I am not a natural athlete. Running around when I was a kid was all well and good. I had fun, I climbed trees, I rode bikes, I did the things that kids growing up in the 70s did but as I got older and realised that motorbikes and cars could get you around so much faster and in a more fun way, I gave up on the running and riding.
Skip forward many years and at the age of 41 I decided to take up roller derby. It was fantastic, a real life changer, but with the joy of finding a sport that I actually liked came the realisation that I needed to get so much fitter. Roller derby is great for fitness and within a few weeks it was beginning to come together. Then . . . disaster. I fell over whilst skating and something went crack, well more CRACK!!! I sat with tears in my eyes daring myself to get up and see what part of my ankle would pop out of place and when I did nothing happened. It was a bit ouchy and my right ankle was a bit tender but nothing terrible had happened.
Throughout last summer it twinged and complained and sometimes swelled to impressive proportions but I kept on even though my skating was suffering as I couldn’t push out properly ‘cause it just hurt too much. Then in August I did the Goodwood Roller Marathon along with many of my fabulous team mates. After 5 and a half laps I was ok, slowing down but still keen and then it happened again. I fell.
My ankle complained and I along with it. I sat there on a boiling hot day on the side of the track watching skaters in all shapes, sizes and abilities go past. Some stopped to see if I was okay and I, in that brittle way of the British injured, said I was. After 30 minutes I got up and carried on: slowly, oh so slowly for the next 5 and a half laps finishing in a time of 4 hours 32 minutes.
And then I gave up roller derby – only for the short term – to give the 3, yes 3 ripped ligaments a chance to heal. After 2 months out, doing a bit of physio I went back and although it was better, I was nervous as in the intervening time I had put on loads of weight and was just not comfortable on skates. Then I got work away so was off from November until March then in April I finally left the amazing, supportive Sheffield Steel Roller Girls as I just couldn’t get myself fit and it was making me sad.
After wallowing for a few months I have decided that I want to be fit and I am still young enough to get fit so I have started to run. And be much more careful about what I eat. AND given up weekday (and mostly weekend) drinking. The running is horrible but I am doing it and I shall continue to do it until I am fit enough and my ankle is strong enough to start skating again.
So the moral of this?
Stop feeling sorry for yourself and get off your arse if you want to do something. If it is that important to you, you'll make the effort.