At the end of last year, I lost my drone. I was flying it near a dam, trying to fly it along the main pipe and up to the falling water off the dam sluice when I received a warning that I was running low on battery. I checked the battery and it said I had 3 mins flight time left. I thought that was plenty of time to continue for another shot and then fly it back to me. I was wrong. 90 seconds later the drone screen flashed red, the drone began it’s automatic descent to land and I tried desperately to work out where in the moor it might be so I could run over and collect it. 30 minutes later and after much trampling of heather, I found it. I should never have ignored the warning. I was an idiot. I was lucky to find it. But I was still an idiot.
Most injuries are the same. We might not have a red warning light but most times, when we look back, we might as well have, as the warning lights will have been flashing.
At Christmas, I fell off my bike. This is the third time I’ve fallen off in five years. Even worse, two of the times happened at the same place. To fall off one’s bike in one place is an accident, to fall off one’s bike in exactly the same place and in exactly the same conditions is no longer an accident, it’s a trip to a consultant to get my head examined as I must have knocked all the sense out of it when I landed on it the first time!
I was in Carron Valley, it was cold, there was frost and ice on the road, and, despite falling here four years ago, I still tried to cycle when figure skating was the better option. I managed to get around 100m before I wobbled. That was my warning light. I continued. Two seconds later, I fell and banged my head on the road. What an idiot!
With other injuries, I can see the warning signs clearly, with hindsight. A cracked rib from trying to leap across a river when I should have turned round and returned home. I only continued because I hate running out and back. So, instead, I ran out and walked back… clutching my rib.
Snapping an ankle ligament? The warning sign was there. I was 35 and playing fives football. Playing football after 35 is a warning sign in itself. You don’t need any more warning of impending injury than a desire to wear a replica football top while shouting “I’m free! I’m free!”.
The signs are always there. If you want to avoid injury, just be less stupid.