Harder, Better, (slightly) Fatter, Stronger: One year after I broke my leg in roller derby

Funk Roll Brother, my roller derby alter ego, a few months before breaking my leg.

On October 16, 2010, I broke my leg playing men’s roller derby. I shattered my fibula and broke my tibia, the only two bones that connect the knee to the foot. After two surgeries, I now have a metal rod in my right leg, plus a plate on my ankle and a dozen screws holding it all together (see: x-ray photos).

A year later, I’m harder, better, (slightly) fatter and stronger.

Harder: With my new bionic leg, the doctor told me I was virtually indestructible. It should be harder to break my leg than ever. Kind of like the movie Kick-Ass, only I’m certainly not about to dress up like a superhero and run around fighting crime. “Virtually” is not the same as “completely.” Plus, spandex? Ew.

Better: I’m about 98% recovered. I can walk normal, go up and down the stairs, dance, skip, even run a little bit. My knee is the only thing still holding me back sometimes, as the joint still hurts if I push it too hard — so I try and stick with non-impact cardio whenever possible, but I’ve done a few kickball games this summer and I’ll sprint through the rain to my car. I’m almost all better.

Fatter: Since I broke my leg, I’ve gained about 10-15 pounds. I was on a couch for two months, recovering, but that’s not much excuse 10 months later. My diet isn’t great (but it never has been) and my job is pretty sedentary; still, I really just need to motivate myself to exercise more. I’m not going back to roller derby, but that wouldn’t help much anyway — the sport’s fun, but it doesn’t really do a whole lot for fat burning. Suzy Hotrod didn’t get her body from just roller skating around, folks.

Stronger: Not being able to use my leg for two months, I built up upper body strength. Using crutches, I was forced to use my arms more for everything. I don’t have tickets to the gun show or anything, but I can carry my DJ equipment more easily than I used to.

In the rest of my life, I’m still doing the same things I enjoy doing — music, going to concerts, socializing, writing, movies, etc. The only thing I have yet to attempt with my new bionic leg is airport security. I haven’t flown anywhere since the injury, and I’d be curious to see if I set off the metal detectors. The doctor told me it wouldn’t, but we’ll just have to see…