The 9 Month Injury no image

Published on March 14th, 2012 | by DerbyLife


My 9 Month Injury

by: Cherokee ChokeHer

My name is Cherokee ChokeHer, aka Jessica Winkler, I skate for Church of Sk8in with the Emerald City Roller Girls, Eugene OR. This is my 9 month injury, or not so injured, story. I found out I was pregnant when I was 8 weeks pregnant and had already skated in our Championship bout and a few scrimmages without being aware of the changes going on in my body. I have always been athletic and knew immediately I was going to continue to skate as long as I could, because the idea of not being able to skate scared me more than delivery itself.

Roller derby has changed my life and fills that void I was always looking for in other sports, but never found. I was determined to do whatever I could to stay involved and connected with my teammates and the league. I’ve seen ladies in our league get pregnant and immediately take the skates off and retire…I knew this wasn’t going to be me.


There is a lot of controversy that surrounds pregnant women on skates. Trust me I know…I’ve seen the looks and heard the concerns of many. I want it to be known that my OB was fully aware of my skating plan and gave me the okay to stay on skates until I felt my balance was impaired, just no full contact and no local skating rinks.

When discussing my skating plan with my OB, she thought it would be around 7 or 8 months pregnant that I would have to take my skates off, due to balance issues…well, I skated until 40 weeks pregnant and never noticed a balance change or experienced a loss of balance. I’m a Physical Therapist Assistant and am a firm believer that staying on skates as long as I did actually assisted in maintaining my balance and keeping my body strong. My husband was definitely concerned, but he gave me the freedom and trust to know I would stop when I needed to. His support in all of this was what meant the most to me.

My skating routine entailed outdoor skating until the winter hit (5-6 months pregnant) and then continued skating at team practices for all speed and endurance drills and most skills. I removed myself from all hitting drills and scrimmages immediately. Around 7 or 8 months, I stopped the pace line weaving drills, but continued skating in the back to maintain my endurance. I was very safe and very aware of my surroundings every time I was on the track, so not to jeopardize our baby or myself.

I remained involved as Co-Captain of our team, not only by attending practices, but by bench coaching scrimmages and bouts and by training the fresh meat on the league. This has been an amazing experience and staying involved with my sisterhood of derby women has made it all the better, mentally and physically. My daughter was born 7lbs 10 ounces and 20.5 in long and absolutely perfect. One thing I continued to find myself saying to pessimists, regarding my physical activity while I was pregnant was, “I’m pregnant, not injured.”

Mya 3 days.jpg
Mya, 3 days old.

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