This morning as I eased myself out of bed I wondered if I could manage without ibuprofen. After about half an hour I gave in and took one.
Following injury during the bout on Sunday I find my mind in turmoil. Do I want to carry on an activity that, in just two months, has led to three injuries, two of which has left me taking painkillers for days. I’ve skated on in-lines for around nine years without such injury.
The injuries come from the contact aspect of the sport. As with any sport there are rules. The rules include details of target impact zones between players. There are penalties for players who contravene the rules.
During a scrimmage an opponent fell in front of me. I rested my hand on his back to avoid falling on top of him. I got sent to the box for “back blocking”. It was an easy penalty to call. In the melee that is the pack it’s not easy to avoid striking outside of those contact zones and it’s not easy to see and penalise such strikes. The stated primary concern of referees is safety, yet 5 days after a bout I’m writing about an injury sustained during play.
I also wonder if there is a difference between the way that females and males play. (Yes, very much a generalisation.) I have heard fellow players saying that in a mixed scrimmage the men would have to play differently. Perhaps the male game is more about causing impact trauma on the opposition than the ability to block and jam with style?
In the bout I was playing as a blocker. I’m not built like a blocker. At the Midweek Masterclass on Wednesday I got to practice with Andy “Slam C Nesbitt”. He’s a legend and willing to take the time to help anyone who asks. I practised trying to steer him off track. This is what blockers do, but I found that a combination of lack of skill on my part and weight on his made this impossible.
So what about jamming. Well, I’d need to improve my skating. Speed I can do, but stopping and turning on a dime would need to be improved. But then you still have big blokes trying to knock you down.
Protection then? We wear pads to prevent injuries from falls. Maybe I should consider further protective clothing? Some players wear padded shorts and shin guards. Padded shoulder and torso protection is likely available; something to investigate.
I wrote the first part of this blog on the way to work this morning. During the day I have at last started to feel better. I’ve already excused myself from contact drills/scrimmage on Sunday so I don’t have that to worry about. Brian’s post to our Facebook group made a difference. A chat with Andy over a pint this evening has also helped. I feel good again! :-)
If you’re a skinny (like me) and need inspiration watch this:
(Thank you Sue Perman for sharing this. Watch closely, Slam is blocking later in the video)