I earned this sprained ankle over the weekend. It’s my first big roller derby injury. Exciting, right? I’m not sure. In the roller derby community, you see a lot of pictures of x-rays and really bad bruises. It’s part of the sport–almost like a badge of honor–and you can pretty much expect to get an injury at some point in your derby career.
As a non-skating official, I thought I was fairly impervious to injury. Oh, my calves get tight from standing a lot…..and there was a little incident last fall when a referee skated over my toes, but I didn’t expect anything worse than that.
After four years of being a non-skating official, I got skates this year and started to learn how to ref. Learning how to ref takes a while–you have to learn how to skate so well you don’t have to think about what your feet are doing, and you need to be able to see the action and make calls.
In learning how to skate, I’ve joined the skater training program in my league. I’ve graduated from no-contact practices to contact practices, and contact means taking a little extra risk. I came out on the losing side on Saturday, when I took a hit, fell and saw my ankle turn 90 degrees.
Now I’m off skates for a couple of weeks. I’m lucky it’s not worse than a minor sprain, but it still hurts. I missed skate practice tonight, both literally and figuratively. Still, I’ve survived an injury and perhaps have gone through a rite of passage, but not one that I’m necessarily pleased to wear as a badge of honor. I’d much rather be able to strap on my skates and get back on the track than pop ibuprofen, ice my ankle and keep it elevated. Perhaps it’s a way to deal with the frustration though. If anything, it’s a badge that reminds me to work hard on healing as quickly as possible.