Derby Strong: Part 2. What to expect when coming back after an injury

Admitting you have an injury and giving it time to properly heal is tough. Every practice, every bout you are off skates can feel like a special, slow form of torture. You want the wheels under your feet. You want, no, NEED to hit people! Finally,  the doctor gives you clearance to lace up and hit the track. What happens next is unpredictable.

Some issues can’t be fixed with duct tape. You just have to work through them.

I’ve seen skaters come back from a serious injury and play as if they were never off skates. Not me. I feel as if my muscle memory jumps back to my baby skates days if I miss even a week of practice. It’s okay to feel off your game. It may take a few practices for you to feel normal again. It could take a year. Don’t make the mistake of comparing yourself to other skaters. Everyone is different. All you need to focus on is getting back to where you were before the injury.

Once you’re skating you may find moves that used to be easy are now difficult. This could just mean that certain muscles weakened during your time off skates, or it could mean  you  have a mental block. Being worried about injuring yourself  again can keep you from moving forward. Get out there and fall. Fall hard. Hit somebody. Take a hit from someone who doesn’t know how to hold back. Get it out of your system and out of your head. (I discussed getting out of your head in this post.)

A yoga instructor told me that balance is a day-to-day thing. Derby, after an injury, is the same way. Some days will be easier than others. Just remember to keep looking forward. Don’t bog yourself down with doubt or self pity. That will only hold you back.


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