Heading into our spring season, I suffered a broken nose during an over enthusiastic handstand attempt. While it hurt, I had two weeks to recover before our final league game, just before playoffs began. Throughout the game I could feel a soft dull pain in my face but figured if I could make it through without further injury, my nose would heal up just fine.
As we got into the final minutes of a fairly rough match, I followed my scrummy in to a ruck. As she began to contest, I put my right cheek to her left butt cheek and began to drive. With the other team making an attempt to drive, our scrummy grabbed the opponent’s leg and threw her arms back. Her elbow connected cleanly with my nose, a loud cracking sound audible to us both.
How no blood came out I’ll never know but after another minute of play, we kicked out to end the game – with a big W – and I ran to the sideline. My face throbbed and I looked to a teammate to check the status of my nose. “That nose is broke.”
The following Monday I headed to my morning training session, complete with a full tilt bronco test. My nose had been throbbing non stop for the past two days and the pain intensified through the various exercises we did leading up to the bronco. As we began the test, I was gunning to beat a member of team USA and in the final 60m, at full sprint, I began to see black bars across my vision and then suddenly I could see at all. I managed to cross the finish line – a few seconds short of the team USA player – and decided I should probably go see a doctor.
The next day, I filled out my forms at the doctor’s office stating I had broken my nose and was seeking guidance. When the doctor walked into my room, she looked up at me and started laughing. “your nose is definitely broken.” We discussed straightening it back out but with playoffs a week away, I chose to abstain from surgery and see what happened.
I definitely smashed my face during the three playoff matches we had the following weekend but the trauma somehow straightened my nose back out a bit. I never received surgery, deciding I liked the character my crooked nose gave me.
The choice to not get my nose fixed has caused it to break a few more times since last season, each time with a sickening crack crunch and a few days of tenderness. To this day, it has never bled and remains crooked, a badge of pride for the type of sports I find joy in and my deep love for contact.
By Kailyn Schmidt