As Spring Fever sets in, don't forget about safety!

  • Published
  • By Maj. Jill Murphy
  • 92nd Maintenance Operations Squadron
Cabin and Spring Fever are real but you need require more than a shot to cure. The remedy is getting outside. To do that and ensure you're still around to meet your mission requirements, you must be safe. I watched the news on 2 February Feb. 2 and heard what Punxsutawney Phil had to say. I don't think Phil was talking about the inland Northwest. We just had a truly spectacular February weekend. My neighbors and I could be seen washing our cars, kids were riding bikes and laughter filled the playground. I even saw folks wearing shorts.

As we cautiously crack open our windows and unlock our doors, we feel the very early spring warmth on our winter white faces, we become excited to get back outside. I want to take just a moment and refresh ourselves of the basic safety ideals. I like to run outside. I like to run to music. Running outdoors with music is only allowed on our designated track, not the road. And even though the sun has been shining bright, sun-down is still relatively early so remember to have a reflective belt. It's required with the new running PT uniform shorts anyway.

Whether you are a Winter Olympics fan or not, sports are never far from anyone's mind. I ask that before you pick up your golf bag and tie on your golf spikes, before you pick up your favorite club and start swinging at your favorite golf course, please be sure to take a minute and stretch. You've heard it many times - we are doing so many great things with far fewer Airmen - that means each one of us is now more important than ever before. We need you at work, fulfilling your part of the mission. Don't let a shoulder or back injury or knee strain keep you from our daily fight. Besides, and trust me on this, any injury you prevent now is less pain to live with when you're older (and wiser).

Finally, I learned to ride motorcycles in college. It was cheap to get around and easy to maintain. And it's a lot of fun. Even back then I was trained to never to get on my bike without first looking it over and performing some routine riding-season maintenance. I always started off with a weather check to know the road conditions - am I riding in the early morning or after sun-down, will there be ice on the road. I made sure my PPE was in good condition. As one rider to so many others - PLEASE spend an extra 30 minutes to test your brakes, check your brake fluid, your lights and look at your tires - how's the tread, how about a fresh oil change just to be safe. These aren't costly to your wallet or to your riding time.

In fiscal year 2009, the Air Force lost 20 valued members, this fiscal year the AF has already lost two. Failure to properly review your motorcycle, ATV or other sport ride can have tragic results - for you, the AF and the ones you've left behind who have to pick up the pieces and carry on.