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Walk it off, you’ll be fine


By James Durand

I’m not sure if I was taught this attitude, or if I came by it naturally, but either way, I’ve always tried my hardest to get right back up after a huge hit and get back to full speed.

It may have happened as a kid. My friends and I rode everywhere, and were always looking for some fun. Free riding hadn’t been thought up yet, DH racing was still years away, and come to think of it, mountain biking hadn’t even been invented yet. We just took our janky “off road bikes” and jumped stuff.

Being that we were forging new ground on really inappropriate bikes, there were constant crashes. And in the 70’s and 80’s, there were no helmets yet either.

As you can imagine, I’ve been in many situations where I was slammed, pounded, or just thrown into the ground at full speed, as were all of my friends.

You’d hit the ground, most likely tangled within your bike, and try not to cry from the intense pain while your friends laughed at you. Then you’d back up and try again.

I never outgrew this attitude, and over the years I played, or raced, through many injuries.

I finished a race with a broken collar bone, I’ve played lacrosse games with dislocated fingers, and I played an entire half of a high school football game with such a bad concussion that I still don’t remember it, but I was never down and out until I couldn’t physically get back up. That’s happened once or twice too.

As life progressed, and sport advanced, there seems to be a far more cautious approach to injuries, and considering how badly my body hurts at this stage in my life, I think it’s a great idea to take better care of ourselves in our earlier years.

I took my kids to the local Jr. lacrosse game 10 days ago and it was awesome entertainment. Lots of goals, fast paced, and some big hits. The game seems even tougher than when I played … maybe?

During the game the visiting team had three injuries and all three times the players laid on the floor until the trainer came out and tended to them for a long five minutes, then they popped up and walked to the dressing room. Game over for them.

I was starting to wonder if the game is getting softer. How come these guys don’t just suck it up and walk it off? (In one player’s defence, he got crushed and I’m surprised he ever got up. Picture a bus hitting a pedestrian and you’ll have an idea how hard this guy got hit) but the other two didn’t even look bruised?

Between the periods, my eight-year-old was running around with his teammates and goofing off. As he ran along the lower bleachers, looking up at me, he mis-stepped and as his ankle bone, shin bone, and knee cap smashed into the bench, he bounced his chest off the edge of the same bench with such a violent hit that a few of the other spectators moaned out-loud. Then he hit the floor and boards simultaneously with a bang.

It was horrible to watch. I hopped down to him and asked if he was OK. He was fighting back the tears and obviously in major pain.

I picked him up and sat him beside me. The trainer from the home team came over and asked if he needed ice and he said, “No thanks, I’m good.”

He clearly was not good at all, but he was trying to tough it out, and only a short time later when his friends went running by, he jumped in right behind them … “See ya Dad.”

Slight limp, blood soaking through his sleeve, and off he went at full speed. No trainer needed, no bandage, and no missed shifts.

Hmm, he’ll probably regret that when he’s 50.

I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’, but it hurts a bit…