It’s a fact of life that Competitive Cheer is a winter sport. That means driving in the snow and dealing with cold temperatures. Many of us prepare ourselves to judge by attending training, listening to Cheer Chat, mentoring, and rereading our manual over and over. But, do we remember to prepare ourselves for dealing with winter in Michigan?
Some of you know that a number of years ago a fellow official and I were in a pretty bad multi-car accident on our way home from judging a Regional. When we arrived that day it was blue skies and dry roads. Later, when we walked out of the cheer meet we were in the middle of a huge snow storm. We both walked away from the accident. However the car was totaled! Because of that accident, I’ve learned to take the following precautions:
1. Boots!! Make sure you have boots with you even if they are not on your feet. Trudging through the field where our car came to a stop in my black shoes was not fun.
2. Hat and Gloves
3. Food and Water – Always have a bottle of water in your judging bag and snacks as well. When you have to wait hours for an investigation you’ll be glad to have them, especially those snacks!
4. A Charged Cell Phone – Not only necessary to call for help but also to call your judging team to let them know what has happened.
A few useful tips for your car:
1. Jumper Cables – Make sure you know how to use them One time I left my parking lights on during an all day Saturday meet.
2. Check the Windshield Washer Fluid.
3. Check your Antifreeze.
4. Check your Tire Pressure – A lot of cars these days have sensors to let you know when pressure is low. But, if you don’t check your pressure before a long trip. Also, you’ll get better gas mileage when your tires are properly inflated
5. Gas – I have a rule in the winter to not let my tank get below half. You never know when you could get stranded and need to stay warm.
6. Blanket – My friend had one in her trunk that she ended up giving to a little boy who needed it.
These all seem like common sense items but with our busy lives we sometimes forget to take care of these things or think we’ll never need them. Trust me if it can happen to me and my friend it can happen to you.