Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I managed to break my beak in a bizarre martial arts accident last night. It’s only a small, insignificant fracture, but what is surprising is the extent to which the whole of my bonce, not just the old conk, hurt, as if in my confusion after the initial blow I wandered off and placed my noggin in a vice for a bit, and this action has been wiped from my memory. It also appears to have sent the archaic body-part slang area of my brain into overdrive.

This inspires me to consider the most painful sports injuries I’ve sustained, and the snozz-snapping doesn’t come close.

In reverse order, my top three are:

3) fractured ribs – from somebody’s elbow a couple of years ago. Didn’t even notice this at the time, but was subsequently unable to sneeze, cough or laugh for weeks, which was inconvenient as I indulge in all three frequently.

2) torn ligaments in the foot – when I was 11, requiring me to be on crutches over an entire Christmas holiday (I secretly enjoyed this until the novelty wore off)

1) an ingrown toenail, following a broken toe – about 4 years ago. Man, that really hurt, and for ages and ages.

Since all of the above were sustained in competitive football matches, I’m starting to think that maybe there is something in the claim that soccer is the root of all evil, after all.

Please feel free to share your most painful and/or funniest injuries here.


monix said...

It's interesting that the more trivial-sounding injuries are the most painful. I crushed a fingertip in a door at school when I was about 8 years old. That was quite a long time ago yet I still count it as the worst thing that happened to me!

I hope the nose recovers soon. Have the good looks been blighted?

Brit said...

I think they might have improved. The wonk has been evened out.

Susan's Husband said...

This is why sports should be banned (that, and that it would also eliminate baseball hats, the abuse of which is ruining Western Civilization).

Duck said...

I'm confused, were you playing football or were you kung-fu fighting? Or doing both at the same time?

I'm not sure how old you are Brit (judging by your photo you're a little past your prime to be swinging a bat) but obviously not old enough to appreciate the charms of the sedentary life.

I've been pretty lucky to have never broken a bone. When I was 11 and riding on the back of a bike my brother was peddling my ankle got jammed between the frame and the spokes which tore a scrap of flesh off of it. Kept me out of school for a week. In college I fell upon my ankle trying to execute a roundhouse kick in a Tae-Kwon-Do class and sprained it real good. Was on crutches for over a month.

In Marine Officer Basic School I almost managed to get my head blown off by "hitting the ground" in a zone that had been taped off to hold explosives to give our training some extra realism. Just left my ears ringing for a bit.

Brit said...


The nose was shotokan karate, which I do twice a week. (I find it an essential way to keep the old belly in check, since I have a weakness for chocolate cake.)

Some idiot announced a chudan punch, and threw a quite beautiful jodan one. The result was messy.

I'm past my football prime because I haven't stayed fit enough (I still play every week, but not competitively), but you can keep doing karate indefinitely, or at least until your hips need replacing.

Peter Burnet said...

In high school I was stage manager for the annual talent revue. While moving uneven parallel bars with an incredibly heavy iron base, the dolly slipped and the base came crashing down on my big toe. It was black within minutes and at the hospital they gave me a local anaesthetic and let me watch them pull the whole big toe nail out and stitch right where it used to be. To this day my toenail grosses out my wife.

It wasn't really too bad beyond the first few excruciating minutes, but I love to tell the tale because most people react as if I had lain stoically while someone performed amateur brain surgery on me with an old compass set. The girls at school all thought I was some kind of incredibly brave hero. Too bad I was too young and naive to take advantage.

martpol said...

Good stories, one and all. As Brit suggests, foot injuries can provide disproportionate agony. I broke a small bone in a metatarsel at the end of last year (and still don't know how I did it), and it caused quite appalling agony.

My worst was a broken arm, but not just any old broken arm - a double greenstick fracture, I think they called it. I fell off the top of a slide and hit my arm on a sticking-out bit of point metal. They don't make 'em like that any more; mainly because they would be sued.

There's also the question of embarrassing injuries. I've had one but I won't reveal it here, and that's 8 years after the event. I'll relate the tale to my close friends, should they wish to hear it...