Shock ‘N’ Awedrey had just played her first NRG bout and things were looking promising; days later we watched in disbelief as she sustained an ankle injury. Based on her reaction, we were all guilty of assuming it was a light sprain, despite her cool exterior, she told us that it felt like something worse; we couldn’t believe how right she was when we received an update the next day. Here she tells us how she’s kept her head in the game throughout the experience.
In an instant, one swift twist changed my life as I knew it. Waiting in A&E after hearing from the doctors what I already knew, I realised there were only two ways to go from here. I could fall into a deep depression and never leave my bed, or I could take on the world with positivity; relentlessly facing obstacles with a broken ankle. The latter appealed to me much more.
My first day home from the hospital I woke with an overwhelming sense of determination. There was no way I was letting a broken ankle stop me. So I carried on as I normally would, albeit very slowly, and discovered what changes I had to make in my day to day life for things to run smoothly whilst holding on to as much independence as I could. There was a surge of disappointment when I realized just how little I could do. I was heartbroken. That day pretty much summarises the ups and downs of the weeks to follow.
I surrounded myself with positivity and forced negative thoughts out of my head with unrealistic goals. My husband’s friend had the same injury and went back to playing rugby after 9 weeks. That will be me I thought, back on skates in 9 weeks. My doctor informed me that some people get their cast off and don’t need any physio at all. I’m one of those people I thought; I must have super healing powers! I even planned to make the team again for our next bout, 4 months after my injury. These were ambitious goals, but I’m Shock ‘N’ Awedrey and nothing is too ambitious for me!
For the 7 weeks I was in cast I focused on maintaining my fitness with daily walks on my crutches. I had an exercise regime that I did on average twice a week consisting of things like planks, press-ups and resistance band exercises to prevent my un-used leg from completely disintegrating. I never before focused so much on strength building, but I love it now and continue to keep at it. I also attended roller derby training sessions once a week to keep up with the tactics and helped out with some behind-the-scenes duties. Each week that passed I felt a little more distanced from roller derby and the person who I was. But keeping involved with the team, even if just a little bit, reminded me.
It has been 6 weeks since I’ve had the cast off and upsettingly, I was not one of the lucky ones. This was almost as disheartening as breaking my ankle in the first place. The positivity got me through my injury, but it also lined me up for further disappointment. But I carried on; pushing myself to the edge of discomfort little and often. I stopped using my crutches as soon as I was able to walk 10 yards. I increased my distances little by little. I swapped into my Converse shoes from my ankle-supporting Doc Martens before they felt too comfortable. I’m still trying to get the flexibility back in my ankle and still waiting for the swelling to go down. I am doing my physiotherapy religiously and every week I can see a marked improvement. Nevertheless, I’m still the same person with crazy ambitions and I will come out of this a stronger and wiser athlete. It is just a matter of time.
I have had my final appointment with my doctor and she has cleared me to start skating again! I was so happy it brought a tear to my eye. However, I have not set any expectations anymore; I am just looking forward to finding out what I can do and what I need to work on. I’ll be happy just to have roller derby training back in my life again.
Massive ‘THANK YOU’ to my team, friends and family for being so supportive! You believed in me and it has helped me more than anything else! xxxxx
Shock ‘N’ Awedrey