This past weekend was a lot of fun; a lot of laughter, a bit of pain, and a lot of experience gained. We covered a massive martial arts tournament, which is a totally different world, seriously. I had never been to anything like it before, it was amazing what these guys did to each other on the mat, and even more amazing that they'd hug, shake hands and chat when they finished.
I was partnered with John and Roy on Saturday, it was one of the best duties I've been on in a few months now. We had very few patients, as the kids were fighting, and they don't usually make enough contact to really hurt each other. There were mostly just skill demonstrations against invisible opponents. The weight room just off the main gym was our first aid post, and I got the bright idea to try out all the machines. Of course, they're all huge, scary, completely foreign looking things, so the guys taught me how to use them all. I'm not as strong as I thought, but I'm stronger then John and Roy thought, so that at least is a nice feeling. I found out I can lift over twice my weight with my legs, but can barely bench-press a pillow. I won't even mention how weak my triceps are.....
After trying out all the machines, I decided that I wanted to learn how to punch 'properly', and as John was on the boxing team in college, I got him to show me how. I went at the punching bag for a while, all three of us were laughing as much as we were fighting, it was hilarious. One of the men in charge is on that 'Ultimate Fighting Champion' show, apparently he was watching me punch and laughing his butt off. Ah well, I figure a guy like that has every right to laugh at my fighting skills - he could probably kill me with his pinky! I really enjoyed learning how to punch and fight, it was quite entertaining and we had a lot of fun. We were interrupted when a woman stuck her head through the door and hollered for us, so John and I ran off to treat a little boy who had gotten hit in the ribs a little too hard. Sweet kid, he was ok, just a little winded. Those kids are awfully tough, they knocked each other around pretty good!
Sunday was a lot busier, we were run off our feet with a steady stream of patients. Anthony and NDP joined John, Roy and I, which was definitely a good thing! Anthony and I ended up working together, we treated probably around 20 patients throughout the day. The injuries were all identical - it was really weird. Different person, different tattoos, and different body part, but they were all the exact same injury, something was always torn, banged or bruised. The men would limp through the door and ask for ice, I came very close to responding, "Let me guess, somebody beat you up, right?". Some of them were really nice, realizing it was part of the game, while others were serious pricks about it, swearing and angry that they were out of the competition, barely sitting still long enough for me to assess them and throw on some ice.
I'm not even sure why this event was so much fun, the same partners and same routine as usual, with no memorable calls. The organizers treated us like royalty though. Their insurance policy says they can't run the event without us, so since we are volunteers, they bend over backwards and give us anything we ask for and more to ensure we come back with a good team next year. We asked for sandwiches at lunchtime, they returned with fruit, water, pop, chocolate bars and sandwiches. The UFC fighter kept coming over to chat, and his Dad brought us all event t-shirts. The weight room kept us entertained, and we had front-row seats to watch the bloodbath if we so desired. It is really nice to be appreciated and it was a very good weekend, even if my knuckles are killing me and every muscle in my upper body is still aching. Haha, I guess I should lift weights and punch things more often, I obviously need the practice!