You know in movies where it shows someone being pushed around a hospital in a gurney?
It's so weird to get the first person view of it. I never want to see it again.
Yeah so I've been dumb this past week and haven't been wearing my helmet. I used to wear my helmet every time I rode, and when my friends didn't wear helmets I was like "What are you doing? Protect your head dummy!" I also wrote this post a couple months back about always wearing a helmet when riding.
None of the features out here at public park on Mt. Hood are any bigger than anything I've done and I hadn't really taken any head slams, except for catching an edge on the landing of a front five off a tiny jump when I wasn't wearing a helmet but it was mellow and didn't hurt too badly. So anyways, I pretty much stopped wearing my helmet all together and my ego inflated a little bit. Here I am, riding around with just these sweet Anon goggles I got hooked up with and my beanie, getting shots and thinking I'm hot shit. I developed this mindset like "Oh I don't need a helmet, I'm so good and cool."
Today in my hour and a half I had to ride before work I was feeling the jumps. All I've really done up here on Hood is jibbing because my second day I overshot the second jump in the seven line and got freaked out. Since that day I haven't hit more than the first two, and I rarely hit the second one. First run of the day today I hit the first three and felt pretty good. I was stoked. Next run I planned on hitting the first four. Well, I sent the first one too deep, slapped my hand into the snow pretty hard and turned out of the line. "alright, first four next run." So next run I hit the first three and was feeling pretty good, except maybe I was landing a little low. I go for the fourth jump, feel solid and go for the fifth one. Each jump was a little bigger so I took more speed into it than the last one. However, the lip was definitely faster because not many people hit that jump and I popped hard, thinking the jump was a little bigger than it was. Bad move. I still hadn't reached the peak of my trajectory when I'd passed the landing. I don't know what happened when I went down but I ended up laying in the flat before the sixth jump screaming bloody murder. I couldn't stop screaming and I couldn't move. I rocked my head so so badly. I was so scared. I had pretty much landed directly on my back and I thought I was broken off for sure.
Some dude from Canada (that I had been talking to the night before in the restaurant that I work at) saw it go down and rode down to check on me. He was like "Wow I thought you were Natasza Zurek out there. You were hitting the jumps so confidently and then you just sent this last one to 90'" Even being concussed, I was stoked that I was compared to Natasza. He measurements were probably a little off though. I mean, the jump was small, no bigger than 25' or 30' and I was almost at the peak of my air when I should have been landing so I brought the jump to probably around 65'. But still, I slammed my head (and back) real good and probably only had consciousness because my adrenaline just exploded when it happened.
I only laid around for a few minutes before I got up and zipped down the rest of the run. I had taken my crash at 11:30 and had to be at work at 12:00. I got ready in the Timberline lodge and found my manager. When I saw him my vision started going real bad (what they call "tunnel vision") and everything that wasn't directly in front of my face was super fuzzy and strobe-lighty. I told my manager what happened and I guess I was messed up sounding enough for him to send me to first aid. I went there and they put me on an oxygen tank for a while. Finally the ski patroller saw something that worried him enough to tell me I needed to go to the hospital and get a cat scan. My manager called someone to give me a ride and after the hour drive to the hospital I spent five and a half more hours just sitting around waiting to be seen. The only entertaining thing was that the guy in the room across the hall from me was crazy and legless and kept screaming profanities and swining at the doctors and nurses. They had to call the cops on him. That was kinda neat.
Finally the doctor tells me what I already know- I have a concussion. He's about to walk away when I'm like "whoah whoah whoah. What do I do about the fact that it feels like my head is ready to explode?" He said I could take Tylenol. I gave him one of those "are you fucking kidding me?" looks and he added on that he'd write me a prescription for oxycodone. After everything was all said and done I got back to Government Camp at around 9:20.
I wasted an entire day and a good chunk of my brain because I wasn't wearing my helmet. I'm going to ride again tomorrow but now I have to wear it because if I hit my head again I'm really fucked. I guess the moral I'm trying to get at is that you're never to cool for a helmet and that extra little piece of equipment may save you a lot time, trouble and trauma. Overshooting that jump was the scariest moment of my life- definitely the worst fall I've ever taken and I feel so dumb for not wearing my helmet. I'm so thankful I didn't do anything worse to my head and I'm definitely wearing my helmet again from now on.