Everybody heard it. There was an audible pop and then I came tumbling to the floor. And I think the most frustrating thing about it was that I wasn't on skates, no cool story, and was in our off season. It happened barefoot on a gym floor during a warm-up. Ugh.
Injury, as much as we try not to say the "I" word, is unfortunately a part of sports and derby is not excluded. Now if you're reading this thinking this is a good excuse not to continue or plan on using this to point fingers at the danger of the sport than I'm sorry, you may want to skip this one.
I'll admit I felt defeated. I felt stupid. I felt like everything I had worked towards was gone in that instant. But after the dust settled, it became very clear to me that this injury was a moment of clarification and motivation for me. It cemented what I already knew deep inside...Derby was my sport and there was no giving up. Sure, it may not come as easy as it had been, but what that is worth owning comes easy?
I stayed away from practice for a bit, but my League, the wonderful ladies that they are, did not let me feel forgotten. Dinners were arranged to be brought by twice weekly and visits happened to relieve me of my crutch induced isolation. I finally was able to attend a Sunday Baby Doll Practice and I must admit, my feelings were quite surprising.
There was a huge lump in my throat as I sat there unsure how I fit in. I wonder what the new girls will think? But just like my first day that all melted away with my teammates smiles and reassurances. The lump turned into an ache in my body to skate and a motivator to get back to work.
The haters and the doubters will always be around. I got plenty of "Well, You tried it and now that's done" type statements. And while each unknowing individual was simply trying to come up with their own reason for my injury, leveling their judgements against my chosen sport, they were also silently feeding the fire of resolve rising up inside me. "I'll show you" is an attitude I've had most of my life, sometimes to a fault. Now older, wiser and a touch crazier, I've redefined it from "I'll show you" to "You can't hold me back."