Roller Derby is different to most sports in the respect that more ‘alternative’ people are attracted to it – hey, we love tattoos, feminism and vegan food, ok!
Quite often, may of the people drawn to derby don’t have a background in playing sports or haven’t partaken in much mainstream exercise. This could often be because they didn’t fit in or were intimidated by the ‘sporty people’ getting sweaty in a gym.
For me personally, I enjoyed sports at school but I absolutely did not feel comfortable in the uniforms we had to wear and so would turn up wearing whatever I did feel comfortable in. As such, I wasn’t allowed to join in a lot of the time and therefore, was never on a proper team.
So these ‘non-sporty’ types have signed up for something very sporty indeed but probably have very little knowledge about exercise, muscles and what they should or should’t be feeling.
If this is you, I’m here to help!
Let’s start with pain
Good Pain – Yes there is such a thing! And it includes that burning feeling in your leg muscles when you’re attempting your first ever 27 in 5. It’s a sign that you are working hard, pushing yourself and building your fitness. Ever heard that phrase “Feel the burn!”? Well, the burn is GOOD!
If your muscles feel sore and stiff a day to two after training, you’ve probably got DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, which basically means you have worked your muscles in a way they aren’t used to or more than they have been before.
Exercise has caused tiny tears in your muscles but as they repair your, muscles will grow. The pain is your body adapting and rebuilding itself stronger and better. Your body is saying,”We can rebuild her. We have the technology.”
If you are particularly sore for more than a few days, you may have something more serious such as a strain.
Bad Pain – Is what we do not want. If you feel a sharp, sudden pain anywhere that makes you swear loudly and grasp that body part in a dramatic footballer-taking-a-dive kind of way, stop whatever the hell you’re doing!
Sprains, twists, pulls and breaks are all things that could potentially happen, and if you think you’ve done one of these, do not continue skating on it unless you want to make the injury worse.
This types of pain requires immediate attention from someone trained, whether that be a doctor or a physio and you should follow the R.I.C.E protocol – Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation – to aid healing.
Listen to your body
Some body parts will ache a lot during training and, although this pain isn’t necessarily good, it can be a good indicator as to which bits we need to strengthen and stretch.
So you need to listen to your body as it changes, note any little niggles that don’t improve and figure out what can be done to help it. As your entire body gets stronger, some aches and pains will go away completely, so it may be a case of being patient. Others however may need some work to iron out.
Remember, you are now an ATHLETE and your body is your most important tool for kicking ASS on the track so take good care of it.