The Wall and Eye

When Lynmar racquetball club closed some people joined the YMCA so they could continue to play RB.  For a number of reasons, I was not one of them.   One of those reasons is my dislike for the courts.

Apparently it’s mutual.  I played racquetball Wednesday night at the YMCA, and my shoe caught on the tacky floor as I was running for the ball, and the result was a intimate experience between my head and the sidewall.  I should stress I was moving at a pretty good clip.  Something like that of a politicians racing for PAC money, but my purpose was nobler . . . I wanted to win the rally.   As the ball followed its gravity-dictated arc toward the floor, I engaged powerful leg muscles to propel me toward it (and the wall).  As I have done countless other times, the plan was to hit the ball running, brake/pivot on my feet to direct most of the energy downward, and turn my shoulder to the wall to absorb the remaining energy over a large surface area.

Does not look as bad in the picture as it does in person

The court I was playing in had a very tacky floor.  Some of the players said “that’s what a clean floor is like” in an attempt to slam the courts at Lynmar, but I think there was too much lacquer on it, and combined with the humidity, it made it very “grabby” (that’s a technical term).

Part of accelerating very fast is to not raise your feet too high off the floor.  In this instance the tip of my shoe grazed the floor, and the combination of tacky floor and tacky RB shoes rubber meant it delayed my leg from moving forward to the designated brake/pivot spot.  

Momentum being a heartless bastard, it carried my mass forward to the wall . . . only instead of a large area of my shoulder and back hitting it, it was a very localized and small portion of my head that made contact.

Funny thing about walls.  They are as hard and immovable as politicians are soft and corrupt.

The day after. The has closed, and the lump subsided.

I had some bleeding, and a nasty-looking bump, but I did not lose consciousness, did not suffer memory loss, did not feel dizzy or lose my balance . . . so I played an additional 3.5 hours.  No, I’m not stupid, macho, or otherwise manly.  I went to the locker room, surveyed the egg-sized lump, washed away the blood, checked my pupils, tested my memory on a bunch of numbers and passwords, did some mental additions, multiplications, and divisions and satisfied myself I was not mentally impaired, confused, or dazed (some will argue the opposite).  I had no ringing in my ears, headache, or any other indication I had just head-butted a wall . . . other than the bleeding lump on my forehead.

I then did a couple of balance tests, sudden movements, bent down and rose quickly, did a couple of full turns, and satisfied myself my incredible balance had not suffered, and that I was not light-headed or dizzy.  “If you have such balance, why did you hit your head to begin with?” some may ask.  Well, I was deliberately tripped by the floor . . . it’s not a matter of balance; it was malice, pure and simple.

The onset of the black eye

So you see, playing an additional 3.5 hours was not as stupid as it sounds . . . although my wife did not view it like that.   She is still pissed, even more so when the black eye showed up (from the blood pooling around the soft tissue surrounding my aged eye socket).  I had to promise if anything happens where I get hurt, I am to seek immediate medical attention.

The morning of the third day

As it was, I did go to the doctor the next day, and they basically checked the same things I did.  They can’t guarantee there is no hidden damage like a slow bleed of the brain, but to all outward appearances I was fine . . . save for the lump on my forehead. 

The evening of the third day

Still, if I don’t post anything for a few months, it’s safe to assume there was more damage than it appears at the time of this writing.  Here’s to hoping that’s not the case.

For those interested in the full-sized pictures, this Picasa web album will do the trick.