Yesterday I set another topic to help anyone struggling to think of a topic to write on. Please use the #sportinginjuries so it is easy for me to find. We had a great response to #sportingmemories so I am looking forward to reading about your experiences with this topic.
I played various sports for many years concentrating mainly on cricket and rugby. Cricket I kind of got through injury free even though I have been hit numerous times with the ball. It can be painful but that is only temporary leaving the occasional bruise. On one occasion I was hit on the head and to be honest I didn't even notice until the opposition team came to enquire if I was alright.
Rugby though is a whole different ball game as if you are not careful you can be seriously injured. I found it was a mindset more than anything as the ones who thought about injury normally got injured. If you are scared and not fully committed to what you are doing you will come off second best.
Before every game or practice we used to warm up for a good hour. Stretching all the muscles and warming up key areas like hamstrings and neck muscles. The risk of damaging or breaking your neck is the main worry and it is normally down to not you, but some other idiot on the field.
Scrums collapsing was my biggest worry as you can go down head first with the opposing team thinking it is smart and manly to carry on pushing. It is not pleasant to hear grown men screaming which you hear being part of it. I found that many injuries can be removed from the game if you have a competent referee looking out for everyone's welfare.
I was lucky like the majority of players who play rugby and never had anything too major. The worst was when I broke my ankle and it was no accident. At that time it was also a minor blessing if you could call it that as I was in the army. The game was against the South African Police who were filthy players.
We always hammered them giving them a thrashing which was enjoyable. On this occasion it was a week night game played at Kings Park Rugby ground. I was at the bottom of a ruck which is basically a pile of bodies and some idiot grabbed my leg and twisted it past where it should go. This was done on purpose as I saw it happen yet couldn't see who did it.
I knew it was not right and didn't go to hospital straight away as this was the army and we were out of the base. I went to the infirmary in the morning and was taken to hospital for x rays. The ankle was broken and was given the customary plaster cast ending my season but saving me from doing normal army duties.
I think this is the reason why I used to take things into my own hands if I saw foul play. Family members may have thought I was a dirty player for all the fighting I was involved in, but it was not the case. I wouldn't hesitate to punch someone if they were doing something wrong. I had grabbed a players boot once who had kicked me in the head whilst I was on the ground. I think the natural reaction is to flatten them before being stitched up as he will think twice doing that again.
I have what I call my third boob these days which is a lump on my ribs. This according to x rays is previous trauma and cartilage that is now creating the bump. I honestly had no idea as my body was always in some sort of pain during rugby season and you get used to it. I never knew I damaged my ribs which is probably fortunate as I hear it can be painful. I think your body is so accustomed to pain management some things possibly heal on their own.
Always enjoy seeing this x ray as it makes me laugh.
Thinking back I was lucky in many ways as others I played with had broken bones with a common one and not so serious being the broken nose. It possibly did then some favors giving their face a bit of character. The one injury from those days I live with today is a split knee cap which can't be repaired. This is not a worry as the muscle keeps everything in place and I am not planning on aggravating it. This came up when the surgeon was doing key hole surgery and couldn't repair it. His advice was to leave it alone until it became a problem.
I think it is more common than we think as most sportsmen will play through carrying some sort of injury or niggle. If you had to stop playing every time there was a problem you wouldn't be playing that much.