So Flinty had never heard about my busted neck? Well, then it's time to go back to the seventies... I was about 7 years old, and we were playing in the back yard. Woodridge back yards had a standard fence, wooden posts and cross posts about three quarters of a metre high, with a roll of fencing mesh. They were easy to hurdle, even at our young ages.
We played a LOT of backyard cricket, and wilder strikes would put the ball over the fence. So I jumped the fence the standard way, first foot on the crossbeam, and then leapt. However, this time I had my shoelaces untied. When I think about it later, the lace end must have wrapped around the top of the fencing wire, and my leap turned into a pivot-slam, and I ended up with my face in the dirt at solid velocity.
I'm not sure if I passed out for a moment, but when I started making sense of everything, I was in a world of pain and I realized that I was choking. My tounge had gone back down my throat, and I was turning colours. I waved at the other kids, but they were just kids and standing there looking at me in shock. I realized I might die, and got determined - I shoved my fingers down my throat while rolling around on the ground - somehow I broke the seal, and was able to breathe again.
I went to show mum, but there wasn't much to show, and I explained it, but I think I was so excited I must have failed to exactly explain it. I vaguely remember not being able to play rugby after that, but I'm not sure if it was becuase of this accident, or my mothers general concerns about getting a broken neck, which my mum had seen before as a nurse.
I didn't really think about it much again until twenty years later, and my gf at the time, NA, took me to see a chiropractor for free to celebrate some health week. They said the first thing was x-rays, and they showed my neck. Still sitting there was level three damage - a spinal vertebrae that should be a rectangle was essentially a worn triangle. The chiropractor said essentially that my muscles were what kept my neck up, not that bone.
So yeah, no rugby for me, and I'm glad my main sport involves lots of solid metal head protection.
It also explains why I hated 'headers' in soccer, and why even gentle ones would give me an explosion of light. Might also have something to do with those migraines - but then again, only maybe.
So yeah, unties shoelaces have always given me the heebies - I don't see the laces or the laziness - I see the burst of pain, and feel the choking just a little.