A few years ago, I decided to take skating lessons as my children were also taking lessons and I wanted to be able to skate along with them. I had not skated since I was in Junior High so it was a brave step for me.
I was the only one in the adult class to wear a helmet. I felt abit foolish and thought maybe I should go without it.
That day, I decided at the last minute to keep the helmet on. This was the day, it turned out, that the class lined up to try a little jump. With my helmet securely on, I attempted the maneuver only to fall flat on my back. I had a sore neck after even with the helmet on. I shudder to think what it would have felt like without one.
Anyways, the moral of the lesson is keep your helmet on until you know your limitations.
Oh, and don't be afraid to look stupid.