Today is almost a heat wave – it is a whopping 40+ degrees! Okay, not suntanning weather, but certainly a lot warmer than two weeks ago. Two weeks ago as I was driving to work it was two degrees. Not Celsius, but Fahrenheit! That means that it was 30 degrees below freezing and even with my warm coat on I still felt a chill run down my spine when I left my car to run into my office. I hid my face in my coat because it was too cold to breathe. Of course my car was loaded with emergency items so that if something had happened I would still be able to stay nice and warm.
Later that morning I had to go out to run an errand and it had risen to a whopping 10 degrees – still quite a bit below the freezing mark. As I was driving in town I saw something that amazed and shocked me – a woefully unprepared jogger was running down the sidewalk.
I admire joggers (I don’t jog – I barely walk). I admire joggers because they are taking responsibility for their health and I admire that they are so dedicated, but I was fearful for this runner. All she had on was short running shorts with a matching sleeveless shirt. There was a lot of exposed skin.
I have seen quite a few dedicated wintertime joggers and I have never been worried for them because they were very well prepared: reflective running clothes that are engineered for the winter cold, appropriate headwear and a running mask to protect the lungs. This young lady had none of that.
I’m sure that she thought she was perfectly fine because the running kept her internal temperature up, but she was wrong – she was not okay. Her lungs were in jeopardy because of the frigid air slicing into her soft, delicate lung tissue and the exposed skin on her arms, legs, and especially her ears, nose and fingertips were subject to frostbite. The rest of her body heat seemed to be bouncing off the end of her ponytail. I only hope that when she got home that there was no permanent damage.
Whether it is too hot or too cold, always be prepared and dress appropriately. During the summer I wouldn’t have thought twice about her jogging outside in the outfit she wore, but she hadn’t thought through her choices and I have been worried about her ever since. What if she didn’t learn her lesson and went out unprepared again? I’m hoping that next time she goes jogging that it will be indoors on an indoor track.
That is the thing about being prepared – thinking through things before they happen and making sure that you have the right tools and accessories handy for the right needs – summer accessories for the heat and winter things for the cold. And lots, and lots of water – either season!