I arrived in Europe on February 2nd. I was very excited for this trip because it would be my first competition of the new season and I have not competed since October! My first competition was the Belgium Ladies Open in Arlon. I thought it would be a great competition to get some matches in and test out the new rules!
I won my first fight. I remember walking off the mat and telling Miguel, “Wow, my finger really hurts!” I held up my left index finger and he kind of just smirked at me. I didn´t think anything of it because it is just a finger. I have 9 others! So, I taped it up and continued to fight. I won my next fight, and then we had a small little break before the second part of the competition. My finger was starting to feel stiff and it was not bending, as it should. I started to warm up again to get ready for my next fight, and as I was grabbing the gi, I felt that something was wrong. I did not want to complain to anybody, so I ignored it and went on to fight my next match. Unfortunately, I did not win this fight.
Later that night, I took a shower, I looked down at my hand, and my entire finger was purple. I was thinking I must have really jammed my finger hard. My finger was swollen and it did not bend so I just iced it. I took a break from judo practice that following day because it did not seem to be getting better. I practiced the following night, with one hand. My fiancé Miguel, who is the coach at the club I work out at here in Denmark and the President of the club, convinced me to go to the hospital to get an x-ray.
I have been injured quite a few times overseas, (I tore both my meniscus in Europe) and I never went to the hospital. I figured since I was a foreigner and I do not have international insurance I would not be able to go. I actually felt a little silly going to the hospital for a finger but my fiancé convinced me that it was better to know so we could figure out what was wrong. I got an x-ray on my finger and lo and behold, my finger was broken!
Literally, this has been one of the most annoying injuries to get as a judoka. I mean, you can do everything, your shoulders, knees, elbows, and everything else are working- but you can’t grip! If you do judo, you know that gripping is a key essential to the sport of judo, especially when you are fighting at a high level. If you can’t grab then you can’t get your position, therefore you can’t attack, and therefore you can’t throw!
I was signed up to compete at the Paris Grand Slam, then I was supposed to attend the camp right after than compete at the Women’s European Open in Austria. I competed in Paris, did not fight good. I am quite embarrassed about my performance. I flew back to Denmark after the competition and have basically been feeling sorry for myself, ever since. I am just disappointed that I did not accomplish what I came here to do. Instead, I am sitting around with a brace on finger.
There has been a few positives to this trip, I did get to tour the Eiffel Tower with Miguel (my fiancé) and we even spent Valentine’s Day together, which has been a first since we have started dating. I always spend Valentine’s Day at the airport or competing somewhere in Europe. So it was nice to have a change of scenery! I even got to see 50 Shades Darker! :P
I’ve been doing my best to stay in shape, running and lifting. I have been doing circuits, and some judo pulls with my good hand. It has been 2.5 weeks since I broke my finger, in my FIRST MATCH. How lucky am I???
So I head back to New York tomorrow, to go back to work for a few weeks and then I head down south! I will be competing in Argentina and Chile. Then I will be competing at the New York Athletic Club Team Competition the following weekend.
I am going to be quite busy these next few months, the Pan American Championships are just around the corner and this is the event where I want to be in top shape so I can become Pan American Champion!