Sport and I do not get on particularly well. Or outdoor activities in general, for that matter.
For as long as I can remember, I've not been in the slightest bit talented in the sports department. Partly due to a lack of interest, and partly due to the fact that I was born with my left eye askew which means that, despite an operation at age 2 and a subsequent 10 years wearing glasses, I have pretty much zero depth perception, which sort of limits my participation in anything involving fast-moving objects and connecting with same. I've managed to teach myself to juggle - after a fashion - out of sheer orneriness, though.
Still, I persist. I played Gaelic football and hurling at various intervals while growing up, occasionally joined in in soccer and basketball games, and in recent years I've taken to frisbee on a casual basis. And then there's softball.
Since I moved to Dublin in 1996, the local chapter of the DSPs have taken to the occasional softball outing in whatever green spaces we can lay hands on. After a few games it became obvious that a necessary part of the game is a sacrifice to the sporting gods, generally Bob or JoeV
My first sacrificial act - Summer 1996 - was a brave attempt to get to a base before JoeV did, resulting in my elbowing my own floating ribs into doctor-requiring condition. Painkillers and anti-inflammatories for a week, thank you.
Last year, 1997, I managed to escape injury through softball, but I did manage a severe ribcage bruising while trying to catch a frisbee while we were walking to the softball game. I skipped on the doctor this time, and settled with hurting for a few days.
This year (1998) I tried catching a potential home-run hit by Cliffy.
Without a mitt.
"Hi doc," I said, "I'm back with my annual baseball injury. "Hmm," he said, examining my swollen finger, and then my medical record, "then I'll prescribe your annual dose of painkillers and anti-inflammatories. Oh, and go to the hospital, and take a week off work."
Hospital verdict (after the triage nurse pulled down my finger and asked, "does this hurt?" - apparently my girlish scream wasn't a sufficiently obvious clue): Hairline fracture of second bone in my right little finger, just above the joint. Bonus points for being right-handed, thus incapacitating myself pretty well. Fingers strapped for a fortnight (which turned into a month), and wear a sling for three days. Oh, and no softball for at least a month.
So last weekend, I skipped on the soccer match and drank beer instead. Much safer, modulo the subsequent hangover.
I went rollerblading with two of the office babes. Oh boy. Was that ever dumb. While blundering down a slope near the East Point Business Park, I managed to do an entertaining little dance as I tried to avoid falling over, much to the amusement of the two girls. I laughed too.
"Haha, Gravity, I laugh at you!", I said.
So Gravity twitched, and I fell over. Sort of like this:
1. O 2. O 3. ow! | / | / ,----O
You know, I pivoted about my ankles and did a full-length body-slam on the cold, hard pavement. Fortunately, I managed to fall with my right arm underneath me, so it wasn't a face plant, and the only near-facial damage was a tiny patch of road rash on my neck. However, the arm breaking my fall had a bloody great FIST at the end of it, which had cold, hard, non-yielding tarmac on one side, and somewhat more yielding upper ribcage (just short of my collarbone, luckily) on the other side. WHAM. Cracked rib, upper right-hand side. Needless to say, there was also some pretty spectacular road rash on the arm itself, as although I'd done a fairly linear body-slam, I did slide slightly as I hit the ground. Ooof.
I've not been blading since. Ice skating, but no blading.
Man. You'd think I'd learn. But no, when the opportunity arose, I signed up for some company-provided exercise, in the form of aerobics, and soccer. The latter is a sport, you know. Just like all the other things that have caused me injury. But I scorned fortune, and played on.
The first week was pretty good, excluding the fact that I'm utterly crap at soccer. The second week, I was doing a little better, having not only scored a goal but also having stopped a few. Then towards the end of the session, it was me and a striker from the other team (well, he was a striker at that moment in time. You don't have much scope for actual roles in five-a-side soccer.) and the ball.
He took the shot. I batted it down, having never been one to simply catch the ball.
He got to the rebound; I was on the ground at this point, but I managed to stop the shot. The ball dribbled loose from my fingers and started rolling toward the goal line.
I'm not clear on what I did next, but it concluded with me inside the goal, the ball on the right side of the goal line - YAY! I SAVED IT! - and a familiar pain in my lower right ribcage. I'd managed to trap my elbow under me as I went down, and my knee forced it into my ribcage, resulting in yet another cracked rib. In addition to the rib, I also managed to twist my other knee slightly, but that was only a marginal injury.
I've not let it stop me, though. I'm still at both the soccer and aerobics, and signing up for second class-per-week of the latter this coming week. Take that, fate, and STUFF IT.
|Waider||"Waider, you don't get sick much, but you
break awfully easily."
-- Conor Bob