This is long but please read it to the end. It’s getting to be summer and looks like a hot one. Why did I bother to write this. Cause you are my friends or at least friendly acquaintances and I want to get Christmas cards from you.
I’m a born and bred 6th generation Texican, 64 years old. In the AF I was in Korea and froze my ass off. In Saudi Arabia I was happy with the 135 degrees. Of course, I wasn’t humping a 60 lb pack either, but I could do everything I was supposed to.
The point of my story? You have to be very careful in high heat. Stay hydrated, wear protection of sunscreen, long sleeves and a hat with a brim that’s not touching the top of your head. And stay out of the sun in midday. Siesta is a way of life to us old timers. It’s not a cute custom, its necessary. Did I say drink lots of Water! Coke, beer and coffee don’t do it. Remember, once you get Heat Exhaustion its like malaria, it never quite goes away and you have to be extra careful. My German farmer ancestors would get up at daybreak, do whatever needed to be done, come in at noon, eat a good meal of protein, carbs and veggies, then take a long nap. Then they’d work in the house or barn until 4 PM or so and go out to work to dark. No A/C at all cause it didn’t exist back then.
As a 911 operator I saw two heat-related deaths. Both AF guys in great condition. A pilot and a high ranking officer. Both went out in the midday heat wearing skimpy clothes and ran for exercise. The pilot was literally found in a ditch, no ID so it took fingerprints to tell us who he was. The other gent was running around perimeter road. But they knew him cause of who he was. But his rank didn’t save him.
So, here’s the third tip. When you do decide it’s safe to run, at the very least carry your identification and a list of your medications. That way if they do find you alive its easier to help you.
And last but not least, if you run at night, please run in a well-lit area, and wear reflective clothing (or at least white). I was driving out to our old barn along a dark road, no lights whatsoever. All I saw was little flashy things close to the ground but I pulled over as to not hit the bunny. As I passed by I saw it was a young lady in a dark sweat suit running beside the road and in a large grassy field. I went on out to do the horse thing and noticed a very large tractor mowing the grass. This Scared me stupid. On the way back, I passed the gal again. This time I stopped and made her get in the car and took her back to her car. Why? She was running in the dark in a place that had rattlesnakes, coyotes and stray dog packs. But what really scared me was if she had fallen, been bitten by one of the above or passed out, that big ole tractor would not have seen her. She would have been found by someone in the morning all shredded. I still get the shivers.
So, here you go. Please, please think of the worst thing possible and move to prevent it. I’m not that smart, but my grandparents and their parents taught me some common sense and self-preservation. I can only hope this tirade of mine might, just maybe prevent some unnecessary injuries or save a life.
I’m through now. Thanks.