|My friend Ballz' injuries.|
Like I said, every sport has possibilities for gruesome injuries. Who didn't flinch when that basketball player shattered his leg? We've all seen realllllllly bad injuries in our time in derby. I personally think spiral fractures are the most gnarly but even the invisible ones, like an ACL tear can sideline a player permanently. Let's face it, part of the appeal to our sport is the danger, and sometimes we have to pay the price to play.
When I get injured from playing derby, I immediately have guilty feelings. I know that doesn't sound rational, but with every injury I get, I feel bad. It's as if I can hear my mother saying "I told you that you'd get hurt doing that crazy derby stuff!" If it's just a bruise, I can laugh it off or ignore it, but if it's something more serious, I go through a litany of questions I ask myself.
1. How bad is it? No seriously, how bad is it? Will I be able to skate anymore? If I have to stop, for how long? Is there blood? Should there be blood?
2. How is the going to effect my day to day life? Mr. Q puts up with a shit ton of crap from derby on a pretty regular basis (broken nose twice, ankle injuries, broken fingers, numerous bruises), and if I've just hurt myself and it will effect stuff at home, I'm going to feel so stupid and selfish. Will he have to take care of the dogs by himself, cook all the dinners, take care of daily life all by himself? Am I going to keep him up tossing and turning all night because I'm in pain? Also, I'm pretty sure he doesn't like seeing me hobble around after an injury. Nobody likes to see loved ones hurting.
3. How is this going to effect my job? My prior job had be lifting heavy stuff and then sitting in front of computer for hours on end. It was the perfect storm of discomfort from sitting there, and straight up pain from back issues, arm issues, ankle issues....ugh. I was always worried about coming back from a derby event injured. I'm sure it didn't help that my ex boss was kind of a giant jerk about derby in the first place, but he is my boss no longer.
4. What if I need surgery? Surgery is pretty much my line in the sand about quitting derby. I've seen so many of my idols and friends going through one or two major surgeries due to derby, sometimes for the exact same injury, and I don't think I could ever go back out and skate as confidently again. I admire people for going through surgery, rehab, and coming back to derby as strong as ever, but I just don't think I have it in me.
5. Am I too old for this shit? Seriously, I'm getting up there in years and real life limitations are going to demand attention after a while. I'm holding my own against 20 somethings, but I know that I will be facing more challenges than they will soon. Osteoporosis is something I consider when witnessing a derby injury, especially if it's a bone break. "Would that have been even worse if it had been me?" Of course, then I take all of the calcium I can and lift weights to help my bone density, but it still crosses my mind.
So, when you get injured, and people wish you a speedy recovery, it's not because they don't care about your struggle; it's because they're afraid of what your derby injury represents to them. Is that a selfish thing to think? Absolutely, but it's a natural reaction to the evidence that our favorite sport is a possible life changer, and not for the best of reasons.