In my recent post about exercise, I mentioned running a couple 5K races this summer. For each one, I made room in my dresser for a new t-shirt proudly proclaiming that I participated in the race. My kids also have acquired a few new shirts this summer for camps and sports they’ve participated in. This has been going on for a while. I’m reminded of it when I see my youngest wearing handed down t-shirts from things his brother went to 6 years ago.
It seems the old saying “been there, done that, got a t-shirt” continues on.
But what do you do with them all? Do you continue to stuff your dresser drawer with another and another? People don’t really keep all of them, do they? I’ve only done a couple of races so I can’t imagine what a serious competitor does with all of the t-shirts they collect.
I also cringe when I’m at a baseball game with my family and they start shooting t-shirts into the stands. I always hope that one doesn’t come our way. Oddly enough, we did catch one not long ago. Of course, it was way too big for my daughter. The crazy thing is that someone actually stole it later as people were leaving the stadium.
So what do you do if you’re drowning in free t-shirts that you never wear?
Remember that just because you received a free shirt for something, you’re not obligated to wear it or keep it. At one time I owned a drawer full of t-shirts from my college fraternity that I never wore. I finally took them all out and piled them in my closet. I thought I would mail them to the fraternity house or something but never did. Eventually I donated them along with a bunch of other clothes and I haven’t missed them.
There are companies who specialize in making quilts out of t-shirts. One I looked at online is called Project Repat and it seems to have good reviews. They can make a 16 shirt lap-quilt for about $75, up to a 64 shirt king size quilt costing about $240. Another is called Campus Quilt. They seemed a little more expensive, but claim to be faster than others and pointed out that they actually quilt their blankets, not just sew them around the edges. If you’re interested in this route, you may want to read a few reviews of each and see if that’s what you’re interested in.
My recommendation is that if you go this route, you should actually plan on using the resulting quilt and not just store it in a closet. In that case, you might as well have just kept the shirts.
Do you have a first aid kit at home?
How about in your car? If you have one, when was the last time you looked at the contents? You might be surprised at what you find if you haven’t looked at your first aid kit in a while, especially if it’s been sitting in your car for a long time.
The bandages in a first aid kit will degrade over time no matter the environment but the temperature fluctuation in your car will accelerate the process. The paper that seals the bandages and keeps them clean will separate exposing the bandage. When you need it, you may not be putting a clean bandage on that cut. That can lead to infection. Also, if you use any of the items from your first aid kit, you need to make sure you replace them.
What do you really need?
What do you really need in a first aid kit anyway? Well, it depends on the activities you are doing and the kit’s intended purpose. It would be great to have a separate kit for home, hiking, bicycling, hunting, etc. but that’s not always practical. I did a little research to see what some of the experts recommend. To compile one big list, I pulled together three different lists I found on the internet. I combined them and eliminated duplicates. Then I attempted to group them for convenience. There are no quantities because it will depend on how many people you are preparing the kit for. In full disclosure, I don’t know what everything in this list is for.
WebMD mentioned that contact lens solution can be handy for flushing eye injuries and can be used on other wounds too. You can get small bottles for portability. They also noted that the best place to store a first-aid kit in the house is in the kitchen. That makes sense since many injuries happen there anyway and it tends to be sort of the center of the home. The humidity in the bathroom can shorten the shelf-life of your first aid supplies.
One item on the list that I had never heard of was the tooth preservation kit suggested by Kidshealth.org. Here’s a link (yes, an affiliate link) to one on Amazon. It has some sort of salt solution to store the tooth in until you can get to a dentist to have it re-implanted. This one has a 2 year shelf life.
Of course, you should modify this list if you are packing a first-aid kit for a specific activity but this should give you a good foundation. Also, you can always purchase a ready made one. You can find them all over, but a good place to get one is right from the Red Cross website. There are also a few affiliate links to kits on Amazon below. Thanks and stay safe.
Outdoor first aid - Outdoor Life
I firmly believe in the importance of getting enough exercise. My own motivation lies in the fact that my grandfather died of a heart attack and a few years ago my dad received a triple bypass followed by a pacemaker. I would like to break the cycle.
When I was in the Army, exercise was always push-ups, sit-ups, and running, but it doesn’t have to be boring or expensive. I love mountain biking, long family walks around town, and have recently completed a few 5Ks. The great thing about those is that you don’t need much for equipment.
You don’t need a gym membership and you don’t need an expensive home gym, but plenty of people are paying incredible amounts of money to get in shape. I found some statistics about the fitness industry in an article on Bloomberg. According to research from the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the average cost of health club memberships rose from about $43 per month in 2011 to about $54 per month in 2015. That’s in increase of about 25% in the US in four years. Here’s a few more takeaways:
I will admit that I’ve spent my share on exercise equipment. Some of it I even used. I can make a case for our elliptical machine. It has held up well and 12 years later we still use it. I also have a freestanding heavy bag that I probably don’t use as much as I could, but I love it. My son also uses it to practice some of his tae-kwon-do.
If you just want to get started on some kind of exercise program and don’t want to build a home gym in your basement, I suggest you start with your phone. There are a myriad of couch-to-5K programs, fitness plans, yoga videos, etc. that cost little to nothing. Look around your neighborhood too. Online or local running groups are great and you’re bound to find one that meets your interests. Even the company I work for has an online running group with people from all over the world.
Running especially can be an inexpensive exercise once you make the initial investment in shoes. Good running shoes are not cheap and I would encourage you to go to an actual running store where that is their specialty. Yes, I suppose you can run barefoot, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are a serious barefoot enthusiast.
If you’re looking for some running motivation, I’m happy to make an unsolicited plug for my friends at Grit & Stride. You can also find them on Facebook. If nothing else, check out their great photos of Chicago.
Whatever you plan to do for exercise, please make sure that you check with your doctor to make sure you’re healthy enough first. They say that your fitness level in your 30s and 40s will directly relate to your fitness level in your 70s and 80s so get going.
Copyright Dave Lubke and www.davelubke.com, 2018
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