However in this case I wasn’t even covering a football game, scrimmage or practice, I was taking Mount Pleasant team photos for their football program with my friend and fellow co-worker David Hooper of the Echo Publishing Company office in Mount Pleasant. I was very glad he was with me.
I don’t consider myself a weak person despite my appearance. I’m a farm girl that grew up outside in the Texas heat. But when coaches say that the temperature on field turf is 15 degrees hotter than a grass surface, they aren’t joking. In fact by 4:30 p.m. Friday, I’m pretty sure it was more like 145 degree on the Mount Pleasant’s Sam Parker Field. My feet are still burning.
David and I met at 3:45 p.m. Friday for the media day event for the Mount Pleasant Tigers along with Shutter Snappers and several other area newspaper photographers. We were doing pretty good, rolling through the freshman team. David opted to retrieve his umbrella to help create some shade in the middle of the field and help see the display screen on the camera. We walked back to the shade while waiting for the junior varsity.
I was beginning to feel the affects of the heat especially my feet while I was regretting my choice attire for the day – black wedge sandals. After the JV squad, we were gathering the 14 coaches for their mug photos. Trying to keep up a friendly banter, I kneeled down between the eighth and ninth coach’s photo. David stayed true to my side, with great concern.
Then, it happened. Standing there focusing my camera on one of the assistant coaches, it hit me. First, it was spots – then, darkness. I remember clicking the shutter button and turning around to David. I went down just as the entire varsity team arrived.
Next thing I recall another Mount Pleasant coach is carting me off the field to the air-conditioned trainers room.
That was a first for me in all my years of football involvement. I have a renewed appreciation for those football guys in their thick pads and hot helmets in this heat, if I didn’t already.
Luckily, my story has a happy ending. I recovered quickly returning with a cup of ice water and a cup of cold mountain berry blast Powerade to finish what I had started despite some objections made with good intentions. I owe great appreciation to the quick thinking of David, the Mount Pleasant coaching staff and the team for the concern they expressed. The only good thing – may it be a lesson to all.
In this line of work, many others suffering from cases of heat exhaustion aren’t as fortunate. There are stories about it each year. It is serious, and it can result in even more dangerous side effects.
In hindsight, I only have myself to blame. I should have known better.
Knowing the definition of heat exhaustion, a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids, should have reminded me to be smarter in the hot temperatures. I had already spent several hours that morning taking Mount Vernon’s team photos and several other local teams the past two weeks.
Heat exhaustion signs of heat exhaustion include: heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting and fainting. I hope that I am the first and last case of this season. My advice heed these warning signs, don’t learn the hard way.
|< Prev||Next >|