To protect your brain or to not protect your brain; is this even a question?
For years I’ve been wearing a helmet while skiing. We make sure our girls wear them. Yannick is constantly checking the technology out there so that we have the best protection for the main part of our body that they cannot replace, or repair, should you suffer a traumatic injury to it…our brains.
Yet, every single time I’m on a ski trip, regardless of the size of the mountain, which for us are usually at least 10,000 feet in elevation, I see people without helmets on. In fact, the one thing that disturbed me more than anything I’ve seen in my 28 years of being on a ski hill happened yesterday. A father had four kids with him. They varied in age from, the youngest, a girl, who looked, and by the crying, seemed to be about five, all the way up to fifteen. Not a single one of his kids had helmets on. Not even the little girl. But dad did.
I was stunned. In fact, it struck me as so odd that I was rendered speechless. I’ve seen more times than I can count parents cycling on the road with their kids in the bucket thingy that they pull behind them, or sitting in kid’s bike seats, where the parent is not wearing a helmet. This always makes me go “hmmm.” With my over active, creative imagination I immediately go to envisioning the parent getting hit by a car, or getting doored by a driver while their kid has to sit there witnessing their parent’s brain all over the city road. I also think this exact same thing when I see these parents on a ski hill without a helmet, while their children wear them. It is so bizarre to me. Why would you NOT protect your brain??? I simply don’t see the logic of not wearing a helmet when doing an activity that comes with huge risk, and high probability of injury.
Look at me. I was simply gliding down, a not at all steep access way to a run today when my tips crossed. I wasn’t being reckless, or on a run that was greater than my ability. It happened simply because I was distracted, looking up the mountain at a bunch of skiers trekking to the top, next thing I know I’m going down. Backwards. No time to react, my head smashed off the hard-packed snow. To say my brain rattled inside my head would be an understatement. I’ve never hit my head like that in my life. I thought for certain I was concussed. I even suggested to Yannick that I go to the medics because I was so concerned that I might have a brain bleed, ala Natasha Richardson. He reminded me that she was not wearing a helmet, and I was not only wearing one, but thanks to him forcing me the day before to spend money to replace what I thought was a perfectly good helmet, I was now equipped with the best on the market. I took the opportunity to remind him that she was also on a bunny hill…meaning, anything can happen.
Picking up on my concern, he conceded to sit and relax on the side of the hill with me for as long as I wanted. We went and got an early lunch. I felt stoned. But he assured me that there was no concussion based on my ability to talk, and the way my eyes were behaving. I decided to trust him and carried on, slowly, enjoying the rest of our final day of skiing.
For the remainder of our day I couldn’t stop thinking about that dad and his four children, or the dozens and dozens of people I saw all day long (AFTER I hit my head) skiing with zero head protection. All I could think about was; “what if it had been one of them who had innocently crossed their tips, not even actually skiing, and hit their skull off the packed snow hard as I had just hit mine? Would they have survived the impact???” And then of course my mind immediately went to the question that always crosses my mind when I witness people not protecting their brains; since you don’t know if your brain will survive an impact or not, why take the chance and find out the hard way???
Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm…