I got in the tiniest little Twitter fight the other day.
We were talking about basketball – and I won’t bore you with the details, roller derby fans – but someone suggested that leaving the court in a neck brace was “soft” and that athletes shouldn’t give their opponents the satisfaction.
To me, that’s idiotic. If medical staff wants you to wear a neck brace, wear a damn neck brace, right? It turned out that the player in the incident in question ended up being fine, and the counter-argument went like this: “There’s a difference between injured and hurt.” I guess the player shouldn’t have left in a neck brace, because it turned out he wasn’t actually injured.
Sure there’s a difference, but sometimes you can’t tell right away.
If you’ve been playing roller derby for any amount of time, you know this. Your back or legs might start to burn in an endurance drill. That’s hurt. Sometimes you’re skating along, minding your own business, and you pull something. That’s injured, and it’s fairly easy to tell the difference.
But when you fall, have a collision, or another trauma, it’s not always apparent if you’re injured or just hurt. You can fall and twist something, or whack your knee really hard, or get hit in the face, and not be injured. It happens all the time. In the adrenaline rush of the moment, you can’t accurately gauge if you’re injured or not.
Don’t be embarrassed or too proud to take 30 seconds to get your bearings, feel out that tweaked ankle, and take your time getting up after an awkward fall. Better safe than sorry. Scoot off the track if you can, but don’t feel like you have to every time.
Does your league or team have a signal for I’m okay, just need a minute vs. please get medical attention I think my leg is broken?