…but I won’t quit ’cause I want more — From “My Body” by Young the Giant. This is my derby theme song.
I’m just getting back up to speed after having been off skates for about 6 weeks due to a knee injury. I’ve been back on the track for about 4 weeks, but only fully able to participate for a week and a half. This past Sunday I was planning to skip practice to go with the family to NJ Comic Con, where a friend was debuting a new Sith costume that I helped make part of. Then we found out it was Meat Testing day…I didn’t think I’d get my first star, but the evaluation would give me a good baseline, and I wanted to be there for my teammates, too. So I sent Kit and the kids off to Comic Con without me, and I headed down to practice.
Eleven and a half laps into warmups, I rolled my ankle. Badly. It’s (almost certainly) not broken, and in fact I’m pretty sure this is one of those times when having weak/loose ankles may have saved me from a more serious injury, but right now (almost 24 hours later) it’s still pretty swollen and painful. So instead of getting to test with the rest of my Fresh Meat mates, I sat on the sideline and watched (and cheered — they all did so great!).
While I was sitting there, I was thinking: how much do I want this? This is my 2nd injury* (and at that point I wasn’t so sure it wasn’t more serious). Even when I was a kid I was “injury prone” so it’s probably not going to be my last. I have trouble with transitions and plows. I have no speed. I am old for just starting this sport.
But I love it. I love every second on the track, even when we’re 4:59 into 27-in-5 and I’m sucking wind**, even when we’re halfway through Build-a-Bitch and I think I don’t have another push-up in me much less another 30, even when I’ve heard, “get lower!” for the 453rd time in 10 minutes, even when my knee starts screaming in a pace line or the pack. I love it. I feel good after practice. I always, always want to give everything I have to every minute of practice.
And I love this team that I found. These women are amazing, in a myriad of different ways. They make me want to be the best me I can be, just by being them. And they never, ever fail to be encouraging and supportive. So. No matter how much my body tells me “no”, I won’t quit. Because I want more of this sport, and more of this team. <3 you, JDB!
* 2nd that’ll keep me off skates for one or more practices. I’ve also had some more minor things, like a bad tailbone bruise and my first “derby kiss” bruise when I slammed into a wall instead of turning. You know it’s a good bruise when even the seasoned vets see it and say, “What the hell did you DO!?!?!”
** Yeah, more cardio. To be fair to myself, this was 2 weeks back on skates from the knee thing, which had also kept me from doing a lot of cardio. So I’m working on it.