There’s still time to get out and enjoy summer


If you are like me, this time of year has been flying by faster than US women’s hurdler Sydney McLaughlin. (folks, if you haven’t seen her incredible record-setting performance in the world track and field championships a couple weeks ago, it is definitely worth a YouTube click. Trust me.)

But I digress.

The point here is the days are flipping through like pages in a book, and just when it seems like we were rejoicing in the start of summer, all of a sudden, the calendar has turned to August and thoughts of going back to school, fall sports, and the end of summer vacations are starting to sneak through our partially tanned epidermis.

Bottom line? Summertime is going way to quick. But hung on for just a moment. We are not done with you yet, summer of 2022. There is still time.

Definitely the theme for this week’s column: “There is still time.”

There is still time to hit the swimming pools. The ones that you have driven by so many times and say to yourself, “boy that looks good,” on a hot summer day — but you haven’t yet partaken. No more delay, it is now or never, and we certainly do not lack options.

Deerfield’s dynamic duo of Mitchell Park and Deer Spring Park pools are right there for you, as are the twin wet waters of Northbrook’s Meadowhill Aquatics Center or The Northbrook Sports Center pool.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

Lest we forget, Glenview’s double-dare-you combination of Roosevelt Park and Flick Park Pools are all just waiting for your swim-suited arrival.

A quick dip in the cooling waters, a couple laps for exercise, and maybe even a dash down a winding waterslide, all could be the perfect remedy for a hot summer day. Remember, there is still time.

There is still time for that trip to the beach you keep meaning to take. The drive due east from our nice comfy suburbs is easy and painless. Maybe a quick 20 minutes, and there you are on the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. The kids love it, teens thrive at it, and it can be a welcome respite for the adults as well.

There is still time to get out to the ballpark. The “boys of summer” — and the girls — are still playing ball, but don’t wait too long, as the “take me out to the ballgame” days are starting to dwindle. The choices here are plentiful, starting with the obvious, a trip to a White Sox or Cubs game. But multiple other options are available, including minor league games (this writer is a huge fan!) such as the Schaumburg Boomers, The Kane County Cougars, Joliet Jackhammers and, in nearby Rosemont, the Chicago Dogs or the Chicago Bandits women’s softball team.

Too much of a trip? No problem. Any of our local park baseball fields will have games going on as well. Usually, this time of year it is travel teams and tournament games, so some quality baseball for sure. Enjoy the sunshine and just sit back, watching some of our future stars hone their craft.

There is still time to get the dust off the old bicycle and bring that baby out for a ride. Even if you don’t partake in one of our beautiful and plentiful local bike paths, and are not ready for the long extended cycle ride, just getting out and cruising leisurely around the neighborhood on a nice summer night can be a refreshing, if not enlightening, bit of exercise.

There is still time to go out for that long walk or nice jog. Some of you do that regularly, but here’s a thought: Try a new route. We all get into our sense of routine, and there is no question there is a degree of comfort and ease associated with that, but sometimes it’s good to take the old apple cart and give it a tumble.

There are many beautiful parks, neighborhoods and paths to take in our suburban area, so simply take a little drive, park the motor vehicle, and run and/or walk into a new space you have not yet experienced.

There is still time to go by a local kids playground before school starts and sit down and just stop, look and listen. Even if you are not with a child and you just go by yourself (I do this on occasion, and I do have to be careful of being singled out as “the stranger danger guy”).

It is wonderful to watch kids at play, and you will see the sheer joy in their faces — and, of course, the occasional pain of the parents having to control this “sheer joy,” which at times can get a little out of control. But that is part of the fun of being the relaxed “unattached” observer.

Bonus. If you haven’t seen some of the newfangled playground equipment these days, well let’s just say they have come a long way from the old simple swings, teeter-totters and a jungle gym for climbing.

There is still time for family and friends to play backyard games. That badminton set that has been collecting dust in the garage, or The Jarts Game, or the bags set, or bocce game, or even the croquet set you got for a Christmas gift four years ago that you haven’t yet opened, there’s still hour two bring them out.

Nothing like a little friendly backyard competition to bring families and friends together — unless your family and friends tend to be a bit competitive. In that case, maybe temper the casual game play with a nice cold hose to cool off the combatants.

Speaking of: are we ever too old to run through a cold sprinkler on a really hot summer day? Methinks not.

Finally, there is still time to check out one of our favorite summer festivals, The Village of Northbrook’s traditional community party known as Northbrook Days. It starts today and goes through Sunday, and as a longtime purveyor of neighborhood summer festivals, I can confidently tell you the Northbrook Days celebration is among the very best.

Yes, there is still time, folks, to enjoy all the wonders of summer. But don’t wait. In this case, patience is most definitely NOT a virtue.

August is already speeding through like a freight train out of control, but not to worry: There is still time …

• Jon Cohn of Glenview is a coach, retired PE teacher, sports official and prep sports fan. To contact him with comments or story ideas, email jcsportsandtees@aol.com.

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