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

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: The day 28,000 Lollapalooza-goers rocked Cloverdale in 1994

Fans share memories of drugs, bad Smashing Pumpkins, Nick Cave walk-off and ‘letdown’ of Surrey date

Surrey veteran feels pinch from COVID-19 after cancelled surgery

Caught between two countries, and low income, soldier feels he’s been forgotten

Surrey parents, students navigate remote learning during COVID-19

The Surrey school district teachers are slowly rolling out plans for new way of educating

Two people fined for trying to re-sell N95 and surgical masks in Delta

Police confiscated over 5,000 masks and are working with Fraser Health to see them put to good use

Peace Arch News ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Vancouver man, 21, charged after mother found dead in Squamish home

Ryan Grantham, 21, has been charged with second-degree murder

Fraser Valley’s tulips fields off limits to visitors due to COVID-19

Abbotsford and Chilliwack tulip farmers have announced their festival season won’t go ahead

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Most Read