Have you ever stood around with a group people while someone regales the group with a powerful tale keeping everyone captivated?
That’s the art of storytelling. Once upon a time it was a highly sought after skill however today, it seems to have fallen away.
The skills a man needs together are VERY different from the skills required 100 or 1,000 years ago. Once, a man needed to know how to yoke an ox, plow a field, build a house, and fight to defend his land. Now, the skills we need trend toward the technical: filling out a spreadsheet, filing our taxes, communicating via email, and fixing a broken computer.
The required skills may have changed, but that doesn’t make it any less important for men to be as versatile as possible. We take a look at the art of storytelling, taping a hockey stick and how to treat and cut a wound. Below are a few of the skills you can use to Stand Apart in our modern day and age:
Treat a Cut/Wound
Wounds and injuries are just a part of life! No matter how careful you are, you or someone close to you will ALWAYS end up getting hurt. But as long as you’re prepared to treat the wound or injury, you should have nothing to worry about.
Let’s be clear: you should NEVER try to treat serious wounds yourself. Your first instinct should always be to call 911 first (either yourself or someone else), and only then treat the wound. Severe wounds should always be handled by medical professionals.
But in cases of minor wounds, a bit of first aid knowledge will come in handy. Below is everything you need to know about treating minor wounds…
Types of Wounds
There are five basic types of wounds:
- Incision, which is caused by a sharp object (knife, glass, razor, etc.) cutting through the skin. Deep incisions can damage tendons, muscles, ligaments, and other tissue, and they tend to bleed quickly and a lot.
- Abrasion, which is caused by something rubbing or scraping off the top layer of skin (road rash, for example). The bleeding may be minimal, but the large surface area means a higher risk of infection if the wound isn’t properly cleaned and dressed.
- Puncture, which is a small hole caused by a long, pointed object such as a dog’s teeth (pen, bullet, screwdriver, etc.). Puncture wounds don’t often bleed a lot, but they can damage organs and deep tissue, meaning they can be more serious than you realize. I’ve been bit by working dogs on 3 separate occasions. One actually required plastic surgery to fix and took 3 months to heal while I laid on a couch!
- Laceration, which is a deep tearing or cutting of skin, usually caused by machinery, tools, or very sharp knives. Lacerations tend to bleed A LOT, and can be serious if not treated immediately.
- Avulsion, which is a complete or partial tearing away of tissue and/or skin. Violent car accidents, explosions, and gunshots are the most common causes of avulsion wounds. They bleed quickly and very heavily.
What You Need to Know
Here are a few things you need to know before treating any cuts or wounds:
- Blood can be good. Blood cleans out the wound, so it’s okay for the cut to bleed a little. However, too much bleeding can lead to shock and cellular death.
- Elevate the injured limb. Get the injured part above the level of your heart to slow bleeding and reduce swelling.
- Apply firm pressure. Use gauze, tissue, or a clean cloth to apply gentle but firm pressure to a bleeding wound. Continue to apply new layers to prevent the bleeding—DO NOT remove the old one, as you may pull apart the wound and cause the bleeding to start all over again.
- Treat minor wounds with cool water. Cool water can reduce the pain and heat and wash away excess blood and dirt.
- Get rid of any dirt or particles. Wash the wound if it’s not too serious, and carefully use tweezers to pluck any dirt or debris out of scrapes or cuts.
- Only apply a bandage to prevent further injury. Bandages are useful if the injury is in a place where friction with your clothes or contact with another object will cause the wound to re-open. But if you don’t need a bandage, don’t wear one.
- Consider a painkiller. Unless the wound is very minor, consider taking/giving the injured person a painkiller to help manage the discomfort.
When to See a Doctor
There are times when a wound is too serious for you to treat at home, and you’ll usually recognize lacerations and avulsions for the severe wounds they are. However, even apparently minor incisions, punctures, and abrasions can become serious if left untreated.
Even if the wound appears minor, call 911 if:
- The bleeding continues for more than 20 minutes
- The person is in a great deal of discomfort or pain
- The open wound is deeper than half an inch (could have damaged muscle or tissue beneath the skin)
- The wound was caused by a serious accident
- The wound is located on or near the eye
- The wound is ragged or gaping
- The wound was inflicted by a rusty object, or has gravel or dirt stuck to it
- Is showing signs of infection: increase in drainage, foul odor, pus (green, yellow, or brown), fever above 100.4 F that lasts for over 4 hours, and slow healing
- The person is pale or clammy and has lost a lot of blood
You may be able to deal with minor injuries, but remember that an injury can be more severe than it looks. If there is any sign of something more seriously wrong than you initially believed, call 911 and get the person to a doctor ASAP!
Tape a Hockey Stick
Hockey is a great way to channel all your manly energy into a healthy competition. Whether you play ice hockey or street hockey, there is one skill that you need to master: taping your stick.
Taping your hockey stick will protect the blade from damage by the ice or concrete. The friction from the ground you’re playing on will wear down the stick, increasing the risk of breaking and wear on the blade. Covering your blade with tape will add an extra layer of protection against friction AND will improve your handling of the puck/ball.
Some players prefer to wrap the entire blade, as it gives them more control over the puck. However, if your goal is only to protect the blade, you can just wrap the “sweet spot”: the part of the blade that hits the puck and grinds against the ground.
For the wrap job, you will need:
- A hockey stick
- Surf, stick, or candle wax
- A pair of scissors or the ability to rip it with your mouth
Note: Black tape conceals the puck from your opponents, but white tape makes it more visible to your teammates.
Here is a step-by-step guide to taping your stick:
Step 1: Apply tape to the bottom of the blade. Cut a strip of tape as long as the blade and apply it to the bottom edge. This will protect the blade from friction with the road/ice, reducing the risk of the blade breaking or splitting from constant grinding.
Step 2: Wrap the blade from toe-to-heel or heel-to-toe. Starting wrapping at the tip (toe) of your hockey stick will give you faster release when you shoot, but wrapping from heel to toe gives you better spin on the puck. All that matters is that you do an even wrap, with pieces of tape slightly overlapped (1/4 inch) to give you a smooth surface.
Step 3: Use a puck to smooth out bubbles. Rub the flat face of the puck along the taped blade to smooth out any air bubbles or pockets trapped in the layers of tape. The presence of bubbles makes the tape more vulnerable to tears and damage.
Step 4: Apply the wax. Give the tape an even coating of wax to prevent waterlogging and increase the longevity of the blade. Waxing the bottom edge of the blade will reduce friction and drag on the ice/road. Stick wax is the best option, but you can use surf wax or candle wax in a pinch. (Note: some ice hockey rinks discourage the use of wax. Check to be sure it’s permitted before waxing your stick.)
With just a few minutes of work, you can protect your stick against damage and increase its effectiveness in your game!
I could write a completely separate article on taping the knob… it’s an art all its own.
Tell A Story
Storytelling—either verbally or in written form—is one of the most fundamental of the arts. Stories are among the earliest form of art, with people passing on tales from generation to generation before written language or visual media ever existed. The ability to tell a story is an invaluable one!
Before written language, stories provided the best way for culture and history to be passed down through the ages. Even now, there are people who communicate everything verbally without anything written down.
For the modern man, the ability to tell a good story can make you an interesting and appealing person. Storytelling is a form of public speaking that allows you to connect with people through a fascinating tale, anecdote, or fable—something with a message, a deeper meaning, or a bit of humor.
Here are some tips to make you a better storyteller:
- Have an interesting story. No one is going to want to hear a story about the time you brushed your teeth for fifteen minutes (well, your dentist might) or the time you saw a leaf falling from a tree. The story has to be interesting in order to appeal to others. Think about the story and ask yourself, “Would I want to hear this one?” If the answer is yes, it may be worth sharing.
- Know your audience. A story about a spreadsheet SNAFU may be hilarious to accountants but the most boring thing in the world to programmers, while a medical emergency may go over great in a hospital but not at a funeral. Think about the people you’re talking to—their interests, the topics of conversation, the type of humor they’re enjoy—as well as the atmosphere of the setting. Find a story you know they will connect with.
- Grab their attention early. Always start off your story with something that will “hook” the audience quickly. Think of your introductory sentence as the “headline” of the story. Make it catchy, funny, and enticing, and you’ll have a captive audience.
- Build the scene. Give your audience an idea of the settings, characters, obstacles, and themes of the story early on. By painting a mental image for them, it will enable them to slip into the story more easily.
- Modulate your voice. Monotonous storytelling is the fastest way to lose people’s attention. Instead, modulate your voice—speed up for the tense parts, pause for dramatic effect, get loud at the angry parts, go quiet at the emotional bits, etc. A good storyteller needs nothing more than their voice to get the message across.
- Let your passion shine through. You’re passionate about this story you’re telling, right? Let it shine through! Smile at the funny parts, get into the story, and let others see how the story affects you. That passion will make the story more appealing to your audience.
- Use body language. Your face, hands, and posture will communicate a great deal about the story you’re telling. Use your body language to help people get in the mood of the story.
- Don’t overdo it on details. Some people have the tendency to overcomplicate their stories, adding too many unnecessary details. Your story should focus on the immediately important things, only the background, setting, and character elements that enhance the story. Going off on a tangent is the quickest way to lose your audience’s interest in your tale.
Be a smart storyteller, and you’ll have people clinging to your every word!
These three skills will prepare you for a wide range of situations and settings, enabling you to “be a man” in many ways in your daily life.
For other vital man skills, check out the previous articles:
Visit this page to view 3 other important skills including how to tie knots