It is now 11 weeks since I broke my leg. I have had a lot of improvement in both movement and strength in the past few weeks, to the point that I have now returned to working in the office (I had previously been working from home on a small laptop). The journey to and from work includes some long stretches of walking up and down gradients which I did not even notice before, but which now seem like mountains! Now that I am gaining my strength again I have started thinking more about when I can get back on skates – and it is driving me crazy! I know that I should wait at least another month or so, but the temptation is getting too much, especially as I have been getting more involved with the team again.
Since my last update my re-entry into the Derbyverse has begun. I am now a regular at our Monday night scrims and have found that I am becoming more interested in the NSO/Ref side of the game. Volunteering to be Jam Timer, I was in a big mess at first over stopwatches and which whistles signal to do when; I found myself getting in the way of the Zebras, and generally hobbling back to my chair in the middle of the track. But now I’m loving it. I feel that even though I can’t skate I am contributing to the team, and improving my knowledge of the multitude of rules which govern the game. I am also getting to meet lots of new skaters from other teams who come down to play.
The big Derby news of the month was the London Vs Gotham game, hosted in Leeds. I tried to get tickets, but alas there were far too many people with the same intention and they sold out in 3 minutes. So as an alternative I invited a few of the team to my house to watch the live stream together. One thing that I cannot emphasis enough is that watching Derby games helps you become a better player. It’s true, without travelling to some of the local games held in Yorkshire and/or watching American WFTDA games on YouTube I would not have the understanding of the game that I have now. It is one thing to learn how to skate and play Derby; it is another to learn to play as a team, and play tactically.
There was such a great atmosphere watching the London Vs Gotham game. I was in my own home with a bunch of great York Minxters, and my kids running havoc jumping on everyone. It was great to spot people on screen I knew who were refs, in the audience or NSOs. Also, the fact that it was in a place I have been to many times- the Futsal arena, home ground of Leeds Roller Dolls – it made it all seem so much more tangible and achievable. Now don’t get me wrong, the level of Derby that we saw in that game was outstanding and I know it would take us a lot of hard work to get there, seeing such a performance in a familiar setting brings it right home. We play an awesome sport and we can only get better at it.
The day after the London Vs Gotham game was the York Minxters’ first game since playing Sheffield Crucibelles – i.e. the one which was halted halfway through the second half due to me breaking my leg. I had been asked to be Line-up for the Minxters, a position I eagerly accepted. When the day came, going back into the sports hall again and seeing all of the pre-game activities going on brought back memories of the day I broke. I thought that I might have been more nervous or scared returning to that setting, but actually I was quite calm. I guess since I was not skating myself there was no immediate fear for my own well being, although I did have the odd twinge of nerves when one of my teammates took a hard hit or fell awkwardly. I honestly believe that my break was a fluke, an accident that could happen to anyone at any time; I am not going to let fear interfere with me getting on with life and enjoying Derby. Now I have been part of my first game ‘back’ I know that fear is not getting to me. I just hope that I feel the same way when I do actually put my skates back on again.
Having never done the job of Line-up before, I was naturally a little nervous. However, once we got into the swing of the game (round about jam 3 for me!) I was really enjoying myself. I didn’t even realise that we were winning until well into the first half; and it was a great feeling to see my team doing what they do best. I think that I have not jumped about and generally freaked out with excitement so much since I broke my leg. I really enjoyed the game, the interaction with my team mates and generally feeling part of it again. The fact that York Minxters had their first win (final score: 202-116) was the cherry on the top.
First photo courtesy of Kirsty Holcroft.
All other photos courtesy of DizzyDreams Photography.