Misadventures in Recovery

Every time I start to get comfortable with the idea of going on a temporary hiatus, I watch roller derby and then convince myself that I can stretch my time for a little longer before my pause. Thank you for making my decision more difficult, Nashville & Madison. This bout at Ashville’s Division 1 playoff has been an awesome way to wake up on Saturday!

Madison Nashville

Now your next question might be, “Wait, what? Temporary hiatus?”

Life happens, sometimes folks. And so do injuries. I’ve been dealing with knee pain since last October (and to be fair, my doc thinks that the injury I received against Philly is not the same as I incurred when I sprinted into a gopher hole during softball practice). The further I get into physical therapy, and the more we don’t see long term improvement, the less hopeful I am that it can be solved with just nutrition, exercise and patience.

Sympathy beer

To give you an idea of what I’ve been dealing with – extend your right leg completely. First of all, I have only recently been able to do that. When I do, and when I extend it fully as I walk, there is pain. What kind? Well the spot is just south of my kneecap, on the inside of the leg, and each time I step, it feels like someone is digging a blunt screwdriver into it. When I walk fully (striking on the heel, rounding to the big toe with full leg extension) it feels like a nail and then the blunt screwdriver.

If I stand with all my weight in my heel, it feels like the joint gets “heavy” and everything inside and around my knee cap aches with a dull pain. Every now and again, I’ll be walking and I will experience a pop on the outside of my right knee – I acquaint it to the plucking of a guitar string. This is the flare up some of you have heard me talk about. After a flare up, I cannot straighten or bend my leg for about 5 minutes, and can put zero weight on it.

My flare ups have been improving. The intense pain used to last hours, or days. Now it’s less than a few minutes and I’m fine again. It used to be that I couldn’t straighten my leg for weeks. Now it’s an hour. That being said, there is no rhyme or reason to them. I have had a flare up while demonstrating 180 toe stops, while standing up on my wheels, while bringing myself down off of a bank track, while jogging and kicking the edge of a sidewalk, while sprinting and falling into a gopher hole, while jogging to first base, while walking to the bathroom, while laying down watching a movie.

I have been playing with the idea for a little while now of taking next year off of competitive play to focus on my Derbalife business and to heal up a bit. It’s so hard to make that full commitment to non-competition. If I need to have surgery, than I will be off skates for a while regardless. It is hard to voluntarily say, “I’m taking myself off skates pre-surgery”. I’m really struggling with it.

The plan is to transfer to Charm City. I want to try out for the All Stars (because, c’mon! it’s the Charm City All Stars!! I’ve looked up to that team since I began skating). But for the sake of my body, mind and business I may just aim for B-team and home teams for the majority of 2014. I am hopeful that I can focus on Harm City Homicide for 2014. I am hopeful that I can find the money for an MRI and, past that, surgery.

Harrisburg Area Roller Derby Nuclear Knockouts v Charm City Female Trouble - October 2010.
Harrisburg Area Roller Derby Nuclear Knockouts v Charm City Female Trouble – October 2010.

Even if I hang my skates up, it will not be a permanent retirement. I still haven’t skated at a Divisional playoff. I have a goal of skating at Champs one day as well. It will be realized. It will happen.

Head up. Keep moving. I will do what I can in the meantime and constantly be analyzing and evaluating. There are two more Blitz bouts this season and I just don’t know whether I should push through them. I can’t help but wonder if my team would be better if I just stepped away now so that they can work together without me getting in the way.

I mean - Have I even been an asset this season?  Photo by Hispanic Attack from ECDX 2013
I mean – Have I even been an asset this season?
Photo by Hispanic Attack from ECDX 2013

How do you make a decision of what to do when you have no idea what is wrong? How do you make a choice when you have no idea when you’ll be able to fix it? Anyone want to start a GoFundMe to help me with my MRI or surgery costs? Anyone want to book me for some boot camps to help me pay for my MRI and surgery costs?

I know in the end I will be stronger. I know a year from now, everything will look different. However, I am so hyper focused on the next two months that it feels impossible to see 12 into the future. I will be pumping some personal development into my skull and continually evaluating my position in life, work and roller derby.

Level 10

Encouraging words are always appreciated. And thank you for keeping up with my misadventures in recovery. At least my nutrition has kept me peppy through all of it.. #Herbalife #FTW

12/21/12 Update

It’s Nopacolypse so I figure, when better than now to write a free form, fairly disjointed post!

Update #1 is about the knee. This weekend I went to Jingle Brawl, hosted by the Morgantown Roller Vixens in West Virginia. I was going to attempt to compete, but first I had to test the joint. I have not hit since Kick Ash popped my LCL in October, so let’s give it a shot. Well, I swung in on my expected team mate, JK LOL and the moment I made contact … I heard another pop. My entire joint felt shocked and started trembling. I immediately left the track.

I probably could have pushed through it, honestly. But not for a group of mixed games. Not happening. Aside from that, my knee had begun the disturbing trend in the last week of popping and clicking a lot. Sometimes it feels like when my knee cap cracks, and sometimes it buckles me.

So back to the Penn State doctor I went. His diagnosis? Still was an LCL sprain. only that’s healed. “Skate. If you can’t stand the pain, do your hitting too.” Oh, and get an MRI because you might have some cartilage getting caught in the joint. Or a ‘ligament snap’ … think about plucking a guitar string. Yea.

80s Holiday Party with the Dutchland Rollers!
80s Holiday Party with the Dutchland Rollers!

So last night I went to Dutchland’s holiday party (skating and goofing off) and it kind of felt ok. I didn’t skate on it for a while, on and off. Lightly. It tweaked once while I was trying a transition, but that’s it. Tonight I went to open skate. Members of my old league were there and I used it as my cardio. I spent a solid 45 minutes skating at one point. (30 minutes before that). One: My endurance is GONE when it comes to all my skating muscles. Two: Other than a couple motions, my knee felt awesome. I even went to the gym afterwards to do some strength training.

That being said, here are some of the weights that I’m up to:
Leg press (right leg): 55 pounds
Leg press  (left leg): 55 pounds
Leg extension (right leg): 40 pounds
Leg extension (left leg): 55 pounds
Bench Press: 40 pounds
Straight leg squat: 60 pounds
Overhead seated press: 15 pounds/hand
One Leg Squat: 25 pounds
Peck flys: 55 pounds
Delt flys: 40 pounds
Push-ups: Ok… I’m only up to 3o but I’m always so sore from all the other chest workouts!!

I have been doing resistance of 5 on the elliptical, and 7 on the bike. I have been doing as much interval training as I can. My weight has stayed about the same, but I have definitely trimmed up more and my guns are looking AWESOME. Thank you Rebuild Strength for my muscles. Thank you Joint Support and Herbalifeline for getting my knee strong quicker.

Thank you tea concentrate for getting me through finals. I’m still waiting on two grades, but so far I have an A and a B+ in the books. I’m nervous about the 15 page thesis paper I wrote for my theatre class…. mostly because I feel like it should have been 20 pages, but I didn’t want to speak in psychological jargon for five pages (which I would have).

It doesn’t appear as if we’re going to be experiencing any kind death and destruction, so now I turn my focus onto 2013:

I am building my Herbalife team. I have so many ideas of great things to do, and great people to talk to. I can’t wait to help more people reach their goals and to build a successful team that helps to improve the quality of life for people they care about. I can’t wait to #KickAlloftheAsses in 2013. Let’s loose weight, feel awesome and build successful careers!! I’m going to be doing Derbalife clinics and boot camps and Krissy Krash and I were talking today about how to expand the boot camps into something that we can teach other skaters to do!

Car magnet

Active World Team – I am coming. (Maybe someone reading this blog entry will decide to come with me.) January Spectacular is going to be awesome! I’m so excited for all the trainings that are coming up so I can share them with my team.


I also will be back on my skates full force in 2013. You can bet on that. I’m getting so close to healthy. Something I noticed today? My knee didn’t pop once. While I had become accustom to multiple crippling pops a day, it has not happened at ALL today. Very encouraging.

I also will be graduating from college (FINALLY) in the spring. I cannot wait. Finally. 4th time is a charm.

Ok, time for bed. I should have been writing articles about all star teams instead of writing a blog entry, but I to do a little writing for myself. Even though I’m so tired that I’m dizzy at this point. I know there is more going on. I will do some goals and post them here soon.

PS… Want to know what I’ve been using and loving? I don’t rely just on the 24 line, but it is an integral part of my training and recovery.