|Big big month since my last post. Played in a travel team game, Game of thrones season 3 started and I went and broke myself…
More on that later. Last month I got the honour of being able to play as a Siren against Western Australia Roller Derby in SSRD’s first official WFTDA Apprentice bout. As previously mentioned, I missed out going to WA 2 years ago due to a wedding so I was very keen to play this time around. I had heard the loveliest things about the girls from WARD and from everything I experienced, I can now officially attest to their loveliness.
Personally I did not have the best game, I was too penalty heavy but that didn’t stop me having a great ass time. SSRD won the bout in a hard fought game but my favourite part of the night was when WARD proposed to SSRD at the after party and we said YES.
So now SSRD are officially betrothed to WARD and I have been told the honeymoon is apparently already in the planning. I really like and respect WARD. They seem to have a very similar culture to South Sea and I’d definitely like to see this relationship continue forevers..
Personally I am looking forward to the next rematch, whichever state it is in. /end gush.
With last Sunday night came the moment I think I knew had been coming since I started derby. I have seen people suffer injuries in the past and have always felt like it was going to be my turn soon enough. That time was unfortunately now.
The Literal Breakdown..(as brief as possible but still maybe a bit TLDR)
1. It was a scrimmage like any other. I was the jammer.
In the moments of confusion that always follow an injury on track, I look down to see my ankle facing the wrong way and a bone being pushed up into the skin on the inside. I knew immediately something had broken and could feel the creaking and cracking as I tried to move it into a position to avoid getting bumped around.
Before I knew it I had people around me telling me to breathe, putting clothes around me to keep me warm, asking me to remove my helmet and to stay calm. I’ll be honest the pain was bad, but not as bad as I think I was expecting. I was however waiting for the pain to get worse, which was probably the scariest thing for me. The ambulance had been called and all I could do was wait.
My immediate thoughts went to:
1. The fact I would not be able to skate in the upcoming bouts. Letting myself and the charmers down.
When the waaaambulance arrived they gave me the coveted green whistle straight away and tried to hook me up with morphine before they went about getting my skates off. The funniest and cutest thing was everyone’s shock and horror as they began to cut up my new compression pants, the secret to my limited success, to get access to my leg. The suggestions were made that a) they could be pulled over the ankle (eff no!) or b) they should be cut to the knee and used as shorts… either way they needed to be cut off completely at the hospital.. so bye bye blitzpants….
This is where things started to go a little hazy. I know at one point I started smoking the green whistle like a cigarette. My head was spinning pretty nicely… the pain was still there, but I just didn’t really care. Someone (I now know was tank) picked me up like I was nothing and plopped me onto the stretcher. Upon them wheeling me out to the ambo I put up a peace sign up as a homage to Sailor Mouth Sadie who did the exact same thing when she was injured playing in WA a couple of years ago.
Loaded up in the ambulance, we made our way to the emergency room… I was more than a little gutted they didn’t put the sirens on, if only for a few seconds…
Once at the hospital I waited for x-rays and was given a second green whistle (weeeeee). The x-rays came back. The summary they gave me was that ankles should sit in-between the 2 leg bones (tibia+fibula). My 2 leg bones were squished together on one side with fractures and the ankle was on the other side, presently detached. The doc then told me I need to have my leg reset under nitrous, that I would be awake, and that I would be “uncomfortable”… I won’t lie, this was the most terrifying part of the entire ordeal, possibly the most legitimately terrifying thing I have experienced in recent memory. I looked up at Mr. Blitz, held his hand and let a single tear roll down my face before they gave me the nitrous tube, which I greedily shoved into my mouth like I was at a hotdog eating competition. I took some extremely deep breaths and nodded when I thought I was ready as I drifted into a sound loop. It hurt like a bitch, but I was tripping balls so hard on the nitrous I passed out for about a minute before they brought me back.
After being reset I was sent for more x-rays and eventually sent upstairs at 6am to a proper bed to wait for the ortho guy to get in at around 8am.
I think this is the moment when everything started sinking in a bit. Everyone had gone home and I was left pondering the evening past in a hospital bed in a shared room of 6 semi sleeping strangers. A rush of emotions hit me all of a sudden, ranging from embarrassment at the sounds I made when I fell, to the complete vulnerability of not being able to move or do anything for myself, to intense loneliness all the way to deep appreciation for all the help I had gotten up to this point. I had a wee teary and then did my best to get a bit of sleep before everyone else woke up. No such luck… This was definitely my lowest moment so far and it only lasted about 15 mins so I think I’ve had it pretty good.
The ortho guy came at around 7:30 with an army of 17 interns and other specialists. They had a quick look and confirmed I need surgery and suggested I get bumped to private if I want the procedure done today. They asked if I would be happy with this and I said “whose leg do I need to break to make this happen? Oh just mine? In that case, make it so!…engage!….tea earl grey hot!”. I was packed up around 2 pm and moved to a private hospital nearby where I gowned up and pretty much went straight in for an enhancement procedure that included metal upgrades of some sweet screws and a plate. Achievement Unlocked : Part Robot.
One of the hardest things to cope with was that I had no sleep, no food and no water for a very very long time. I was also still in my sweaty stinky training clothes right up until an hour before the operation which made things uncomfortable for me and probably anyone within a 5 metre radius. My head hurt and all I wanted was to go home. After I got out of surgery I had a big drink of water, 2 rice crackers, my first cock and balls etched into my cast and eventually dozed into a deep drug induced sleep.
The next morning I was cornflake fueled/rested/hydrated and then homeward bound. I was quite ready to sit in my own bed and just do nothing for a long while.
It’s now been a week since the accident as I write this. A week that has gone by pretty quick thanks to some sweet Endone and lots of delicious handmade noms. Although I did only need to take the Endone for 2 days, and even then only to get to sleep in the evenings so the pain was never that bad after the operation. The downside to a week at home is that I’m starting to get a little stir crazy. I’m stalking my cats with my camera, photoshopping myself into game of thrones pictures and becoming a general facebook pest. I am however starting to work from home today and I’m also planning to get down and watch some training very soon to get some more signatures on my manky cast.
I would like to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone that has been so so so supportive of me. The visits, the food, the gifts, the get well wishes. It’s been overwhelming to say the least.
I would like to give an extra big shout out to the people that really took care of me the night it happened.
Flux Decapitator: for calling the ambos and sitting with me in hospital until 4am.
Private health insurance. It really is the best! I know it can be expensive but without it I would have been stuck with a shitty ankle for up to a week and would have needed to get it reset again…No Thanks! I got private health insurance especially for derby. It’s bitter sweet that it’s actually paying off.
Keep your emergency contacts up to date. I had an old number for my mum in the league books, and I left my phone at home, so the only way to contact Mr. Blitz was via facebook, thanks to a quick thinking Flux.
Keep your laces tight. Due to cramping, I have my skates quite loose to the point where they slip off sometimes. I’m not sure if having them tighter would have stopped the injury from happening but there is a good chance it could have been reduced.
So now we playing the waiting game for reals. 5 more weeks left in the cast/or replacement moon boot and then most likely at least 4-6 weeks of rehab before I will be ready to lace up again and that is being VERY optimistic.
I will return though. I had previously said that if I broke anything that would be it for derby and me, on a skating level at least. After now breaking something, I really don’t think I can leave it there. I was only just starting to become the skater I wanted to be. Having said that, I will probably never be satisfied, but I do honestly believe I still have along way to go and have a lot of things to still achieve in the derby world before concede.
I know this post may seem a little dramatic in parts. None of this is intended to scare anyone. I just wanted to write a quick summary of my own experience. I’m sure it’s not the same for everyone. If you can take anything away from it just know that yes, major injury sucks, but not enough to make me reconsider derby or to leave me with any major regrets, well besides jamming that one time, so it can’t be that bad right?
Recovery will be tough. I am trying to stay positive, which is working well so far, but at the same time I am not naive. I should not compare my recovery time frame to anyone else’s. I just need to make sure everything is 100% right with me before I return and not rush it, no matter how frustrating that may be. I’m sure the psychological battle of getting back on skates will be another matter entirely, but I will try and share my experiences the best i can.
Overall, for me, it was not as painful as I imagined it would be. The fear of the unknown is what gets you. If this happens to you, and you are part of a roller derby league, just know that you will be looked after better than you could ever have imagined.
So that is it from me for a little while. I will post again when my recovery has had some movement in the right direction. In the meantime, get some health insurance and tie your laces tight!
Oh and remember to come down to see the Cutthroat Charmers next bout versus old rivals the Dolly Rogers on the 11th of May: Hunger games. Obviously I will not be playing but feel free to come up and say hi and rub my cast for good luck, wishes or fertility blessings.
<3 clutzkrieg declutz.
|It’s been one long hot summer.
Getting back into training was the first hurdle, and it was a big one. 4 weeks off is really hard to come back from, especially when you used the summer break to test out your eating endurance. It came with the added blow for me of being diagnosed with PCOS (defiant ovaries) which isn’t such a big deal but it does explain my most recent weight gain and weight loss struggles as it screws with your metabolism and hormones among other things. I need to lose weight in order to correct the situation which it seems has been made worse by weight gain that can be attributed to the PCOS in the first place. BLERGH. So the weight loss cycle begins again in 2013. With the health issue now being there I feel that I’ll be more strongly motivated to continue with proper diet and exercise.
Apart from getting my hefty butt slowly rolling on track again, this year has already had couple of big firsts.
I had my first bench coaching experience with the Blackheart Breakers, our newest home team, against the Dolly Rogers last month. I was nervous, more nervous than I usually am before a bout as a skater. I’ve generally been one of those skaters that allows others to work out the plan and then I just do my best to execute it. I’ve never considered being on the other side of the equation unless I was politely pushed into it. Mercifully the Breakers already had a lot of stuff worked out for themselves in terms of strategy. All I needed to do was communicate with the refs, stand around looking serious, wave my arms in the air at skaters and yell out onto the track using my outdoor voice. Would maybe consider doing it again in the future as a last resort.
Now I mentioned I was pretty nervous for bench coaching, but then came the day of scrimmage against VRDL last weekend. Yes VRDL, the top league in Australia. I still don’t believe it happened, until I remember how sore my hand is from falling over my laces, while jamming against the All Stars. You did read that correctly…Jamming *gasp* Against *gasp* The All Stars *flail*. The majority of the scrimmage against the All Stars is a blur, it was fast, furious and surprisingly a lot of fun, until the very last jam or “endgame” as I am now referring to it as, when the jammer panty was handed to me…
How it all (me) went down.
After licking my wounds, literally, we had a lunch break and came back to play the Queen Bees. We fared better in that game then we did the first, but It was still extremely tough. I would go as far to say the third toughest game I’ve been in. It even knocked my heart rate monitor strap off my chest and onto the track. The hardest game would have been the All Stars just hours earlier and the second being Sun State at TGSS.
Before the day began we all had a pretty good idea about how it was going to pan out. Not to sound defeatist, more realist, we were there to learn. We had all set mini goals and I’m pretty sure they were met. I hit some people out/down, forced some cuts and learned an absolute shitload about play styles and what I need to work on personally. A+++ experience. Mildly terrifying. Would do again.
It’s going to be a big 2013 by the looks of things. It’s my third year as a bouting skater and SSRD have signed up for the Victoria and Tasmania Regional Tournament which means a pool of 20 skaters will get to play quite a few bouts over the coming months. We are also hosting WARD (Western Australia) in a few weeks which will also be my first official bout of the year. I missed out playing them in Perth a few years ago due to a wedding so I’m keen to make up for it. Playing WARD also means we get a game under our belt to count towards our full WFTDA membership. Exciting times.
<3 blitz, currently aka clitz…
|Well what a year it’s been. I’ll try my best to break this down into little derby infused chunks for easier digestion.
First things first…The bouts!
Since my last post I have had the absolute honour to play in 2 South Sea Sirens games. The first in Launceston against VDR and the second against Ballarat at home.
This was my first time traveling with the team interstate via plane as a team. I’m not forgetting TGSS, but that was a more ‘find your own way’ kinda deal. It was good to have that travel team feel by actually traveling together as a single unit. The Launceston area is so pretty, It was my first time in Tasmania and my highlights besides the bout were : the gorge, the monkeys and the ducks, oh and riding around the park in a faux train. We met some of VDR girls on the night before the bout for a yummy meal in town. The girls were absolutely lovely and very accommodating, we talked a lot about shop and then headed in for an early night.
Going into the game the next day we really had no idea what to expect. It was a hard fought game and we gave it everything to come out victorious. The scores were 251 to 91 in our favour but as usual the scores don’t really communicate the toughness of the competition on track. It was a great game and I would love to have a rematch against these girls sometime.
Speaking of which, and I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned this before, but if you’re lucky enough to pick up channel 31 on your picture box you should start tuning in on Saturdays for a local derby show called ‘Power Jam’. It always features one of the recent local bouts filmed by fans of derby, which are quite often commentated by SSRD’s very own Ardy and Chief Intent. Ardy and Chief also have a segment on the show called the steam room where they discuss derby issues with the charm, humour and insight that we’ve all come to enjoy. You can catch the latest episode online here.
For our last bout of 2012 SSRD got to play Ballarat’s Rat Pack for the third year in a row . It seems to be an end of year tradition and hopefully one we continue. We (and my coccyx) got decimated by the Ballarat girls this time last year so heading into the game I would be lying if I said i wasn’t nervous as hell.
It was really hot at Springers and we were playing on a different court to usual. Thunderstorms were going on outside and a large contingency of skaters and fans were busy in the lead up to xmas or at rollercon in Queensland. It really kinda felt like an away game.
The bout was fierce and probably my favourite of the year. We never let our guard down and just kept playing as hard as we could. I think we’ve come really far this year in terms of teamwork and knowing how everyone else plays. This goes as well for the home teams. At half time the nerves were still high, it was still anyone’s game so we went back in hard in the second half. The final scores were 294 to 120 in our favour, again the scores not accurately communicating how it felt out there. It was really really nice to finish the year on a high this time.
On a side note this was all the last game we will ever play with the old WTFDA rule set. There are a lot of really big changes in the new rule set so next year will be a completely different beast and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.
CH CH CH CH CH CHANGES
At the close of the 2012 season there have been some big big changes in the league.
There is a new team, currently un-named, but because we now have the numbers to require a third team it also meant all the current bouting skaters were re-drafted. In addition the home team bouts will be slightly more frequent (every 6 weeks) with one of the 3 teams sitting out each time.
Even with the redraft I managed to remain a Cutthroat Charmer for a third year in a row. *fist pump style*. I am now joined by some other lovely past charmers, some brutal ex dolly opponents and some new draftees! I am so so so very excited about next year, the redrafting seems to have already re-energized everyone in the league.
The charmers still need to nominate captains for the first 6 months. I have already decided that on the off chance I was a captain I would be bringing in some unorthodox methods to ensure victory.
I have devised a new game of thrones strategic play called “The Joffery”. It’s a distraction technique where half the team skate up to the opposition with cries of “mummy” and then make neck slicing motions with their hands. While this is happening we get the other players to sneak up and take them out, doing all the dirty work. If successful this move will also be accompanied by the game of thrones theme song and possibly a dance of some description.
Rereading that, I’m not sure me as a captain would be in my team or any teams best interest…ever.
Whatever happens, the redraft with the new rule set makes for a very interesting year indeed.
That brings me to the year that was 2012.
Personally as a player do feel like have continued to develop my sklls from last year, I feel more aware, that my hits are timed better and are generally more effective. I’m having a lot more fun now that I feel more grounded in the sport.
In 2013 I plan to be fitter, gain more agility and hopefully to become more of an all-rounder, rather than just a big blocker.
My goals for 2013 are
Always being able to have something to strive for is one of the many reasons I love this sport.
And with that, I wish you all a very smashy xmas and new year and I’ll hopefully be back in January for my 3rd year as a bouting skater with SSRD.
Take care of yourselves and your families.