to take a perverse pleasure in really knocking us.  After every hit, I would giggle like a fool.  I know it doesn’t sound like fun; but, it really was.

Once we’d all been battered around for several minutes, it was time to pair up and take turns at another 25 in 5.  Part of the skills test is to skate twenty-five laps in five minutes.  It doesn’t sound like much; but, you have to pace yourself, and you have to dig in and get your crossovers down.  Crossing over around the curves builds speed and creates momentum.  I went first, and my partner cheered me on, counting my laps.  I was skating hard, and really trying to concentrate; but, my right foot became more and more painful.  I wasn’t skating at anywhere close to 100% because, every time I tried to push with my right foot, pain would shoot across the top of my foot and my big toe started going numb.  By the time the five minute whistle blew, I’d only managed seventeen laps.

Taking my skate off and putting a shoe on was miserable, and by the time I woke up the next day, I could barely hobble.  I decided to go to urgent care, to see if they could see anything.  They ran some xrays, and I got to look at them with the PA.  We talked about how long the foot had been bothering me, and I counted back to about two weeks prior…that’s when I’d first started noticing twinges across the top of the foot.  She couldn’t see anything that looked like a fracture; but, she did see some strange shadowing right where I was complaining of pain.  She said that a radiologist would read the xrays and that they’d get back to me.  They wrapped me up in an ace bandage & advised me to stay off of the foot as much as possible.  Later that afternoon, they called to tell me that there was no new fracture, only that I’d “aggravated an old fracture.”  What?  I’d never known that I’d actually broken my foot.  The first week of college, I’d been running around in the quad barefoot, and did hurt my foot.  I never saw a doctor…just babied it for a while.  I eventually forgot about it…and, it’s not like that was so recent.  That was twenty-five years ago!

I spent all weekend, trying to stay off of the foot as much as possible, and keeping ice on it.  It’s not getting any better and I’m afraid that I’m running out of time to get the required skills down to be able to pass the test.

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I decided that I need to let my foot heal completely, and then try again with the next round of Cherries in September.  It turns out theat there will be several of us going through the training again.  One girl suffered broken ribs after a bad fall at the church wehere we can practice…another dislocated several of her lower vertebrae thanks to a nasty fall at scrimmage last week.  There are a couple more that had injuries early in the Cherries session and they feel like they need some extra time to work on skills.  I emailed the head of our league, to make sure that I would be able to try again, and she couldn’t have been nicer.

I’m disappointed that I won’t be on a team come September; but, I know myself…I want to do this right, and I want to be able to pass the skills test.  I don’t want to risk making my foot worse before I strap on my skates again.  The hardest part is over…putting those skates on the first time was SO scary.  I did it, and now I know that I can do it.  I will do it.

So, for now, we’re down; but, stay tuned.  This Derby Girl Wannabe is still determined to kick ass on the track!

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