2 things I’ve learned being injured at the MRDWC

Legion  - Arnhem Airbomb Rollers

As you probably all know, the world cup Men’s Derby was held this year in March. And as amazing as it was, I was pretty bummed out. 

During the warm-up, getting ready for our first bout against Sweden, I fell ugly and got my knee injured.
At first I thought “Just stretch it out, it’ll be alright…'' unfortunately it wasn’t. Now, almost a month later, my injury is everlasting.
Even though Friday was a bitch, I got to enjoy the matches on Saturday and of course the (epic) finals we were all waiting for on Sunday. I also got to learn a thing or two.

"What's our yell?! Ass on cock?! Sure... why not? Guess I've learned 3 things". Courtesy of Brangwyn "G.I. Jones" Jones

The Community is amazing!
Of course, everyone who has played Roller Derby has experienced this fact a long time ago, but I’m still pretty new, 2 years and counting.
Keep in mind, I’m a pretty quiet guy at times, I don’t mind talking to people, in fact I enjoy it, but listening to others and observing works just as fine. Also, I don’t like to come across as someone with a lot of self-pity. *
That being said, I didn’t announce my injury to all the great people I’ve met and how angry I was - at the universe - for not being able to play. But the people I did tell, and I can’t stress this enough, were amazing in supporting me. Team England and USA were so caring and amazing at giving me a positive vibe and the sweetest words I could wish for. It was a real eye opener for me! So thanks everyone for me being able to experience this amazing community!

But even though that was amazing, for me, the support the other teams and the audience gave to the “underdogs” was even better.
For those who missed al this amazingness: Team Japan; whenever they played, the track surroundings were packed with almost every audience member, all teams and even volunteers. The screams were deafening every time they got lead or scored points. Their merchandise sold out within the hour!
Oh… and don’t get me started on the heartwarming proposal! All my love to those 2 from Argentina

Courtesy of Jason Ruffell.

But for me, the greatest moment was when I was sitting on the suicide seats next to team USA, who stood up and applaud with pride when Scotland finally got passed their strong as hell defenses and actually got to score points. The roar of the crowd was epic and the support the guys from USA showed gets nothing less than the utmost respect from me.

How we need to train even more!
Before the world cup in 2013, we had 2 international events: Battle of the Beasts part I and II. At the very first we got to play against Germany and Belgium. Part II brought in the following teams: France, England, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland as well as Belgium, Germany and our team, Netherlands. Unfortunately I was injured at part II as well, I broke my fibula.
Of course I knew England and France would steal the show, they’re on top of their amazing game and they ended the tournament as first and second place respectively.
By then, we already knew we needed to amp up our game and I guess, the other teams knew that as well.

I personally gained 33 pounds (15kg), because of my injury and trained my ass of to lose most of it -28 pounds (13kg) - in 3 months to prepare for the world cup and trained even harder for my newly acquired skating skills, by then my stamina and muscles had grown a lot as well.
Then I saw the first bout, Argentina vs England. Man… I knew from the start that even though we trained our asses off, and we did, we’d still have a long way to go. And don’t get me wrong, I loved that realization and we didn’t do badly at all, especially for a team existing just over a year!

But for me the world cup was my greatest learning moment in my, short, Derby history and even though I was injured, somehow I get even more motivation to grow as an athlete when injured, I have a lot of new training material, individually, but also for my teams.

In 2013 I trained as often as I could with the limited practices we had with Team Netherlands, as well as my home league, the Arnhem Fallen Angels to prepare for the world cup. And even though I learned a lot from those girls, I am glad that the 28th of April, my own Men’s League will start in Arnhem as well; Airbomb Rollers. I will do my utmost best to make it the best team I can and to hold our own against all the terrific players from leagues across the globe!

For example: This little one, taught me a thing or 2 about blocking. Courtesy of Harm Bakker.

Lastly, I want to give a big shout-out and the biggest thank you I can give to all my teammates who supported me during my injury. Especially my 2 coaches; Furrrocious and General Teresa! Love you all.

*Being starstuck by Team England and Team USA didn’t help either

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