Down and out
There’s no better way to say it: being injured sucks.
Forget the pain, the doctor’s appointments, the physical therapy and rehabilitation. The worst part is sitting on the sidelines at a practice or a bout, watching your teammates sail by with their typical grace and ease while you sit on a cold bench, nursing your injury and pining for the sensation of gliding into a smooth crossover or connecting a solid C-block.
I’ve managed to sprain my ankle twice in the past three months. Granted, I don’t deserve as much sympathy as my fellow injured skaters, because both sprains have occurred off the rink in the company of my adulterous lover, volleyball. This doesn’t make being off skates any less frustrating, however.
I sprained my ankle three weeks ago and I was told no real skating for six weeks. I confess, though: I’ve been cheating. I can’t help it. Despite the swelling I’ve been getting on the rink at least once a week, coming home, icing and elevating, and taking the next day off entirely. I’ve been trying to take it easy and avoid any contact drills or hard sprinting, but when Juicy busted out the pads for us to work on blocking, my brain IMed my ankle: STFU, there’s fun to be had!
Death by Dollface recently endured a more serious and painful injury. Her shoelace came undone during a scrimmage and perilously wrapped around her wheels like Isadora Duncan’s scarf. Dollface came crashing into the ground, shoulder first. The doctor’s diagnosis is at least six weeks of rest for her separated shoulder to heal. Despite the pain and discomfort that accompanies even the most simple movements, she’s managing without painkillers. As a polyathlete, her biggest challenge is following doctor’s orders and resting rather than weight training, boxing, long-distance running, or any number of other athletic endeavors she enjoys. Having replaced her past addictions with healthy ones, it’s especially tough missing the adrenaline rush and sense of accomplishment that comes from an intense workout.
I can certainly empathize with that feeling. Even if I’m somewhat functional, having to “take it easy” is a hellish diagnosis for someone who spends her hours at work fantasizing about the end of the day and the next opportunity to break a sweat. For now, though, I have to really think about the long-term here: do I want to keep being pestered with this on-and-off for who knows how long, or am I going to suck it up, fight the demons of boredom, and stay off skates long enough to let myself properly heal--? Thankfully, that decision has been made for me. At this point, I’m on the sidelines—coaches’ orders. Soon, though, Dollface and I will both be back in action…and we’ll have a lot of ferocity to let loose.