And for you, a boot to the head

I thought for the 200th post on my website that I would give you a little insight on what makes me tick as a person and why I am the way I am today.

I have played sports ever since I can remember and have been hurt playing just about all of them.

I have broken fingers, toes, wrists, ankles, and my nose several times and even my back.  I have been left with the craziest bruises, plenty of stitches, have been knocked out more times than I can remember (that can’t be good), and even dislocated my jaw.

I guess that’s what happens to a person who plays as much as I do.  There is no doubt in my mind that I have played in more than 10,000 games in my life and it was the price that I paid for the hours of fun and exercise that I got.

None of those things ever seemed to slow me down though.  I played through most of those injuries and even finished games when those things occurred.

As part of my injury report series I am trying to recount some of the more fun and painful injuries that I have gone through as a kind of  journal of my sports history.  With that I am trying to recall all of the times that I have been knocked out and what caused them.

The story for today is of the last time that I got knocked out playing soccer.  Soccer was the first game I ever remember playing as a kid and I have done it for a long time.  First I played rec and then we moved to comp.  I most played goalie when I was young and it’s pretty much all I have played as an adult.

This time in particular I was playing coed indoor soccer in one of the better leagues at Murray indoor.  We had a very good team that would go on to win the league without losing a game.  As usual I was in net, when I ball got played long for a very quick player on the opposing team.  My defense was nowhere in sight so the only way for me to avoid having to stop a break away was to beat him to the ball.  I got a good jump off my line and was able to slide and clear the ball about two steps before their striker did.

Apparently he misjudged the ball horribly and still took a full swing well after the ball was cleared.  Since I had slide out to clear the ball, the only thing for his foot to connect with was my face.  I don’t remember much after that so I will have to rely on others accounts of what happened.

He swung through at full force and connected with my head which knocked me out instantly.  The force of the blow spun me over so that my head was buried in the turf.  My teammates said I was out for close to two minutes before they could get me to come to.  I remember having a wicked headache and feeling very light-headed.  For reasons that I will never be able to explain I didn’t even step off the field.  I took a minute or two to gather myself and then I finished the game.  Shockingly I played pretty well the rest of the match even though I felt like death.

I was light-headed and had headaches for weeks after that but still played in every game.  I even fell over in one of my games for no reason when the ball was at the other end of the field.  I should have taken that as a sign that I needed to go get checked out but I was too tough to do so.  I had some friends continually tell me to go see a doctor but I wouldn’t listen.  Most of the time other people know what is best for us but for some reason we chose not to listen.

As I look back on it now I know that I shouldn’t have played until I felt better but sports meant so much that I couldn’t stand missing even one game when I thought I could help my team win.


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