The other day I was reading the sports on the air and was talking about there being only 11 more games left in the season. Then it hit me: Summer is really over! I knew it happened every year around this time and by now I should be used to it, but I’m not.

It was a crazy summer for me, training for a half Ironman and a marathon. It was convenient to have all this extra daylight at the end of my day to work with. But now it’s dark by 7:15. It’s not that I don’t have the equipment to run in the dark; I do. I’m just not in the mindset to put those things into my training pack. (Side note: If you do run at night, the Brattleboro Police department have these cool things that snap onto your arm that are super reflective, great for this time of the year -- and they’re free! It’s what I’ve been using as those car headlights seem to be coming on earlier.)

I don’t want to say that I lost control of the summer, I just don’t know what happened to it. And even though we’re heading into one of my favorite seasons -- autumn -- I wouldn’t mind telling you that I could have used another month of summer, because the very thought of layering up to go on a training run hasn’t quite sunk in yet. On the bright side, the scenery sure does get a bunch nicer this time of the year if you’re out hiking, biking, running or walking. The air is crisp and clean, the leaves are starting their gradual change in color (or if you want the grim, less poetic version: They’re dying before our very eyes!) and it’s just nice to be outside.

Luckily for you, there are many different ways to enjoy being outside, too. Plus, you can help folks out while you’re enjoying our beautiful scenery. The Mark Dooley 5k in Wilmington is this Saturday, and Wilmington is a great place to see the sites (the walk/run starts at 9:30 a.m. at the high school; for more information visit www.markdooley5k.com). Next Sunday, Sept. 29, the Maple 5k Fun Run and Walk is on Upper Dummerston Road and it’s another great place to have a gorgeous walk (or run) on a quiet, country road (the walk/run starts at 9 a.m.; for more information visit www.bmafl.org). Then, of course, there’s 3rd annual Hike for Homeless that’s put on by the Morningside Shelter, and it consists of either a walk along the Connecticut River or a hike to the top of Mount Wantastiquet where you are rewarded with a spectacular view of Brattleboro (for more information on that, visit www.morningsideshelter.org).

I’m sure there are a ton that I’m missing, but it’s just a brilliant way to get outside and help out some great charities at the same time.

OK, where was I before I got off on plugging charities Š Oh, yeah! Summer’s over! But now that I stop to think about it, with great events like the ones I’ve listed here, it’s not going to be too bad. Clean air and a little exercise; Could be worse, right? I always say change is good, right up until it happens. Well, it’s happening, fall is coming. I don’t know about you but I’m ready now, I can face it. Bring on fall! Yup, time to embrace the leaf blowers, tune up the snow blowers and get ready to enjoy the season that gives us a whole new way to enjoy the great outdoors -- without sunscreen! What the hell is up with that?

Fish is the morning talent on Classic Hits 92.7 FM. He also offers up his opinion on-line at www.whatda hell.net. E-mail him at fish@wk vt.com.