On Monday night, I played in a soccer game and it was going pretty well—pretty well meaning that I hadn’t made any mistakes so disastrous that my team kicked me off the field. That was until I caught an elbow to the face. Then it was not going pretty well.
I have a combination of traits that really seems to draw elbows directly to my head. First, I’m short. Second, I have terrible depth perception. Third, my response time to threats clearly needs improving. I know it sounds like I’m blaming the victim here, but there’s plenty of blame to go around. I’d say 80 percent falls on the aggressive type-A DC dude who thinks he might get scouted at the local rec field and the rest falls on my general inability to do anything sporty without almost dying.
This is not the first time I’ve gotten a concussion from an opponent’s body part slamming into my head. It’s usually an elbow, since my head is perfect elbow height to most regular-sized people, but once it was a knee. A KNEE. I’m short, but I’m not that short. I think I have a trauma magnet in my head.
Over my many near-death sports-related afflictions, I’ve figured out how to make the best of a bad situation. Here are a few benefits of getting hit in the head so hard that your brain smashes ever so slightly against the inside of your skull:
- You can take more naps. Don’t believe that rumor about how you’ll never wake up. I’m awake right now.
- You can tell people you can’t do things because you have a mild brain injury and they’ll be worried enough that they’ll accept your response.
- If you forget something, you can blame it on your brain. I mean, it’s always your brain’s fault, but this time is even more its fault.
- You now have a good reason to not like someone forever.
- You can erase a few memories, like that time you ate an entire box of macaroni and cheese at a friend’s house when you were 10 and her mom kept serving you more but also stared at you like you were some kind of alien specimen and you didn’t realize that even though you were hungry and they seemed nice about it you actually should have stopped eating two bowls ago. Just like, as an example of something that probably happened to someone once.
Overall, I would give the experience 2 out of 10 would not do again, but also, if I’m being realistic, it will 10 out of 10 happen again.