I'll be the first to admit that I have a real love/hate relationship with derby. It may do its best to piss me off and frustrate me beyond measure but it has also produced moments of pure, unadulterated joy. This knee injury hit me hard physically and mentally but when I finally decided that it wasn't going to get the better of me I started making a recovery with the injury. With each bit of improvement it's hard not to get excited and start thinking I'm ready to go back to full training but my physio brings me back down to earth. I'm still restricted to an hour each session but I'm now allowed to do more advanced stuff like carves, stops, transitions. The last few times I've gone to the physio and not been given the full clearance there has been that initial disappointment but then I think back that it wasn't that long ago that I wasn't even able to skate. I've done everything the physio has told me to do so far and I've not had any setbacks so I'll keep doing what she tells me to do.
Each session back on skates is another little confident booster which in turn makes me appreciate being back on skates that little bit more. After almost each training session I'm on such a high because I've done something different even if it was a stop or something most would consider mundane that I can't help but post about it in happiness on Facebook. It's funny how you begin to appreciate being able to do all the little things again when you get forced off skates for a few months :) Apologies Facebook friend's I'll try and quiet it down on Facebook for now with the over excited posts!
Last Saturday was a whole lot of fun. Cass came down to Sydney for the weekend so I organised a skate at Skatel. Some of my team mates Betty, Cherry and Roadtrain also came along. It was a fun morning being able to skate with them all. I must admit I broke the physio's rule of no contact work. I was caught between feeling I'm doing something I shouldn't be doing and feeling like a kid on Christmas morning about the thought of doing some blocking work for the first time in months. Cass and Cherry finally met each other and had a good chat. It didn't take long for Cherry and I to settle into our cat and mouse game we play at Skatel. I was just so happy, doing what I love with some amazing friend's. Life was great. I was attempting to carve Cherry on her outside but ended up clipping her wheels and I ended up dropping to floor like a bag of shite. I didn't land on my knee so I was all good and ready to go again.
By the end of the session I still hadn't solved one of life's greatest mysteries - how to get around Cherry on the track. The problem isn't that I get all fanigirly and go all 'OH MY GOD IT'S CHERRY', it's nothing like that, it's just that she's too quick for me that it doesn't matter if I go to the left or right of her I can't get around her. It was great to be able to go social skating again, I'm hoping to go to a Newy one in a few weeks time when I'm not working on a Saturday. I'm also hoping to bring up a few of my team mates at a Newy social skate if they fancy waking up early on Saturday morning. I probably shouldn't have done blocking work before I got cleared by the physio but my knee pulled up well. It was a good confidence booster, what better way to test yourself out than against someone of Cherry's calibre. I definately felt the hunger to pick up where I left off pre-injury (when my body is ready for that) which was a good sign and I'm satisfied with that until I get my full clearance.
As most derby folk know by now the 'mercy' rule was looking to be introduced at the next derby world cup. I was horrified when I read that. That goes against everything I believe in. It only takes a few power jams to turn a bout on its head. It punishes the team that has worked their arses off to get to a level where they can potentially dominate other sides because they're forced to call off a bout. Where's the incentive to continually improve if a bout will be called off? What does that teach to the team getting flogged, it's ok to quit if it all gets too hard? Fuck that. If I was on a team that was getting hammered on the scoreboard I would want us to fight for every point and make the opposition fight for it too right until the final whistle. You might not win on the scoreboard but at least you know you gave it your all.
I've been reading one of Bruce Lee's books from his series. I was a fan of his from a young age when I first started watching his movies. Over the year's I really appreciated his determination and constant search for improvement which led to his awesomeness. It wasn't luck, it was his hard work and near constant practise that got him to where he was. While reading his book this one particular quote stood out for me, it's basically what I try to strive for with derby.
You must be fierce, but have patience at the same time. Most important of all, you must have complete determination. The worst opponent you can come across is one whose aim has become an obsession. For instance, if a man has decided that he is going to bite off your nose no matter what happens to him in the process, the chances are he will succeed in doing it. He may be severely beaten up too, but that will not stop him from carrying out his objective. That is the real fighter.
I'll be bouting one day with my team mates and one of those bouts will be against Jilla and co at Newy. Mark my words :)