Is It (a) Cold In Here?

by Rich on December 18, 2017

There is nothing in heaven or on Earth more pathetic than a man with a cold. I’m not sure why that is, but it’s darn near indisputable. The cold and flu season can just drop a guy in his tracks. Just ask any woman.

I’m not really sure why this is. I mean, we’ll push though just about anything else. Bust a knuckle on a carburetor? No problem. Crack a hip while climbing a ladder? Slice of four toes with a chainsaw? Nothing. No problem. Just a flesh wound. But a cold? No thanks. A cold will put a man on a couch, floating in a sea of used tissues, begging for someone, anyone, to bring him something hot to drink or  something to put him out of his misery.

Which is maybe why I am not as astounded as I should be at the speed with which collegiate and pro athletes return to competition following a major injury. But it really is amazing when you think about it.

Most of us go our whole lives with maybe only one or two really serious injuries. Maybe you broke your arm trying to jump your big wheel over the creek. Maybe you dislocated a shoulder trying to heft that keg out of your friends Jeep even after he clearly warned you that it was too heavy for one person and if you would just HOLD ON A DANG SECOND HE WOULD HELP YOU, YOU MORON! (author’s note: this may or may not have actually happened) Maybe didn’t listen to your doctor when he told you not to run every single day and you blew your knee out. Whatever it may have been, most of us only have one or two “big ones” in a life time. And we let everyone know about it (there’s not one person in my office who doesn’t know, in great detail, the exact timeline of events surrounding my broken hip).

But here’s the thing… when us mere mortals have injuries like that, it takes months and months before we even come close to feeling remotely functional. And usually much longer until we are back up to speed. And we aren’t ever really back completely. It took a year after said hip-break before I was actively running again. It’s been almost seven years now and I’m still a slower, more cautious runner now than I ever was.

But big time athletes? That’s a whole other universe. A hyper-extended knee? Back in a couple of weeks. Dislocated shoulder of your throwing arm? Two months and you’re back on the field. Even the dreaded ACL injury that used to mandate a year-plus rehab, post surgery, can now be behind an athlete in a matter of months. It’s truly amazing.

A lot of it has to do with our advancements in medical and surgery procedures. We have doctors whose entire careers are all about repairing the horrific damage that high level athletes do to their bodies. And it also has something to do with the fact that athletes are stronger and in better shape to begin with when dealing with injuries.

But some of it is just pure insanity! And I really am in awe of those athletes. The players who work so hard on their bodies are just amazing, and when they team up with new technologies, medicines and practices, they can do amazing things.

Unless it’s a dude with a cold. Then he’s out for the season. By the way… anybody got any DayQuil™?

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: