Florence The Machine - Sports Injury
Physically injury sucks but mentally I think it’s horrid. Often those who become seriously injured are involved in their sport in that life consuming kind of way. This often results in their sport, and I speak from my own experience, and their previous intensive training habits become a constant reminder of what they can no longer do. The choice becomes remove yourself completely from the environment and have to work on gameplay and tactics as well as getting fit when you return, or suck it up.
With no plans to give up roller derby when I have a working knee again (I have not been put off by my injury) and with my boyfriend, brother and friends all being inexplicably linked with roller derby my awareness and involvement in roller derby is unavoidable. And so is the mental torture. Coping strategies are required.
My knee is a situation I cannot control. Does not sound much like a coping strategy but actually realising this fact is a big step. I cannot operate on my own knee, repair an area of my knee that is medically know for being unrepairable without help and I cannot control the swelling. But I can influence my situation. My thigh, which atrophied during the non-straight leg phase of my injury, needs to be at a good muscular strength. I can influence this. Upon my return to roller derby I will need to be up to date with gameplay and rules and physical fitter than I was when I left (fighting for my spot). Again I can influence this by ensuring I am about, interested and working out. Ironically the being fit thing will influence how quick I heal and the speed of my recovery. Thinking about what I can influence is a massive coping strategy for me.
Refocusing on a new role is another coping strategy. Before my injury my role within my team was clear. I was an A-Team primary jammer, pivot blocker and I had just been shortlisted in the Top 60 female skaters in England. Once I realised this was lost for me it was hard to pinpoint where I stood within roller derby and my team. Roller derby at the Lincolnshire Bombers had always been centralised by my own skating. In comparison, roller derby and Lincolnshire Rolling Thunder had always been centralised by enabling others to skate. After a great deal of mental force my focus at the Lincolnshire Bombers now matches that at Lincolnshire Rolling Thunder. I have been lucky enough to be elected as my teams line up manager for the next six months. This made refocusing a lot easier, but it would have come and I would have been the best NSO I could be. I will now enable my team mates rather than be consumed by jealousy at them.
*Article image courtesy of Peter Worth