Five tips to coming back to skating after injury

by Jess @jess_glithero

Falling is part of learning to skate; just hope they are only minor injuries when they occur. I have been ramp skating for two years and have had my fair share of injuries, from bruises to broken bones. I was able to bounce back quickly and easily from early injuries, however, my latest bad fall I landed face first on the ground, resulting in me dislocating my jaw and busting my lip. I was fortunate to have a group of amazing and supportive friends with me who quickly scooped me up and got me to the hospital.

A couple of weeks after this event I remember messaging my friends saying ‘I think I’m done with skating’, the fear had taken over. The idea of even putting on my skates made me feel physically sick, so I put them into the back of my cupboard and decided to forget about them. However, skating is a sport that brings me happiness, laughter and has allowed me to meet some INCREDIBLE people from across the world. I knew I had to get over the fear.

Here are my 5 tips to bounce back from injury

1. Your decision: Take your time, only put your skates on when you are ready, not because others are telling you to. People reacted in different ways when I wanted to stop skating. Some said:

"Good, skating is too dangerous and you are getting older."

"Just put the skates on and get on a ramp, you will be fine."

"Man up!"

The best advice I had was:

"Take your time, only you know when you are ready, the skating community will always be here when you are ready to come back.’’

2. Slow and steady: When you are ready to put wheels back on your feet, go slow and steady.

I started in my kitchen, getting used to the balance and movement of skates again in the safety of my own home.

3. Roll low: First time back in the skate park brings all the fears and anxiety back, go to a quite small park where you can take your time with every move.

My first trip back to the skate park, I was super anxious, unsure if I would even put my skates on when we arrived. I went with a supportive friend who helped to ease my nerves, he allowed me to take my time getting ready to roll (which took a long time). I slowly made it on to the ramps, just rolling around, no tricks, keeping it simple.

This is how happy I was when I got back on the ramps.

4. Building confidence: Take your time to build up

tricks, don’t just assume you can still do the

tricks you could pre-injury.

Post injury I lost the simplest of skills in my skillset. I was shocked when I went back to my local park, where I always feel confident, and was unable to do any variations of stalls; half cab, 360’s or land anything facing forward. I have taken my time over the last 4 months to try and regain my confidence and these skills. I’ve still got a long way to go.

I will get inverts back!

5. Practice, practice, practice: All confidence and skill will come back if you put the time in and practice. I have tried to skate nearly every day over the last 4 months, from my kitchen, to roller discos, to the skate park. The more you skate the stronger you will become.

I’m still not back to my pre-injury self and it is safe to say I will never air a spine ever again!! But this experience has taught me a lot about anxiety, fear and confidence. But most importantly you can achieve anything if you have support from your friends and family.

Injuries are inevitable in this sport so do what you can to reduce risk of injuries: wear protective gear, try tricks within your ability, take your time learning new skills, and practise a lot!!

Finally, just because they are cute ……… enjoy!

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About Roller Girl Gang

Roller Girl Gang, Leeds, United Kingdom