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by Hydro-Jenna Bomb, Team Fresh Meat
The asphalt was cold, rough and very much unlike a big, fluffy pillow when my body slammed into it.
It was near the beginning of our Fresh Meat training and we were doing a drill called 'unexpected obstacles'. While skating tightly in a pack, certain skaters would drop down on one knee at the sound of a whistle, and the rest of us would have to avoid tripping over them.
Thing is, this fall of mine didn't happen when the whistle blew. Nope. It happened when a skater in front of me really did fall unexpectedly. You'd think since we were doing a drill called 'unexpected obstacles' that I would be prepared to weave around these unexpected obstacles. Um… nope.
My teammate lost her balance and started flailing her arms, and I foolishly tried to grab onto her to keep her from falling. Lesson number one: don't grab onto your fellow skaters.
She went down and I followed, hitting the asphalt with the palm of my left hand and then my shoulder. This was immediately followed by the sound of about 10 other skaters falling to the ground and on top of us. Thump, thump, thump! Lesson number two: fall small.
The fall definitely jostled me, and instead of thinking about any injuries I may have sustained, the first thing that went through my mind was, "My glasses. Do I still have my glasses?" I touched my face to check and was reassured that I could, indeed, still see. Thank goodness.
After untangling myself from the pile of spaghetti rollergirls, I recovered quickly and raced to catch up with the pack which was now about half the size, having lost many in the pileup. My shoulder felt a bit banged up, but it really didn't hurt very much at the time.
I later realized that I should have stopped skating after that tumble and that I also should have sat out for the rest of practice with an ice pack on my shoulder, but I didn't. I tried to be tough, and it didn't work. By the end of practice I was very sore, and I could barely lift my arm. I missed the following practice. Lesson number three: if you're injured, stop skating.
I Google-doctored my injury before going to see my family doctor. Google Doctor claimed I had a separated shoulder. Family Doctor said it was soft tissue damage. I'm still not sure who or what to believe, but I got permission to continue skating from Family Doctor, so I was pretty happy.
Over the next six weeks I rehabilitated my shoulder with stretching, exercise and weight training, just in time to start our full-contact drills.
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Promotional photography courtesy of Nicolas Charest for Rollergirl Roller Skates and Bob Ayers, unless otherwise noted.