Bear with me. If you know my writing style, you know that, just because I start one place, doesn’t mean I’m gonna stay there. This starts off about wheelchair sports, but becomes a considering of what we are as humans, so give it a chance. Thanks!
Any sport with “murder” in the name sounds like a fun night out to me.
This weekend in Vancouver, the World Wheelchair Rugby Championships will be rollin’ on out at the Olympic Skating Oval, across the bridge in Richmond. (Games are $5 each or day passes are $12. Please support them.)
Wheelchair rugby is a Canadian-born sport better known as “Murderball,” and was the subject of an MTV award-winning documentary of the same name.
Also known as “Quad” Rugby, it’s played by paraplegics who have limited limb movement. With each injured player “rated” for their impairment, from 0 to 3 points, there’s a limit of how many “points” can be on the court at any one time.
Aside from that, the dudes are on battering-ram type wheelchairs and they bash the living shit out of each other. Sounds like a good time to me!
Of course, there are namby-pamby activists out there who dislike violence in sports and don’t understand why we’re not more “civil” in this day and age, but they’re the kind of people who probably need to start having questionable fun for the hell of it, instead of worrying about propriety.
With sports, there are areas I differ from that line of thought on, but with very specific situations: Like, dumb-ass kids who want to do danger experiments on Youtube. There’s calculated risks, then there’s just being a moron.
And living in the rugged rainforests that are Vancouver and its surrounding landscape, we’re all too used to asshats going off known trails to explore then needing massive rescue efforts. Methinks they should be subject to Quad Rugby battering ram treatment, personally, if they’re that fucking stupid.
Like I say: There’s stupidity, and then there’s understandable thrill-seeking and adrenaline.
Me, I like boxing, and I like watching most kinds of fighting live (but not on television). Bloodsports are pretty awesome. I cheer the violence on, and I don’t for a moment feel it makes me less “civilized”. I think it makes me a more balanced human being and less likely to punch you out for being a high-maintenance fuckwad in front of me in a Starbucks line-up.
I mean, sure, we act all civil, but deep down inside, we’re biologically still animals.
All the proof I need is on my bathroom floor right now — every fall and spring, I shed hair even though there’s no reason for the human body to shed anymore. It’s a throwback to who and what we are: Mammals who got lucky and landed opposable thumbs and the ability to have language.
Sometimes, I think we — mankind — are collectively fooling ourselves.
You know the old parable about the Scorpion & the Frog?
The story is about a scorpion asking a frog to carry him across a river. The frog is afraid of being stung, but the scorpion reassures him that if it stung, the frog would sink and the scorpion would drown as well. The frog then agrees; nevertheless, in mid-river, the scorpion stings him, dooming the two of them.
When asked why, the scorpion explains, “I’m a scorpion; it’s my nature.”
But, us? Our nature?
Is our nature REALLY that of sitting at a desk with a computer, or shuffling papers, or making Jell-o Pudding on a Friday night as we watch smarmy TV programs? REALLY?
Or are we really made to be physical creatures? People who toil in fields, bring down trees, climb mountains, haul goods over long distances? Are we made for lashing out and conquering others?
Arguably? Yes. Yes. And, yes.
These days, machines do so much for us. They do TOO MUCH for us.
The last place any of us can get in touch with our primal side is through sports. Whether it’s mountainbiking, yoga, MMA, or murderball, that’s where many of us connect with the physicality that today’s society otherwise would rather pretend didn’t exist.
There’s also, of course, sex. But heaven forbid you let the masses know doggy-style’s your favourite, or god help you if the neighbours can hear you moaning through those thin modern walls.
And that paddle sure does get loud, honey. Got a muzzle?
“Primal” is so verboten today. It’s all button-down collars and Brazilian wax jobs. Some people are even bleaching their assholes because they don’t think an ASSHOLE should be shit-coloured.
This is the ridiculous world we live in today, where we — animals — pretend we’re anything but.
Yet, there, out in Richmond, a bunch of guys who’ve lost most of the use of their limbs, they’re out there being as animalistic as they can be. They have THAT alive in them still, it’s their soul, it’s who they are.
They’re out there fighting to remember what it is that makes them alive. They’re crashing the hell out of each other, defying the odds, doing it for the most pure reason of all — just to be better than the next guy, to survive, to win — just like the only goals possessed by our Neanderthal ancestors.
These are guys who, for the most part, have lost their mobility through spinal accidents. They’ve lost so much already, but it hasn’t stopped them.
Then there are people like most of us — trying to get through our day with the least amount of risk, the least amount of danger, and with nothing but routine surrounding us, while we medicate the hell out of ourselves to dull our emotions, mask pain, or just drive us through our days.
And these barely-alive types are the people who are out there trying to protect the Quad Rugby players from themselves — Oh, it’s too dangerous! Oh, they don’t have helmets on! God forbid!
Fuck that. HIT ‘EM, BOYS! HIT ‘EM REAL FUCKIN’ HARD.
Today, this weekend, let’s all learn a little about passion, dedication, and the willingness to get the fuck up after life knocks you down — values each and every athlete on the world wheelchair rugby court plays with day-in, day-out.
Values we should all have — day-in, day-out.
Who or what inspires you to live a little more outside the “safe” zone? Have you ever watched wheelchair sports? What kind of impression did it leave on you? And “special Olympics” are NOT wheelchair sports — wheelchair athletes are able-minded but body-challenged, so to speak.