A break to remember...

Life is unpredictable and the best thing we can do is to roll with it no matter what it throws at you. On Monday April 15th, while training with my roller derby league East Vic Roller Derby, I broke my ankle quite severely. Though I know things could always be worse I continue to say "This could not have happened at a more inconvenient time!" With my trip to the UK looming and my plans for the London School of Puppetry (LSP) on the horizon, this injury knocked me for six. The stress of dealing with the injury itself, hours in the ER, consultations, surgery, pain... coupled with the mental anguish of what this meant for my plans was absolutely devastating.

The break was severe, a spiral fracture of the fibula and displacement of the ankle. In surgery they filled me full of metal, seven small pins, a metal plate and one big screw (the latter would need to come out in ten weeks time).  And the comment of the month: "You'll set off the metal detectors at the airport! teehee" People are always very proud of their originality! I would be off my left leg till at least early August.

Many emails sent back and forth, LSP were still happy to take me even with my disability. They would accommodate! This was wonderful news. I could still go! This relieved my stress for less than half a day before the questions started bubbling menacingly... 

... I needed surgery again in early July... how would I do this abroad?

... Physio. Here I could get it covered by my skate vic insurance, over there i would have to cover costs

... the course! Did I really want to have this once in a lifetime opportunity and not be able to give 100%? To be limited by this injury? It is quite a physical course after all.

... Flying! with this injury and bulky cast? Ergh!

... Day to day... showering and breakfast and so many simple tasks were difficult here where I had the help and support of family and friends. Could I manage without them?

So after days and days of being utterly confused and incredibly upset, the decision came. It was what was sensible. I would postpone my course till 2014. As disappointing as this was, I knew deep down it was the right thing to do. My boyfriend unfortunately still had to fly as planned at the end of May. He had set up a work transfer to London and needed to be there. So a long distance relationship was added to the list of challenges. Oy Vey!

Then Caroline Astell-Burt, head of LSP offered me a compromise. I could do one month of the course this year, September, once I was healed, and then do the remaining three months in 2014. This was too exciting for words. I of course took her up on this offer. One month of puppetry to look forward to. Plus a definite date to see my boyfriend in London. I will fly August first and start at LSP August sixteen. I can not wait!

The other disappointment was obviously my beloved sport, Roller Derby. I had been looking forward to transferring to a league in the UK and continuing my development over there. In reality, I will probably not be back on skates till the end of the year and even then I want to be very sensible. I will probably train on my own or with non-contact disciplines like speed or artistic before I make my return to derby. I will definitely be returning. You can't scare me off that easily! And hopefully I will get a chance to skate with a league in the UK in 2014. Fingers crossed.

So in the mean time I am moving back to my beautiful home town of Portland for two months, staying with my parents while I heal. I am of course limited but will be available for any building work people may have. If you are interested in purchasing a custom made puppet, please get in touch. Email jhessknight@gmail.com

A life altering experience... one I am determined to come out of happier and healthier. Ever heard the term "post-traumatic growth"? Well, that is what I am aiming for. This ted talk helped me so much: http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_the_game_that_can_give_you_10_extra_years_of_life.html

Focusing on the silver linings and making the most of my time how ever limited I may be, I will come out of this stronger than before, setting off airport metal detectors all over the world!!!

Jhess Knight