Our own RIP McMurphy speaks openly about coping with a physical set back…
Sunday 23rd October: Today we had a visiting coach from London Rockin’ Rollers, Smirkules. Feeling the most strong, agile, lean and athletically capable than I ever have in my entire life and enjoy launching myself into the drills. Start a scrimmage, get pushed out of bounds, bright white flash of pain and can’t remember how I came to be on the floor. Cannot move ankle or place weight on it. Know something is wrong, very wrong. Dismiss as a sprain, and pray that I’ll be healed before the mixed team bout against Stockholm B-team coming up. Pray so hard it blocks out the nagging feeling of doom.
Monday 24th October: Got up for work, hop to the chest of drawers pass the mirror. Catch sight of a horribly misshapen and blackened balloon attached to my leg. Realise it’s my own ankle. Begin panic attack. Scream at husband to get me a bucket because I’m going to be sick. Husband gets bucket. Scream at him some more for the sake of screaming. Feels like a heart attack, know my ankle is broken. Trip to minor injuries confirms my fear. Spiral fracture of the left fibula. Feel overwhelmed with pain, the pain in knowing I can’t skate. The pain in knowing the 6-days-a-week intense training regime I had myself under has been pointless. Get given a 5-week sick note, life is over.
Tuesday 25th October: Jeremy Kyle is on three times a day. What kind of hell is this?
Friday 28th October: Fell down the stairs trying to answer the door to the postman today. I just lay on the floor whilst the ‘Sorry you were out’ card floated down 6-feet from me. Things improved in the evening. Husband drove to Brighton to pick up a ‘leg caddy’ from a Brighton Rocker friend, this strange raised scooter now enables me to move around my house without risking my life on crutches and repeating this morning’s accident. Feel love and thankfulness for the derby community. Consider going into business supplying disability equipment for broken roller girls, think it might make me a fortune.
Monday 31st October: Team mate Lady Von Whack ‘n’ Smack visits. Shows me that the wenches who went to Sk8 Heaven have collected ‘get well wishes’ from all of the international coaches there. Particularly touched by Betty Ford Galaxy’s message telling me she broke her ankle in year 1 and is now on her 8th season. Maybe I can come back?
Wednesday 2nd November: Still not allowed to go to work. Bored. Borderline depressed. Having nothing to do makes me feel like I’m dead. Realise I’ve spent the last year structuring my whole life around roller derby, without cross training to do, I’ve begun to have an existential crisis. There is no purpose to my life outside the healing of a broken bone.
Friday 4th November: Minimum skills testing tonight for the Portsmouth Roller Wenches. I’m leading the session and have to do it from a wheel chair. In a bizarre double booking it is also our belated Halloween Fundraiser. Think the bloody bandages of my costume and my erratic wheelchair driving may be distracting our girls, but we achieve lots of passes regardless. Letchy man at fundraiser goes a step too far. Knee him in the crotch with my broken leg. You can take the girl out of derby but you can’t take the derby out of the girl…
Sunday 6th November: Portsmouth Roller Wenches have a closed bout. I volunteered to Line Manage seeing as I can no longer captain. Putting on my bout top feels wrong but I do so anyway, avoiding the mirror. See my girls whirling round and around and around, racking up points. Feel a horrible hollow twisting feeling in my gut intermixed with happiness and joy at our win. Guilt and self-pity, happiness and pride. Decide to ride on the positive feelings and resolve to get better sooner rather than later to help my team mates.
Thursday 10th November: Spend day looking up athletes with injuries. Notice that David Beckham and Wayne Rooney are wearing strange storm-trooper type boots following fractures. Decide the consultants I’ve seen clearly haven’t taken me seriously as an athlete. Purchase a storm trooper boot (air cast) immediately from ebay.
Saturday 12th November: Aircast arrives, it smells like artificial lavender and rose i.e. old people. Try to bury the idea that an old woman died wearing it. Host a WFTDA championships viewing party, watching the likes of Rocky and Gotham brings up new conflict. Will I ever be the derby skater I wanted to be now I’ve injured myself? Need to think positive. New motto: WWSHRD (What would Suzy Hotrod do?)
Tuesday 14th November: If I’m going to recover I need to keep up my fitness. Did a Power Yoga DVD, could only manage it with the help of a zimmer frame. WWSHRD? Probably something better than this…