Welp, I finally did it. I broke myself. First time in derby, first time in life. Hence my recent relative silence. It’s not that I didn’t want to talk about it. Daaaamn, I’ve been wanting to tell you all about it and lots of other things! It’s just that it’s physically hard to type because what I broke was the fifth metacarpal of my right (dominant) hand. Weird derby injury, right? What probably hurt more than the actual break was my ego, though, because it happened during my first scrimmage with the top level players of my new league (more on that later). In fact it happened during the first few seconds of the first jam, me with the jammer panty on my head. And it wasn’t any kind of showstopper where everyone takes a knee and knows you done fucked your shit up for real. It unfolded with me unceremoniously passing the star, finishing up the jam as a blocker and hobbling back to the bench cradling my pinkie finger, wondering if I was just the biggest wuss in all of derbydom. I sat out for a few jams, trying not to succumb to tears of pain and frustration, and taped my fingers together to finish out practice. I even went to practice a few days later, gritting my teeth through the pain of bracing drills and a fall that landed me right on my injured paw.
It wasn’t until I posted this picture on social media at the end of the week that it occurred to me that perhaps something was really amiss:
Ok, perhaps I am an idiot, looking back at that picture. I got more than a few “Uhhh, are you sure that’s not brokens?” I’m lucky to count among my friends a doctor of sports medicine who is also a roller derby player. When she recommends getting something checked out, I’m apt to listen. And since she’s my doc and knows the sport, I’ve been able to skate without restrictions so far. It’s just that typing is so difficult. It’s like all these words are piling up inside and I have no way to express them. That’s the most challenging thing of all. Since I’m a writer in real life, I’ve struggled to keep up with work. I’ve rigged up a system of typing with two keyboards — pecking on the right with the two fingers that aren’t immobilized by the splint — that looks something like this:
It works well enough for now. When I went to get a wrist guard to fit over my splint, the proprietor of my local skate shop raised his eyebrows and praised my general positive attitude about the whole thing. (I realize how far I’ve come when someone accuses me of being positive!) Well, what can I do? I know I got off lucky. This is not a nice or easy sport we play. It could be worse. I saw someone break her ankle recently. I could at least walk away from my injury. And I try to remember that how I deal with adversity is at least, in part, a choice. So, I can’t fix my hair or wash the dishes too well. I definitely can’t change a flat tire. But I have people who can help me. And I still managed to awkwardly peck out this post. Wishing you safe jams in 2015, and I hope to be back with all the words soon.