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At the start of June, I tore a muscle in my back so was forced to take some time-out from Roller Derby (all the gory and emotional details are in the post ‘Temporarily Out of Order‘).

With the bout against Belfast Roller Derby taking place at the end of August, I didn’t want to lose my place on team so was keen to start the recovery process immediately. This consisted of rest, a load of medication, and receiving sports massage, until I felt physically and mentally brave enough to get back on track. I did make it to Belfast that last weekend in August, but with hindsight, I rushed my body through the healing process far too quickly.

Proof I made it to Belfast! #23

Proof I made it to Belfast! #23 – Photo courtesy of Ned Connolly

Since the bout, I’ve been having a lot of ‘flare ups’, and not just in the original damaged muscle area. Every day is different: I can go from a constant, but bearable, dull ache in my lower back (2/10 on the pain scale), to full-blown spasm through my hip flexor muscles the next day (10/10, with tears), and for no apparent reason. I’ve now been sensible with my approach to training and ‘resigned’ from competitive Roller Derby, and only taking part in the Intermediate sessions once a week *if* I feel strong enough.

That’s enough dwelling on what’s happened – time to look forwards.

I think my lower back and hip problems have been under-lying for a while, and unfortunately, Roller Derby aggravates all of my sore spots. My aim now is to strengthen the weak muscles, so when I do return to Roller Derby full-time, my body will be better prepared.

I’m still receiving sports massage and start physiotherapy next week, and the advice at this stage is not to push things. Yes, I can be aware of my posture more, do some light stretches through my back and hip flexors, and even a few lengths of the pool, but anything more than that is off limits for now. Once I get the nod from the professionals, I will swim more lengths and more regularly (to build overall strength with not a lot of resistance on my muscles), take up pilates (to strengthen my core) and go back to practicing yoga (to improve my posture). I really miss going for a run, but that’s out of the question as the slap slap slap of my feet on the tarmac sends too much shock through my back, and the running stride itself could damage my hip flexor muscles further.

This shall be me on my exercise ball!

This shall be me on my exercise ball!

So that’s where I’m at. Hopefully the next time I’m blogging in this section, it’ll be far more upbeat and I’ll be a super strong derby machine! 😀 All advice and words of encouragement are welcome!