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This is a question Sporting Woe

In which we ask a bunch of pasty-faced shut-ins about their exploits on the sports field. How bad was it for you?

Thanks to scarpe for the suggestion.

(, Thu 19 Apr 2012, 13:40)
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Get the tea out...
Well, as I was one of the people (along with Scarpe) who have spent years whining about this not having been asked yet, I suppose I’d better tell some of my stories…

I was a tubby child from the ages of 8 to 14 (partly related to an injury that made it hard to run very far without my ankle giving way), but I enjoyed most sports and tried hard even in the ones (i.e. football) that I didn’t. However, every school has its fair share of those unwilling or unable to participate in P.E. lessons, and CMS was no exception.

It was a wet and slightly miserable October day in about 1999, and we were out on the school fields for a nice game of touch rugby in the healthy autumnal sleet. First off were the throwing drills, and I was partnered with one of nature’s IT directors – a slightly otherworldly girl called D. We lined up in two lines some thirty feet apart and on the signal, we threw our balls. On this occasion, two things went wrong. Firstly, D was distracted by a swirling in the aether somewhere to her right, and missed the signal that she might have to catch something in the next few seconds. The second thing was that I lost my grip on the slippery ball and hurled it far higher than normal. Time seemed to slow to a crawl as the ball drifted through the grey skies on a direct course for D’s head. On reflection, it was perhaps not a good idea to shout for her attention. Had I not done so, she might have not taken the ball quite so squarely in the face. On the other hand, I wouldn’t have the memory of her expression in the millisecond before the ball connected to remind me that things could be worse.

D never really liked me after that, and seemed to forget her kit an awful lot…

Moving on a few years, we see the beginnings of my love of skiing. Now, any sport that has as its main premise the act of sliding down a steep and often rocky slope with some bits of wood on your feet is going to be a minefield for crashes. Some of the more memorable ones (not all involving me) have been:

I wouldn’t stand like that if I were you:

It was my second day ever of skiing. I was eighteen and on a school trip to Austria with quite a few of my friends as a birthday present from my parents. Not having skied before, I started out in the special group – but after learning quickly enough to get very bored, I was moved up to the middle group, away from the safety of the nursery slopes. The jump was quite hefty and I had a lot of difficulty keeping up for the first few hours. At one point I had crashed near the top of a slope. When I untangled my knees from somewhere in the middle of my lower back I looked down the slope to see my group waiting for me. “Sod this” I thought. “I won’t bother turning. I’ll just snowplow down to them”.

(A quick interjection here – snowplowing is a learning technique where you hold your skis in a wedge shape to limit your speed. The catch is that it ONLY works if you lean forwards. As you were.)

Sadly, the first bump flung me backwards – but not off my skis. I was now sitting on the backs of my skis, unable to get up, and flying unstoppably down the hill towards the smallest and frailest thirteen-year-old in the group. He was standing facing up the slope with, crucially, his legs apart. I was heading directly for the gap between his legs. Various thoughts crossed my mind in the next few crowded seconds, not least of which was the fear that I might simply continue onwards over a cliff edge if I couldn’t find a way to stop. I could have tucked myself in and passed cleanly between his legs. I could have done that. Instead, my self-preservation instincts kicked in and just as he spotted me thundering towards him, I spread my arms wide and swept his legs out from under him.

I made another enemy that day, but death by cliff-plunging was averted.

Quickest ever slalom crash:

I always thought the idea was to ski down the course, not ski face-first into the side of the timing hut at the top. Apparently I was wrong.

How to apologise:

When you crash into a disabled skier at 25mph, the correct means of apologising is to shout “SORRY!” at the top of your voice as you frantically ski off down the mountain, pursued by various shouts.

I’ve broken my brain:

If after crashing heavily into a snowboarder his expression changes from anger to fear and he says “mate, you’ve got blood dripping out of your ear”, it’s a good idea to check that you haven’t merely torn your earlobe BEFORE you start panicking.

Where’s G gone?

Snow fences should not, under any circumstances, be used as trampolines. I never knew you could get someone’s back to look like that, although the tree and selection of rocks he hit as well probably didn’t help. I’m told it took G twenty minutes to find his right ski again.

For those that don’t know, I’m also a keen power kiter, and have been an instructor for a couple of years too. I would like to pass on a little list of things to avoid, in the hope that any other kiters find new and interesting ways to maim themselves.

If you’re flying at a night-time festival, make sure there are no children playing nearby. If there are, make sure you don’t make a jump that carries you directly toward the head of a four year old girl. If you absolutely have to do both these things, don’t try and flick yourself up and over her. The wind will drop and you WILL kick her with both feet in the side of the head. Her father will not be pleased, and karma WILL be satisfied when you walk smack into a tent pole later in the evening.

If you haven’t flown very much, for the love of God, don’t lie down on your front and let your friends hang onto your trousers. You will be dragged facedown and at speed for over a hundred metres of short dry grass. When you manage to get up again, your friends will have tied your trousers (which you were swiftly parted from) into another kite, and they will be flying proudly above the school fields. You will also be walking funny for a week as nine separate friction burns in a variety of delicate areas make their presence felt (disclaimer – this one wasn’t me).

If you turn up to Captain Hood-Butter’s “things that fly” bash and try to show off, you will crash heavily in front of several prominent b3tans, and feel extremely stupid.

If you’re performing a demonstration at a kite festival, make sure you’re not standing in front of a tree. You run the risk of thinking the wind is less than it really is. When you launch your kite, you may well be thrown seven feet in the air and thirty along the ground. Your smooth roll on landing will, again, not alleviate feelings of stupidity – but this time, you will have several hundred people laughing at you.

Don’t (at another kite festival) throw your helmet into a cornfield in a fit of pique after your kite has folded for the nth time that day. You only have to go and get it back again with, yes, several dozen people watching and laughing.

If you’re flying a tandem buggy (think two three-wheeled go-karts joined together, often used for giving people who can’t kite a feel for what it’s like), make sure the person in the back is lighter than you. If they are not, there are certain things you cannot do. When you find yourself pinned under the buggy and sliding across an airfield, by all means force your arm down so that you tear off large amounts of skin. When the kite lines snap and you stop, watch out. You’re not out of the woods. You should make sure that your seatbelt hasn’t shifted so that when your friends turn you over, you don’t end up with your left testicle trapped between your body and the straps. That will hurt more then the huge patch of raw flesh on your arm. To avoid adding insult to injury, move your hands away once you pull the release strap so that you don’t land, crotch first, on your own clenched fist.

Miscellaneous others:

Even if you think your opponent’s (70mph+) tennis serve is going out, it might be an idea to move. Otherwise the ball might dip at the last second, bounce off a stone, and rebound directly into your balls. He still beat me though, the bastard.

If you have a particularly ferocious serve yourself, try to follow through correctly. That way, you won’t hit yourself in the nuts.

Don’t cycle while drunk. Really. You will get thrown out of asda for making a scene, then you’ll ride into a bridge support on the way home, bending the front wheel of your three week old racing bike.

If you decide to distract your opponent in a pool game, don’t do it by hoisting your balls onto the table in line with his shot. He might deliberately chip the white so it lands squarely on your left bollock.
(, Wed 25 Apr 2012, 20:50, 4 replies)

(, Wed 25 Apr 2012, 23:49, closed)
I (and others)
Get maimed in silly ways.
(, Thu 26 Apr 2012, 0:54, closed)

Brilliant stuff, well told.
(, Thu 26 Apr 2012, 8:26, closed)
meh, crashing into snowboarders?
Apply the following scale to gays-on-trays related incidents:

-If you ski close enough to the baggy-panted tool (sitting mid-slope for no reason, natch) to make them yelp, score 1 point

- snow shower? 2 points

- If they jump back up, score 5 points

- If they are idiotic enough to chase you in the frankly mental belief that a boarder could ever catch even a paraplegic skier on piste, 10 points.

- If you cut them up closely enough to draw blood with an edge, 50 points

- And finally, if you can convince a chairlift full of French teenage boarders that "paedo" is a new term of appreciation for freestyle tricks, the new "gnarly" if you will ... 100 of her majesty's finest points.

Ah, don't judge me. I'm only jealous because boards are 476% easier to land switch than skis.
(, Thu 26 Apr 2012, 9:05, closed)

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