Time to go outside


 Remember when it was a big deal when your school teacher would announce that it was such a beautiful day that she was going to have class outside?

That was a pretty neat thing back then – getting out of the stuffy classroom and sitting outside on a nice spring day. I’m not sure I learned much in those conditions. I might have been more interested in running, playing or lying in the sun than learning whatever the teacher was trying to instill in my young brain. But, the fresh air still probably did me good – and there was even such a thing as fresh air back then.

People probably try and do the same thing in their jobs. They’ll hold meetings outside or take their work out into the great outdoors to escape the office or the corporate confines they face on a daily basis.

Today, I get to take my job outside. After spending much of the last four-plus months covering games in basketball arena’s and ice rinks, I get outside again.

I’ve got an evening lacrosse game. I actually did a rare outdoor college game a few weeks ago in the cold, but tonight’s game will certainly be under warmer and nicer conditions. It also marks the beginning of the spring season in which my office begins the outdoors.

Getting back outside again is a significant occasion. Covering sporting events indoors is all well and good, but being outside on a nice day and watching a sporting events for work always reminds me that this isn’t such a bad gig to have.

During the winter season, I’d either be in a cold ice rink bundled up to the hilt or crammed into a sweat box of a gymnasium crammed in amidst boisterous fans and student cheering sections. If it was hockey, I’d need a handful of coats. If it was basketball, I’d have to dress like summer inside while braving the winter temps on the way to my car outside.

Last week I had a brief taste of the outdoors when I did an interview for a softball feature. I met up with Gray-New Gloucester pitcher Laura Getchell at her softball field and talked about the season ahead. Quite often when I’ve done interviews for our spring previews, they’ve been conducted in parking lots, surrounded by snow banks, or done in gymnasiums with the echo of bats and balls, which just doesn’t sound right in that environment. It is probably akin to interviewing a hockey player in a rollerrink.

April vacation is also one of my favorite weeks of the year. Quite often games are played early in the day. Today’s 5:30 game is an exception to that, but I have a 1 p.m. softball game Wednesday. It always makes me wish the entire season was filled with early afternoon games but who needs evenings free anyway.

There was a year that the weather was so bad that I didn’t even get the benefits of the April vacation afternoon games. It rained most of the week and all my games were washed out. I finally did my first game of the season after vacation ended. As I stood behind the backstop waiting for that softball game to begin, a coach asked me how games I had seen that season? I told him that in about 90 minutes, it would be one.

This week, I shouldn’t have that problem. The weather looks good. I have outdoor assignments the next two days and maybe even Friday. The sun will shine. I’ll watch some lacrosse and softball. I’ll catch up with people I haven’t seen recently. Hopefully, the games will be entertaining and worth writing about. And, I’ll be reminded that covering games outside on a nice day isn’t a bad way to make a buck.