Back on Track


Last night was my first scrimmage back since my toe injury. It wasn't anything serious but still managed to keep me off skates for three weeks. Before the injury I was feeling confident and stronger, ready to take on my second season of roller derby. Although it was frustrating to have that momentum interrupted, I always learn something when I’m unable to skate. This time it was a lesson about trust.

When I cannot skate, thoughts creep in that say I’ll forget everything or lose the strength that I've built up in my body. That just isn't true. It’s like riding a bike. Your muscles remember and so does your mind. I notice that when I don’t trust this, my mind is scrambled and my reaction time is slower. I don’t know exactly how many times I went to the penalty box last night but it was a lot. There was a moment where I couldn't seem to get out of the box! It was upsetting because I started to doubt my knowledge, my abilities. That’s when I left my mistakes behind and moved forward. Playing the game became much more fun when I got out of my head and returned to the present moment.

The secret to this anxiety is:

1) to learn to trust yourself; and 2) let go of the worry; while 3) allowing yourself to make mistakes.

At my first bout last March, a teammate reassured me that all of the hard work I put into practice would naturally come out on the track. All I had to do was trust my body to do what it knew to do. She was right. To keep her wise words present for me, I came up with some healthy habits.

My habits to develop trust are:

Meditation Sitting grounds me and gives me an awareness of my mind and body, and how they are working or not working together. This makes it easier to notice when things aren't right. Trust your gut.

Being kind to myself I make sure to eat green veggies and practice yoga. When injured or rundown I often get bodywork done, finally allowing my body to heal itself. It’s important for me to accept my situation and not blame myself harshly too.

Being present I had high hopes that I was going to be back on skates only a week after my big toenail was removed. That didn't happen. My anxiety level was high because I kept thinking about the future and wondering when I’d skate again. Stress doesn't help the process so I had to focus on the task at hand and just trust my body would heal in its own time.

If you are consistent with healthy habits then getting back on the track after injury is much easier. Relax. You’ll be kicking ass in no time!