Thursday, October 1, 2009

Shit Happens... Sometimes Sequentially

To say I’ve had writer’s block lately would be an understatement. In fact, not only have I been unable to put pen to paper in any logical manner, but I’ve also been unable to form much of a cohesive thought that didn’t involve my pure frustration or anger for this end-of-season plagues of injuries. That’s right, I said injuries – as in plural, multiple injuries.

After 3 weeks of being unable to do much of anything because of the herniated neck disk, I was finally feeling good enough on Saturday to ignore my physical therapist’s orders and go for a run. Running clears my head, and after no more than a quarter mile, I was finally thinking straight and could articulate in my mind why I had been in such a panic about not being able to skate or run for an indefinite amount of time. Then it hit me – not another profound thought, the ground. I was so engrossed in thought, almost at a dead sprint, when I rolled my foot in the pothole I never saw coming. Fuck, not again. Just as soon as I was again beginning to feel alive – head cleared, lungs burning – POOF! Right back where I was: condemned to my fucking sofa and horrible Wednesday-night fucking television. Fuck.

Unable to put weight on it as I got up from the ground, I sat on the curb and looked down at my incredibly-inflating ankle, trying to assess the practicality of the situation. The lake is 1.3 miles around, and I was approximately .75 miles from my car in either direction. I couldn’t put weight on it, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to crawl back with dog in tow. “This can’t be happening,” I thought. I scrambled to call J to come get me.

I thought I broke it, because it looked a lot like the lower-leg breaks I’ve seen first hand in derby. It was instantly profoundly swollen – nearly twice the size of my other ankle. I had visions of an overnight stay in the hospital, surgery, and hardware – the trifecta that so many of my teammates have had to face over the years. There was no chance of denying the severity of whatever had just happened because it looked fucking scary. The instant physical deformity made any hope of a quick recovery seem as foolish as hoping Santa would come the year after you found out he didn’t exist. After the neck injury and the whole missing Regionals, I was grasping at straws though, wanting nothing more than to “get back to normal”, which apparently is just not in the cards for me right now.

Before I bit it in the pothole I realized that I was angry and depressed not because my active lifestyle was briefly interrupted, but because I’m terrified that with each passing day that I cannot skate or run I will be one step closer to reverting back to that person I was five years ago – the rollergirl who wanted to be called a rollergirl, but who didn’t really want to have to do anything too difficult or athletic in order to look cool, the person who was so out of shape and in poor health that she was on medication to lower her blood pressure, the girl with the pretty face who had such poor self-esteem that she couldn’t even see that, well, at least she had a pretty face even if she didn’t have the body to match. Yes, I’m terrified that like an ex-junkie I’ll relapse into a junk-food filled sedentary lifestyle, and by the time I am able to resume the active lifestyle I’ve grown to love, I’ll no longer have the desire to do so.

With previous injuries, I’ve used my time off-skates to be sure I’m extra cautious about eating right, so my body is as prepared as it can be when I have clearance to resume derby. Not this time. September 8th marked the beginning of the binging that has not stopped. I’m so terrified about what I’m going to do to myself that it’s even crossed my mind to retire from derby now, in order to save face in 2 months when I’m so out of shape that I can’t keep up with my teams. I realize this thought is a ridiculous one, and I also realize that by having it, I’m giving myself permission to fail, and that scares the shit out of me.

The good news is that I now know what I’m afraid of, which means I can take steps to keep my fears from becoming a reality. Exactly how remains to be seen, but I’ll figure it out.

The ankle is sprained, not broken, and I’ve already gotten off the crutches, into an air cast, and started some very painful physical therapy to help it heal faster and more completely (apparently after you sprain an ankle it’s very easy to do it again). I’m quickly becoming good friends with everyone at the Sports Medicine clinic, since I’m now there nearly every day for either my neck or my ankle. Booking new appointments, however, is like reciting “Who’s on First” with the person behind the desk who can’t get that although I was just there for my neck, I need to make more appointments for my ankle. But I’m patient. Let’s face it, I have the time and there’s no reason to be an asshole.

“Everything happens for a reason,” is something I’ve heard more times than I can shake a stick at. Does it really? Cause right now I’m feeling more of a “Shit Happens” vibe. I’m not ready for the nice-and-tidy happy blog wrap-up quite yet, so you’re gonna have to wait for that just a little bit longer. Perhaps we can learn together that patience is a virtue.

1 comment:

Anna said...

I don't think anything happens for a reason. I think things happen because they're gonna, and it's up to us to give them a reason.