I have always had a fear that I could get injured playing derby. We all take precautions: get insurance, wear good pads, practice safe, and play safe. I am now less worried about injury. I know if I get injured that the derby community is there and they are way better than a crutch. They are the mobility scooter of safety nets.
In December, I experienced what we colloquially just refer to as "Butt Month". Nonetheless it was a fellow Gent, Hurtin' Temples, that was the one to step up and take time off work to take me to surgery and drive me home after. Other skaters stepped up and helped make food and visit for the days thereafter. It made recovery much easier.
January was going well, I attended two practices before heading off on another sabbatical to the other side of the world - Australia is super fun, but January ended with a bang.
Enjoying a post conference beverage I pulled a daring maneuver, performing a Yurchenko vault to push a stroller out from in front of a moving car. Okay, maybe that is not exactly what happened. I took an awkward step backward and my knee dislocated to the outside of my leg, which feels about as good as it reads. I felt as if I had stepped off a ledge, except there was no ledge. I looked down and just saw my bones pushing against my skin and then flopping onto the the pavement. Being a stoic, badass roller derby playing professional, I screamed like a 13 year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert. The knee, likely ashamed of my impressive scream, promptly snapped back into place.
If you are going to suffer a random catastrophic knee failure, then do it in front of the Ruby developer community in Australia. You need not buy anymore of your own drinks, pity is a powerful drug. Six hours in the ER and I got the all clear to fly three flights home for 22 hours in a knee immobilizer brace. Virgin and Delta both worked to coordinate better seating. I was distraught, it was unclear when I was going to be able to skate again.
The derby community is simply amazing. They help with injuries in nearly unimaginable ways. The orthopedist can not see you until next week? Let me give them a call, they will see you today. You need to someone to give you a ride to PT? I'll take a long lunch and drive you there. Your crutches chafe your under arms? Skully will lend you some amazing crutches. You can't skate to referee? Lets work you into the NSO rotation so you can still feel like part of the crew. You can't train during practice? Why don't you come up with a training program for the new recruits and work with them. Fantastic.
In total between officiating and playing I missed 50 practices. Despite missing 50 practices there was never any negativity about it. Derby was happy to have me and I am happy to have them. That's why I'll be at the next 50 practices. Will you?