There's a practice going on tonight, right now, as I write, and this does not make me happy.
Why is this? When I was a young, indestructible thing, I used to play volleyball a lot. We played in a gym that had a very hard, tile floor. My knees made the better aquaintance of that floor over, and over, and over, and over again. No knee pads for me - I was proud of my pain tolerance and saw protective gear as a good way to wimp out.
Fast forward about fifteen years, and here I am, 30 something, and wanting to be a roller derby girl in the worst way. I've got the skates. I've got the drive. I've got the protective gear (and my 19 year old self is shaking her head in disgust.) And I've got a pair of traitor knees that have stored up every bit of pain from every time they slammed into that tile floor, and are punishing me with it now. If I only knew the secret of time travel, I'd be heading back to those long-ago days and giving myself an earful! But unfortunately, I do not know the secret of time travel, so instead I am sitting at home while my teammates practice, doing web searches for the best way to care for a pair of seriously abused knees.
It really makes me feel distressingly adult and responsible, but I must say to all those young things who think that you can get away with not taking care of yourself properly - yeah, you're going to be soooo pissed at yourself someday! If you're going to be held back a couple decades down the road because of something you did when you were young, at least make sure it is something that you will still believe is worth it, not just playing tough and dumb!
Luckily, I still have enough pain-free days (or at least low-pain days) to get a significant amount of practice in. I'm certainly not going to let the folly of my youth stop me from fulfilling this dream. I guarantee you I'll be back on the track next practice!