It's hard to describe the feeling of having your knee give out on you. If it's happened to you, you know that profound wrongness of joints that are not quite connected, the deep-inside mishappening of flesh and bones. Worse yet is the call that confirms the injury that all athletes dread: the busted ACL. In an air-conditioned office somewhere, a man in a white coat is scrutinizing the black and gray swirls of your MRI and pronouncing your sentence:Torn.
Might as well be.
Your first thought: My derby career is over!
Your second thought: Oh my god, I'm going to lose this fine derby booty!
Your third thought is not actually a thought - just tears.
Your fourth thought (you raise your fist in the air, the music swells): FUCK IT! I'LL BE BACK, BITCHES!
That's when you put on your big girl skinz and start planning your triumphant return. That's where I'm at right now.
And the rebuilding of my knee is coinciding with the rebuilding of my team. With all of the changes we've had lately - injury, pregnancy, life in general - the Furies are shedding the old and reinventing ourselves as the new. All of our struggles this season have taught us valuable lessons about determination and teamwork.
Every time I think I have it dialed, roller derby has a way of teaching me something new. When we first started this league, it was all about getting my head around this brand new thing, the physical challenge of it, and trying to get good at something that I wasn't naturally good at. Next it was keeping my head up when all of my efforts were slow to pay off and dealing with conflict in relationships. Then came a kind of era of confidence and competency: I made the travel team, I got voted co-captain of the Furies. And then the inevitable cosmic smackdown.
But I realize that every time my body sustains serious damage, tragedy tends to yield great benefits in the not-very-long run. In this case, I get to focus all of my energy on my team and helping my derby sisters get strong, stay motivated, and gain confidence. Even though I'm off skates, I can feel myself developing as a skater. It's making me focus on leadership and being a good captain. Hell, it might even make me a better person.
So love your knees, people. Appreciate all the awesome things your body does - including its amazing power of healing. And dig the new furious logo! I'll see you on the track, bitches!
love & bruises,