Dangers of ‘non-contact’ sports

A frisbee mishap leads to a concussion.

There are many words that can be associated with the word Frisbee – beach, summer, fun, exercise and friends, to name a few.

Recently, I learned one that I’d previously never even considered could be tied to the activity that for many, brings back such happy, carefree childhood memories.

Concussion.

That’s right, concussion. I got one, playing with – you guessed it, laugh if you must – a Frisbee.

Now, I must note I wasn’t playing the same flying-disc game of my childhood days. About three years ago, when a league formed in Surrey, I took up Ultimate, a high-energy, (usually) no-contact sport I’ve since realized has many passionate – and phenomenally talented – fans.

Played with a Frisbee-esque disc, the object is to catch said disc in your opponents’ end zone. You can’t run with the disc, and if you receive a pass, you’ve got 10 seconds to move it along or else the disc goes to the other team.

I’d previously heard about “ultimate” in passing, but never really put much thought into what it actually entailed until my sister saw a poster advertising a new league in the ’hood and encouraged me to join her in checking it out.

I’m the first to admit that while my knowledge of the sport has expanded since joining the SUL (Surrey Ultimate League), it remains far from in-depth, and I’m forever grateful to my patient teammates for their tips and encouragement.

For me, signing up was one of the best things I’ve done for myself in recent years.

It built up my confidence, expanded my social circle a bit, added variety to my exercise regime and gave me something I could honestly say I was doing strictly for myself. It’s amazing how quickly, in the hustle and bustle of work and family life, we forget how important it is to have at least one thing we can be a little selfish about.

That time on the field – running, catching (or, rather, attempting to catch), etc. – it’s my time.

So you can imagine my disappointment when, with about 10 minutes left of a pre-season drop-in game at Newton Athletic Park, I collided with an opponent (or, rather, he with me) and – wham-o – smacked the back of my head into the turf field.

I learned later that one of the more experienced players, seconds after the disc I was running to intercept was released, had described said pass as “a hospital throw” – a term describing a pass deemed likely to end in some degree of injury.

Well, he certainly called it.

According to the ER doc, since I wasn’t knocked out and could for the most part follow his finger as it tracked back and forth in front of my face, my concussion was minor – thankfully.

But after an attempt at returning to the gym three weeks later left me feeling sick for a week, I realized that perhaps, when referring to a head injury, the word “minor” best not be taken lightly. I put my gym membership on hold, traded my cleats for my camera at the field and reluctantly accepted that it was probably best to take the summer off.

Three months later, feeling mostly back to normal – my normal – I’m cautiously venturing back to the gym.

Judging by the rattling sensation in my head when I hit the bags, I have no doubt my brain still has some healing to do. But I’m determined to work my way back to where I was – both at the gym and on the field – before I got hurt.

Ultimately, it’s my only option.

 

Tracy Holmes is a reporter at The Peace Arch News,  a sister paper to The Leader.

tholmes@peacearchnews.com

Just Posted

Plans for new Surrey hospital to be updated Monday

News conference announced by Premier Horgan and health minister Adrian Dix

White Rock pier-plank purchasers celebrated

Donors received a certificate Sunday marking their purchase of a pier plank

Seniors plead to Surrey council ahead of public hearing for 1,000-plus unit development

In June, seniors in the buildings said they felt ‘left in the cold’ as plans for redevelopment materialized

Several people in custody following reports of shots fired into a Surrey home

Police say the incident happened in the early hours of Saturday morning

White Rock looking at 3.9% tax increase

Budget discussions are to take place this week

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Four men in hospital after early morning Vancouver stabbing

A large group of men was seen fighting in Yaletwon

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Most Read