Y Notes

Playing Favorites: Soccer

  • Ronda Graff
  • 22-Jun-2018

I’ll admit it. I play favorites.

I have my favorite sport (soccer) and my favorite ice cream (peanut butter fudge). No, I do not have a favorite child (although they may claim I do).

But I do play favorites when it comes to the days of the year. I love the fall morning after daylight savings times ends, when it is actually easy to get out of bed. And I’m pretty fond of my birthday and Christmas.

But today, June 21, also ranks high on my favorite days simply because it is the longest day of the year. Summer is officially here. Today, we had our earliest sunrise and we will have the latest sunset all year long.

Although I may not do it everyday, I love that I can go for a bike ride at 9 p.m. because it is still light outside. I love that I can go for a run in the morning without street lights guiding the way. I love that I can ride my bike into the Y for a morning swim and not worry if I charged the bike’s headlamps.

Of course, there are a few downsides to today.

Bedtime in my household is always tough but it is a downright struggle when all they have to say is “but it’s still light outside” and I can’t argue. There is my morning wake-up call - two dogs and a cat jumping on my bed - which arrives at the crack of dawn like clockwork. And we are so busy enjoying the lingering bits of daylight that dinner and bedtime are usually within 20 minutes of each other. But these are wonderful “problems” to have.

And we are not alone in enjoying the longer days of summer. On any given evening, people are outside for a late-evening stroll or walking the dog. Both adults and kids are at the Jaycee Complex playing softball, usually able to fit in several games without turning on the field lights.

All this outdoor activity and extra daylight does have an additional consequence - the YMCA switches to summer hours. With fewer members inside and families out-of-town on vacation, the facility hours are slightly different over the next few months; just enough that people should check if they are coming at a time they don’t usually frequent.

Actually, the hours switched the day after Memorial Day but “summer hours” is easier to post than “Tuesday morning after Memorial Day through the Monday of the week for the first day of school for the McCook school system….hours”. But don’t worry: there are still plenty of hours available to enjoy everything at the YMCA, especially with all the additions this summer from Child Watch in the evening to yoga in the morning.

And even with all this extra daylight, my favorite time of day remains early morning, actually 5 a.m. when I arrive at the Y. The birds are chirping, the streets are empty, the first sliver of sunlight is streaking across the sky, and my coffee group is arriving to get in the requisite hour of exercise before we leave for coffee.

For the record, I’m not going to spill the beans on our favorite coffee spot...you will have to get up early and join the coffee group to learn which is our favorite location.