When I was in college the attendants at the emergency room knew me by name.
It started Freshman year when I was introduced to basketball.
Ice skating is a pretty solitary sport and I enjoyed basketball because of the team aspect of it. I played on a co-ed intramural team. My forte was defense. The refs rarely called foul on a girl when she tried to bat at the ball (and sometimes hit the opposing player in the process) or jumped up to block shots (and sometimes hit the opposing player in the process again). On offense, if I happened to have the ball I'd get too nervous and was quick to pass. I'd leave the dribbling and shooting to team mates more seasoned than I. I can't recall if I ever scored points in a game, but I remember practicing a lot of three pointers because if a girl shot one in a game it was worth four points. I do, however, remember finding great joy in setting picks for my teammates. The last thing someone expects on an intramural team full of predominantly Asian girls is for one of the girls to set a pick. I relished seeing the defense's stunned faces when they'd run smack dab into me and my teammate would run past and score.
The bad thing about basketball was how it ate up my ankles. After a couple trips to the ER with bad sprains, and some disapproving looks from my ice skating coach, I hung up my basketball shoes.
Next, came football. I loved it even more. What really helped me understand the game was my friend Victor teaching me how to play Madden. I finally found an appreciation for those weekend college and NFL games that I had thought were boring tv time sucks. I remember practicing very hard on perfecting my spiral (because if a girl threw or caught a touchdown it was worth more points), but I always had a bit of trouble in the catching department. It never failed in practice or a game that I would get hit in the face. And perhaps this was fitting because our team's name was Broke Jokes. Though I never visited the ER for facial trauma, I did see my health care friends for a pulled ham string and jammed finger.
When I wasn't playing intramural sports I was making bad life decisions. I moved out of a town home, away from some awesome girls that are still my best friends today, to an eighty year old apartment infested with lady bugs. When I wasn't vacuuming lady bugs off my ceiling or swatting and screaming at them when I was in the shower, I was befriending my crazy neighbor who was in love with Pomeranian puppies and booze. When I decided to move into an even older (albeit bigger) house with drunk Pomeranian lover I ended up slicing my hand open on one of those old fashioned glass door knobs.
My friends at the ER were waiting for me with open arms, lidocaine, and twelve stitches.
There may be a few more visits to the ER that I'm not remembering, but these are the ones that stick out in my mind the most. Next time I'm in a nostalgic mood maybe I'll share my affinity for walking into glass windows and doors.