Friday, April 20, 2007

Sporting suffering - by Mimitig

I was minded when reading Allwell's piece of my first sporting injury and it gave me pause for thought. Apart from my last serious accident, all injuries I've suffered before have been related to my activities on various sporting fields.

I started early - coming off my trike when attempting a ridiculously difficult corner was the beginning. Not many years later, I was running home, leaving my 2-wheeler abandoned in the lane, when I broke my nose and scarred my face going over the handle-bars at the age of about 8. My mum's biggest concern was for the cycle! My next visit to casualty was with a hockey injury. I had been knocked out by a blow to the head. Not from a random ball, but a fellow team-mate smiting the ball and swinging back too high and connecting with my head. Great. Next time was hockey again - after taking a bad hit to the hand, I ended up at the doctor with a smashed knuckle. Nothing they could actually do. Put ice on it, was the advice! A couple of years later and I was back in casualty - this time a smashed knee. Another hockey wound. Again, nothing we can do, put ice on it. My mother must have gone through endless packs of frozen peas that were never eaten due to my sporting injuries.

After this, I took some time out from proper sports. Still cycled everywhere, and guess what? Knocked off my bike - smashed my face again and went home to my mum covered in blood! Fortunately there were no scars and for several years I remained free of sporting injury. Then, just when I thought I was safe, my sister and I decided to teach her children how to ice-skate. I see you, my readers, hiding behind the sofa already! But, no, we managed 2 years before I ended up in casualty. This time it was a fall in which I managed to hit my head so severely that I lost consciousness for more than a minute. This put an end to my sporting endeavours for quite a while. Ice-skating was a no-no, and it wasn't until some years later when I was living in London, that I decided that it would be a good thing to start cycling again.

Good/bad: I'm still not sure. Smashed my knee again (trip to casualty); broke my collar-bone (trip to casualty). Saw awful things on the road but also had some of the most fun of my life. Riding central London at 5 or 6 in the morning and being the only person on Waterloo Bridge to watch the sun rise is a pretty good feeling. Watching a rainbow strike the Rose Window of Westminster Abbey and light up the stained glass, with no-one else around is pretty special. If I hadn't got back on the bike, I'd have missed all that. I guess I've answered my own question. It was good, and now I can cycle in a rural environment, there's very little pain. Apart from the aches of old injuries.


Ebren said...

I always counted myself lucky with injures - I got through 200 odd games of rugby, far more games of football, several years and various different forms of martial arts, hockey, cricket, tennis, and rowing without needing to visit hospital.

Of course, this may say more about my reluctance to go to hospital. In that time I have dislocated my shoulder, ruptured my cruciate, fuct my ankle, had at least one broken finger, torn muscles, and had countless cuts and bruises of various severity.

But it was just never worth going to casualty on a Saturday/Sunday afternoon.

Eventually, at the age of 19, I was forced to go to A&E by my friends after being headbutted playing rugby and bleeding profusely. The nice nurse stitched me up and sent me home. It was a Monday night so I managed to get seen in under three hours, and only went because a pretty girl told me I had to (I was in the bar after the game at the time) and someone gave me a lift.

Of course, it's not the only time I've been to hospital after playing. Our goalkeeper had his wrist broken saving a shot a year ago, he was back in casualty on Wednesday night with a buggered knee. Friends have smashed wrists, ankles, shoulders, been concussed, cut open and in one case the ambulance was forced to drive onto the pitch seeing the game abandoned.

Thing is, if you looked at the damage done then you would assume we were beaten as children/lived in a violent society. But we willingly do this to ourselves, and I really am not prepared to stop until I have to.

greengrass said...

of course your mum was more worried about the bike! Bikes cost money, but
bruises fade and cuts heal.

That's why some of my generation wore short pants well into their teens, and NOT because it's character-building: scuff up your knees playing footy in the tarmacced schoolyard cost nothing,
but new long trousers cost a small

One of my schoolmates was forced to wear short pants until he was nearly 16; I believe he's a bishop

Margin said...

Ah the glory of old injuries.

Having played hockey, football, rugby and pretty much anything else going, my only real injury came from basketball.

About ten minutes in to a match I jumped for a ball with an opponent who clattered me to the floor. My left arm took my full weight and broke in two places. But I was young and stupid and played on regardless.

I also had tickets to Spurs v Sheffield Wednesday that night and there was no way I was going to miss it. So I lied to my parents about how my arm felt and avoided a quick trip to A&E.

When I finally went to hospital I found it that it was broken in two places, but before putting a cast on it, the doctor called over two colleagues to see the x-ray to marvel at the unusual position of the breaks.

I thought it was best not to tell him I played on in case that was the reason they looked odd.

offside said...

I used to play badminton. I'm fine.

bluedaddy said...

GG, I begged to wear shorts to school when I moved towns aged 10. The only lad in school apart from me to wear long trousers was named Chunky Chapman. But my mum wouldnt let me. Never really figured out why, but, unusually for my mum, I think it was aesthetic.

I'm sure my legs weren't that bad.

I've never really had any serious injuries, and no sporting ones resulting in medical intervention (my back is fucked, but that's largely age and car crashes).
But my younger brother has had loads, as a boy and an adult - cracked his skull aged five (my fault) needed several stitches. Knocked down by a car and broke his leg a week after the stitches came out, in hospital for three months. He's broken both wrists playing football, in separate incidents, which is not the best injury for a drummer/DJ.

Bad luck magnets like mimi and my brother are handy to have around, and go a long way to explaining certain accident statistics.

mimi said...

bluedad: whilst I have never thought of myself in terms of being a "bad luck magnet" it is undoubtedly true, that those around me have suffered significantly fewer injuries than I. You may have a point, and I suppose the thing I should do, is find a bad luck magnet of my own to divert future catastrophe!

marcela said...

mimi, i have no sporting injuries of my own to offer here (although rest assured it was never me who whacked you with a hockey stick) but i have to agree about crossing waterloo bridge in the early hours.

as long as you're looking at waterloo sunrise you are in paradise...

mimi said...

greengrass: my mum confirms your premise. Children will heal naturally. Bikes and other equipment need looking after!

guitougoal said...

i had myself a brain transplant because of a football injury with one side effect only, i am always thirsty.

greengrass said...

yesterday I was taking a kitchen cabinet from the car boot. One of the legs fastened in my shoe, and I fell over the bloody thing (gracefully, I might add), cutting my foot in the process.
Guess what Mrs. GG was more worried about: the cabinet or my foot?

mimi said...

gg: my mother once refused to believe that I'd cut my foot to the bone in case it ruined a family picnic!

BlueinBetis said...

No external injuries to report. I do have a broken heart induced by Man Utd in 1994. Bastards!

Speaking of which, Mr GG, by "falling over gracefully, I might add," was it more Arjen or Cristian? Both have always struck me as being remarkably graceful fallers.

MotM said...

I saw some nasty injuries playing cricket, but one led to what I still think is the funniest thing I have ever seen.

One of our players top edged a pull into the bridge of his nose. You don't need much blood on whites for it to look like a Peckinpah outtake and we were all shaken up. Whilst two team-mates carried the unfortunate bleeder to the boundary, another team-mate whizzed over in his car to get the doctor from the 3rd XI game on the other ground.

The Doc arrived, still wearing keeper's pads, did some assessments of the injuries and quietly asked "Is there any pain?" A muffled Yes. Everyone crowded closer in the hope that all was well. With that, the Doc fished in his flies, removed the ol' fella and said, "well bite on this."

Maybe it's a medical school thing, but I've never seen it before or since.

nesta said...

I think I met that Doc at a tribunal into his deregistration as A GP. Is his name Dr.Love?

jonnydog said...


I recommend practising falling. When a real accident beckons, you'll go down as floppy as a drunk and not get hurt. Alternatively, you could just get drunk anyway. I recently slipped down a large flight of stairs while carrying heavy machinery, and stood up laughing.

Tweet it, digg it