August 22, 2013

Don't be a hero! Injuries in Roller Derby

This Monday I went to roller derby practice.  It was a normal practice, just like every other practice before it.  There was no strange scent in the air, no looming sense of anxiety or the hint of a terrible fate on the horizon (stay with me I'm trying to build dramatic effect).  Everything was normal and after 2 hours of practice we peeled off our skates and got our running shoes on - ready to finish off with our grueling, hour-long off-skates practice.

But something went wrong!  Halfway through doing some resistance drills, being the klutz that I am, I tripped and brought another girl down with me.  My heart stopped.  I had fallen, my shoe had come off, and I had landed hard with my ankle twisting in a weird direction.  As I got up everything seemed to be ok (by that I mean it hurt but nothing was broken) and I thought about continuing the off-skates.  I had come to conquer dammit!  I wasn't going to give up!  As many sit-ups or burpees as that man wanted me to do I was going to with a smile on my face.  My plan was to finish the off-skates like a pro and then go home and die of exhaustion.

Instead I took of my other shoe, sat down, and another skater brought me some ice.  Why do you ask? Because that's what you should do.  I felt pain in my foot, and instead of pushing it to the max and risking an actual injury (which is 40% more likely now can you tell I just made up that statistic?) I chose to play it safe and take care of my body.  When you hurt something, like your ankle or foot, you become unstable and that's when the risk for injury becomes greater.  Roller Derby is a cruel mistress.  It can turn on you at any moment.  One second your landing an apex jump and in another your in a cast.  I don't say this to scare you.  I say this because sometimes it's not a good idea to be the tough girl.  Sometimes you can't be a hero and you need to take a day to let your body rest.

LuluDemon addressed this same issue in a class a RollerCon.  Talking specifically about jamming, she said that when you feel like you have no more energy, your legs are jelly, and you can't finish the jam stably, call it off.  When you persist on making those points you not only risk going to the penalty box for cuts and sloppy hits, you can risk really hurting yourself.  This is a full-contact sport, and sloppy roller derby is the most dangerous roller derby.  You could hurt yourself or even hurt another teammate. Thankfully, my ankle craziness turned out to be nothing and the other girl was perfectly fine.  I had landed weird but the next day it felt fine, and I was able to continue skating like normal.  Now for your viewing pleasure here are some non-sourced non-verified statistics for you as to when you should NOT work out:

Your Old Sports Injury Is Bothering You

Skip the workout and see your doctor. This is usually not a good sign, especially if you have pain during activity. Sudden pain requires immediate medical attention.

You Felt a Sharp Pain the Last Time You Worked Out
Do not work out until you see a doctor to rule out an injury. If you exercise anyway, you may make the injury worse. “Although it is expected to feel soreness after you work out, it is never OK to feel pain.”
In 2007 (i know, right? I couldn't find more recent stats??) WFTDA published some interesting data on roller derby injuries:
  • Of 1,070 respondents – 574 (46%) reported an injury that kept them from participation on one or more occasions
  • Of those 574, 262 (46%) report a knee injury (far and away the most common)
I'll admit it, sometimes girls can be catty.  We look at a girl taking a rest from a drill and we think, "I'm not having any trouble.  What's her problem that this is too hard for her?"  Believe me, I've done it and I kick myself every day for it.  The truth is, nobody's body is the same.  We're all different.  We eat different foods, do different exercise, have different daily activities, have different genes for goodness sake.  Maybe something is going on with our friends body that we don't know about.  Instead of judging them, let's just let them be.  They're better at listening to their own body than we are, and if we say anything it should only be to ask if they need our help.  

Let's recap:  If things hurt, don't skate.  Also, be nice.
I have also enclosed a link that is not for the faint of heart.  If you enjoy horror movies, and looking at roller derby injuries, then this is the place for you!
The Original Skankter

No comments:

Post a Comment