I don’t think I took it too far but my face says otherwise. While attempting to make a diving catch during my work team’s co-ed 16-inch softball playoff game I managed to face plant so badly that I had a nice skin burn on my forehead and on the bridge of my nose.
I remember sprinting out to short right-center field from my short-stop position to make a play and knew I’d have to dive. It definitely wasn’t the best dive I’d ever made and I remember my face hitting the grass as I slid to a stop. I picked up my hat that had flown off during the failed attempt and began spitting out the grass that was in my mouth. I touched my face with my hand and there wasn’t any blood so I knew it wasn’t that serious of an injury. But my teammates kept saying, “Oh you should get that looked at”, or “That looks really bad” or just wincing and turning their heads. I said, “If I’m not bleeding profusely it can’t be that bad.” Oh, and I didn’t make the catch!
I went back to my position and we managed to end the inning. I couldn’t wear my hat on my forehead because of the raw skin, which began to burn and sting. I began to laugh at myself because I KNEW I was going to be ridiculed for my gaffe, especially by my family.
The game mercifully came to an end and I received more concerned words and stares from the opposing team as we shook hands. Someone on my team got some gauze and alcohol wipes to help begin a little first aid treatment. JJ administered the alcohol wipes, which stung my open wounds horribly. I decided to forgo the post-game meal at Mark’s on 66 (our team sponsor) and head on to CVS to get some Band-Aids and Neosporin.
Luckily no one made a fuss or stared when I walked into CVS. The alcohol had dried and I felt the skin around the wounds beginning to stretch in the self healing process. I noticed that my ability to perform facial expressions would be severely limited as the wounds started to heal. I stood in the First-Aid aisle for at least ten minutes trying to figure out which Band-Aids were the best fit for my face and my wounds. I finally paid for some multi-size bandages and some Neosporin.
Upon reaching home I immediately went to the bathroom to check out my face. Both wounds were crusty from the alcohol and were bright red, but no blood; I knew it wasn’t that bad. I hopped into the shower and again winced as the water hit the open wounds. I gently washed my face to get any remaining dirt out of the wounds, and then applied some Neosporin. I put a bandage on my forehead, but had trouble finding a bandage that would fit the bridge of my nose. I came to the conclusion that I’d have to sleep on my back to keep from rubbing my face in the pillow (something that I do frequently when I sleep).
Sleep managed to elude me and I woke up around 3:30 am due to my face stinging and my wounds leaking. So I gauzed my nose the wounds and bandaged my forehead again. Amazingly, I was able to catch a couple more hours of shut eye.
I woke up for work with a stiff neck and my right knee was pretty sore (two more byproducts of the failed dive); I could turn my head to the left, but had some discomfort. I took a look in the mirror at my face, took a picture with my phone and sent it to my younger brother DT. Getting ready for work took a few minutes longer just due to cleaning the wounds. I put a new bandage on my forehead, but left the bridge of my nose untouched.
My plan was to try and avoid everyone at work on Thursday. I was hoping to get away with just hiding in my cube but to no avail. LS my boss came over to my cube and when I turned to face her (my back faces the opening to my cube) she gasped and became very concerned. She said she wasn’t too squeamish and asked me what happened. All the while I was laughing, because what else could I do. It was funny; and I figured laughter would be the most disarming thing for everyone so they wouldn’t worry or anything. During our conversation LS mentioned her own softball injuries (a couple of black eyes from miss-judging fly balls in the outfield), and that she hoped I would heal quickly.
CS came up from the fourth floor and JJ came up about an hour after her. I shared some laughs with them regarding how my face looked and the busted plays that contributed to our loss. MS also stopped by to take a look at my face. I also managed to email a picture to my buddy BR. We shared a good laugh over instant messenger about the failed catch too.
I checked my phone around lunch time and noticed that DT had left a couple text messages. His first message said, “Dude… do you know how to play correctly?” His second said, “The first rule of fight club… there is no fight club.” So apparently he was going to take this time to crack some jokes. My mom sent a text messages saying, “Please call at lunchtime!” and “What in the world… YOU ARE GOING TO BE BLACKER AND BLUE-ER WHAT HAPPENED?” I spent half of my lunch break explaining what happened to my mom and told her that I’d call home later; oh concerned parents what would we children do without you? My older brother ATJ, asked, “J what is wrong with the face?”
More laughs came when I called my parents again on my way home from work. My dad answered the phone this time and immediately he asked me what had happened. Usually when my brothers and I do something that seemingly didn’t involve a lot of thinking we can pretty much expect our dad to relay some sarcasm and jokes. “So you were down how many runs? And you still decided to dive after the ball?” He was half chuckling and I was laughing; there isn’t a lot you can say to explain yourself after what I did. I would consider myself a pretty competitive person, I guess in this case it was to my detriment; something that my dad tried to get me to understand. I don’t know it’s hard for me to not get competitive or try hard; I really don’t know any other way to play.
But this recent injury episode is giving me reason for pause; I’m not eighteen anymore, so trying to recover from scrapes, bumps, bruises, and jammed fingers is taking longer than it used to. I guess that’s why I’m making the decision to step away from 16 inch. Maybe take up 12 inch softball again; at least they get to use a mitt.