I don’t figure skate or compete like everyone else. Yes, it is nice to beat my personal best scores. But to get a medal? A medal is nice, especially when you do a great program but that’s not why I am in it. I use competitions as an adrenaline boost to keep my body from flaring.
Adrenaline is my only sort of ‘long term’ pain relief I get.
This weekend (March 1st-March 4th) is Provincials, for figure skaters in Quebec. It is one competition I have not missed in a while.
In the 2015-2016 season, I came seventh place in freestyle and eighth place in interpretation with some pretty terrible scores. However, the adrenaline I got from the competition helped me score second place the week after at the final competition of the season. And this is when I realized I need adrenaline to have a semi-functioning body.
Last year (2016-2017 season), I withdrew from interpretation and placed myself into ice dance with dances I had never tested with. And even then, I came first place. In freestyle, I had the skate of my life and ended up in second place over all.
This (2017-2018) season has been a different direction from the start.
The start of the season happened in July 2017. The earliest season yet. I skated at an open international invitational competition in the USA. I came second (against my best friend) and in a completely different category than I would skate in Canada.
From there, I attempted to do some more training but I was sidelined with massive headaches and severe back pain (Ankylosing Spondylitis). And I went through several measures to try and ease the pain including; chiropractor, physiotherapy and injections.
When I was finally ‘healthy’ enough to fully return, it was September. And I underwent surgery on September 13th for endometriosis.
Endometriosis- when the tissue grows outside the uterus on different organs and causes lots of pain.
The first time I had the surgery for Endo was in 2015 but it was a failed entry which caused several complications. But, it only took 3 days for a recovery and 5 before I was back on the ice.
With this surgery, for some reason I thought it would be easier than the last and I signed myself up for the first competition in October.
Several complications later, I had missed an entire month while I was recovering. And I only returned to practice the week of my first competition of the season. I reduced my elements, and still went to have fun.
I didn’t have the best skate and I was two points lower than the last competition at the end of last season but I still finished first.
With that, my season was already going downhill. The following comp I came second place and went two more points lower. So, I was 4 points below my best last season.
I sat down with my coaches and decided something had to be done. But with that, my lower spine started hurting even more. And I started taking endless medications.
During that time, I had seen a neurologist after hitting day 83 with a constant headache along with the rheumatologist for my back.
While all the tests came back normal for my headaches. The doctor ordered another dose of injections for my back.
I managed to get the next set of injections in December, which took a bit longer to heal and even a bit more longer to ease the pain. This landed into provincials. We were 5 people and I got my lowest score of the season and landed in 4th place.
This was when I decided that I was not going to waste my money going to provincials when it would cost well over 300$ just to register.
While it’s a massive disappointment, I will be using my time and energy to end my season in Vaudreuil in two weeks. I will also work extra hard to make a comeback for next season and come back where I left off in the 2016-2017 season.
I wish all the competitors the best of luck. And I will see you all next season.
Have you ever had to stop a sport/work due to an illness or injury?