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Get out your Hygrometer, it’s time for sports

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By Mike Aldridge

Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it, as has been said by many and I’m sure Will Rogers or another famous wit probably said it first, but isn’t it true?  
The heat of this summer seems to be worse than some others and it has wreaked havoc upon the coaches of all of the fall sports.  
Practices have become very difficult to hold without rescheduling, having practice later in the day or having it inside.  
When I was interviewing Coach Danny Simpson for the cross country article contained in this week’s paper, he showed me his school supplied thermo hygrometer and his KHSAA mandated charts that he uses to stay compliant and more importantly safe for the runners.  
All coaches are supposed to have a way to keep track of the heat and humidity and have standards that tell them when it is okay for a full practice and when a limited or no practice at all is the rule.
This all very important and I am in no way making light of the gravity of the heat situation. But, we didn’t have this when I or many of you were in high school.  
In fact, we grew up in a day when drinking water was a sign of weakness even and maybe especially to some coaches and we were also given salt tablets.  
Let’s see, no water AND salt tablets, now there was some great thinking going on in our day.  
Some how we survived and I have one reason why or at least I think I have one reason why.  
The teen today, for the most part, not counting Nick Slucher or Jacob Marsh, are in the air conditioned house on the computer on their behinds until it is time for practice.  
No more square bales of hay to load and unload and reload if the driver was awful, thanks to the round bale.  Hardly any tobacco to work in since migrant workers, illegal and the other, are taking care of that job.  
We drive everywhere instead of walking, the school bus stops at our front door or our parents or grandparents drop us off at the front door of the school.  
The hysteria of child abduction has caused parents to fear for their children to ride a bike out of sight though it is one of the best physical activities a young person can do.
What’s the answer?  
In my opinion, we need to unplug the computer, the X-Box, and the television.  Our young people would actually enjoy doing some jobs outside once they were into the swing of things.  
Again, I am not making light of the dangers of overheating. I overheated myself once and had Patti not been there I would have been in trouble so you have her to thank or blame for that.  
I just believe that everyone young and old alike could get more exercise and we would all be better off. If we don’t, we may look at a day when all of us are mandated to carry our own thermo hygrometer.