There are two things that happen fairly often when your interests are outdoor pursuits. You try new things, and get injured. Like a lot.
The limit of what is and isn’t acceptable is entirely up to the individual. Assuming we’re talking about grown adults and not a group of school children. If you’re in charge of school children and they’re juggling burning lions it’s probably your job to do something. Adults however are entirely capable of judging risk, even when something carries the risk of extreme injury or death, an adult can still decide to pursue a challenge.
I’m not that kind of adult. I do dumb shit, but I’m quite aware of when the risks are worth taking. Now not doing something because there’s a bit of risk is crazy. You could cross the street and get hit by a bus, you could eat raw chicken and get hit by a bus, or you could climb Everest and get hit by a bus. The point is, if you live your whole life in fear of getting hit by a bus, you’ll never do anything worth while. My subtle fear of getting hit by a bus is not the reason I’m weary of risk though. I’m weary of risk because I regularly fall to bits. If something bad’s going to happen, there’s a good chance it will happen to me. I’m not a pessimist, I’m a realist. I’m not all down and depressed, quite the opposite in fact. I’m just saying if I’m walking through woods with some friends, I’ll be the one that stands on a bear trap. There aren’t even bears where I live. Maybe they’re trying to catch me. This doesn’t mean I’ll shy away from life, I just know there are many things I enjoy, and many things I should steer clear from.
As I suspected, one of those things is skateboarding. For those of you unfamiliar with skateboarding, it was the inventing of Californian surfers and became an instant hit like many of their other inventions, bushy blond hair do’s and surfing USA to name but a few.
In an effort to do anything to fill up a night a few moons back, me and some friends attempted this mystical past time. I spent the evening slowly rolling around on level ground watching my friends skate down ramps and generally be good at life. There inevitably came a time when they thought I would be good at this. My failed attempts to complete anything, like college or getting myself dressed, should have given everyone an idea as to how this was going to end. In hindsight, it probably did but everyone just wanted a good laugh.
After about half an hour of standing at the top of a ramp assuring everyone I would break my spine or wrists if I attempted this little feat, I finally got bored of everyone’s voices and went for it. I then fell over and broke a wrist.
Feeling stupid but rather smug that like always I was right, I politely let my friends know that my wrist was broken and headed back to the cars. A few moments later my friends picked up everything but my dignity and followed me back.
In an A&E waiting room we played a game called ‘watch me wave at you with a disfigured hand’ occasionally pausing to apologize to every NHS worker for our presence. Luckily we found common ground with the NHS staff in the forms of thinking I’m an idiot and being absolutely gutted and furious that David Cameron had somehow gotten into power. It’s good to know that no matter how much of a stupid teat I am, David Cameron’s less popular.
After a short time in a waiting room, the time came to have my hand yanked back into place. luckily for my good friend Rhys, this involved watching me get high on gas and air.
I will never judge a person for taking mind altering substances ever again because gas and air is amazing, I could still feel a fair chunk of pain every time the doctor yanked my wrist back out of my elbow, but for some strange reason I just found it fucking hilarious. I’m now jealous of women that go through child birth, that must be such a great laugh.
That night in A&E was actually quite a laugh. right up until the point a doctor informed me that simply resetting my hand wouldn’t be enough, and that I would need an operation. That put a downer on the evening. Not that I’m massively opposed to my skeleton being made out of titanium, but trusting a person to put me in what is essentially a medically induced coma, do my breathing for a while, then bring me back out is not my idea of a jolly outing. I don’t trust people. People voted for George Bush.
Luckily for me a rather splendid doctor informed me that I could actually stay awake for the entire operation through some kind of magic that stopped me feeling anything in my arm. Cue comedy Mr Bean sketch of my knocking everything off of the doctors table. That happened, and it was hilarious. I also got to see the inside of my arm. It looked like a pizza pocket.
A few weeks later and I’m on the mend. I can’t partake in most of the sports I usually do, but that’s the heavy price and lesson learned from not listening to myself. But I also can’t work or drive which is fantastic! For a good few weeks I don’t have to be anybodies designated driver, everyone else has to drive me around now. Yesterday I walked around almost all of my city. I didn’t have to pay for parking or petrol or anything. Legs are great!
There’s not really a moral to this story. Bad stuff happens all the time, and it will happen whether you live your life or not. If I didn’t break my wrist having a laugh with friends I would have done it tripping over a cat or a child. Besides, I know have a nice supply of co-codamol.
Until the next serious injury I can make a joke of,