The saying used to go something like this: “It’s not a party until a Malin kid gets hurt.”
My sisters and I were notorious for crashing any kind of social event by getting injured (mostly by literally crashing into things). We attained a reputation for scraped knees, bruised bodies, and hospital visits. For instance…
- That one time that my middle sister tripped over a pile of toys and slammed her head into the corner of our bunk bed stairs. What proceeded was blood…lots….lots of blood and a gaping hole dead center of her skull….Horrifying
- Or that one time that I was running around the youth group rooms at church and ran into a metal folding chair. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? Wrong. I ran into it a total of three times…Yes, three times. I then proceeded to flip over the chair and land on my side. The impact that my knee had with the chair caused a ligament in my kneecap to tear and the underside of my kneecap filled with blood. It swelled to the size of a baseball and I couldn’t bend my leg. The ensuing conversation in the car went a little something like this….
“Are they gonna amputate my leg?”-Me
“Am I gonna die?”
“Are you sure?”
Mhm. It was a rough night.
- Or how about the multitude of sports balls that always left their mark…on our faces…
I’m sure you’re beginning to see the painful picture. Now that we’ve established a background, let’s jump into present time.
My University decided to have a night in the gym playing dodgeball. I love dodgeball. The majority of people love dodgeball. So, with that nature residing in my heart, it’s only natural that I decided to attend the night of dodgeball. Would you like to know who else joined? My girlfriend! Might I also mention that she was the only girl to play in said events…Moving on!
We started the first game with about twelve college age students and it seemed to be going well. Balls are flying, people are getting smacked, it’s just a grand ole time. I found myself standing on the left side of the gym evading any flying assailants while my girlfriend (on the same team) was busy being a beast on the right side of the gym. We had this game on lockdown. We weren’t the only ones on the team but man, we were ownin’ this game.
I remember particularly watching an opponent grab a ball, approach the dividing line, and scope out his next victim. My girlfriend, let’s call her K, being the amazing sportswoman that she is, stayed put. This decision put her about 10-15 feet from the approaching, armed opponent.
“Hmm..” I thought to myself. “He looks like he’s about to attack K with that rubber kickball (these were the ones that left marks for weeks).”
His eyes were shifty, time was slowing down, and my girlfriend still had yet to retreat.
“Yepp…He’s definitely about to attack K.” Unfortunately I didn’t have a ball to protect her with…Go figure.
He reared back, cocked his arm in throwing position, and let it fly. I watched as the rubber kickball twirled through the air, picked up speed, reflected off of K’s hands (she used to be a goalie), and then make impact with her face…Heavy impact.
I was kind of shocked that she tipped the ball in defense but what I hadn’t realized was that K was now on the floor coddling her face.
I ran over to her, pulled her hands off of her tearful face, and saw the horror of what her eye had become.
A cut had formed over the inner part of her eyelid and the rest of her eyelid had swollen to the size of a ping pong ball.
I quickly took her off to the bathroom to clean up what little blood was there and then off I went to pick up a bag of ice to help the swelling. I came back, handed her the ice, and then went back to playing.
Within five minutes of being back in the game my neck/head came in contact with the sternum of a man taller than myself. I suppose I had gone running after the ball while he decided to do the same. It was kind of like those math equations we all used to do…You know, if train A left the station at etc..etc..and train B left the station at yada, yada when do the two trains collide? I always thought those equations were pointless until now. Well my train and his train left the station at the same time and collided at the same time. What occurred then was horrid, stabbing pain shooting up from the base of my neck and filling my skull…I knew what the feeling meant…I’d dealt with it many, many times before. I had just given myself a concussion…whether it was mild, moderate, or whatever, I had a slight concussion.
Evidence enough? No? Well, I couldn’t think straight, instantly nauseated, heavily fatigued, and it all came with delayed responses. I was conscious but the hamster wheel wasn’t turning.
Needless to say, K and I decided to leave dodgeball. We headed back up to the student center, grabbed some ice, and sat in our misery. Our bodies were wrecked but our spirits we’re full of laughter.
She’s gonna fit in just fine.