Roller Derby is a very physically demanding sport and injuries are common. One of the main reasons I don't play in any actual games is, in fact, to avoid injury at all cost. After all, if I get hurt, I wouldn't be able to do my show. It never really occurred to me that I could get hurt doing the show. First of all, I'm by myself, so there's no chance of getting knocked down hard and all the falls I do do are carefully choreographed. But I'm doing a show on roller skates practically every day for the past 3 months. In some cities, like Edmonton, I would even flyer on my skates, spending 4 to 5 hours a day in them. Like runners training, there's bound to be some wear and tear overtime.
And I'm not quite sure if that's what it was? Overuse and bad posture maybe? Or maybe the floors in the Falsecreek Community Centre were just harder than what I've been used to - I've been told it's a sprung floor but it doesn't feel that way. Or maybe, this one time, I landed funny? But during my tech rehearsal for the Vancouver Fringe on Wednesday, when I practiced my jump and landed on my skates as I zip around my makeshift track, something felt off in my right knee. With the limited amount of time you get to tech, I brushed it off, finished the rehearsal, and with a half hour to spare, tried it again on different skates, since my outdoor wheels have more cushioning than my indoor ones. Then I tried it one more time on my regular skates before thinking that maybe I should stop now...
I called my director. Her first suggestion was the sensible one - "Cut the jump." - So of course I didn't want to hear it. Thoughts of a Calgary Fringe review ran through my head: "The novelty of wheel-powered theatre eventually wears off."
I'd worked damn hard on that jump and I wanted to show it off, but ugh... Yup, I was letting my one meh review from the summer dictate my personal safety because I was scared of losing any more Wow factor from the show.
I met with the team and started icing my knee. It did feel better. But I didn't want to take any chances that it could get worse. My greatest fear was that I wouldn't be able to do the show at all. Or at least not skate in it. So I managed to get a last minute physiotherapy appointment. And am I ever glad I did!
My physiotherapist was amazing! She immediately noticed there was swelling in my knee, but after some light testing deduced that it was a minor injury. My knee got tapped up. I was given some exercises to work on, as well as some kind of electrotherapy, told to keep icing it when it hurt and Just. Be. Careful. It was really awesome to talk to someone who worked with athletes and knew how important it was for them to be able to perform the next day. She made me feel at ease and like I had options.
Opening night in Vancouver. A sold out house! I really was not expecting that at all! My knee is feeling better so I decide to go for it with the jump. Boom! Nailed it. No twitch, no pain. I feel relieved. After the show, other then residual muscle stiffness, I feel pretty alright. Five more performances to go so let's keep it that way.