Has it been a little harder to workout on day 24 of the heat streak? Especially the past few days? Even if you exercise indoors? Me too.
I thought I’d be the wiser one & head out for a long run on Sunday morning, new kicks (had a great & safe buying experience at Road Runner Sports BTW) and a new fuel belt- I felt prepared, nice low expectations and a pre-6am start time. It would be great. Except there wasn’t a breath of wind. Over 50% humidity.
I don’t care for humidity, thank you.
I had hoped, after living my entire life on the East Coast that I would be acclimated by now. I had hoped, after living in the DC area (a former swamp if you remember your history), home to the hashtag #homeiswherethehumidityis for 20 years, that I would’ve gotten past this by now. The fact is that I haven’t. It’s not that I haven’t gotten past it outside, it’s that I haven’t gotten past it inside either. In 104 heat index, I”m pretty useless inside too. I pull the curtains, to keep it cool and dark, I have very little expectations for the kids, other than to keep from moving.
I think it’s a nod to summers in upstate NY. Our house and our cars didn’t have air conditioning; yes it was on purpose. You didn’t need it. There was a rhythm to the day, you got up early to do everything that needed doing and mid-morning, you started to close the windows and the curtains, leaving the house cool and dark. We wouldn’t turn on the lights (not sure the purpose of that one, probably a throwback to when lights gave off heat) and my mom wouldn’t do any daytime cooking (she’d try to save her canning & preserving for the cooler days. Yes, my mom was and IS Betty Crocker). Come evening, we’d open up all the curtains & windows, set fans in the window boxes and let the cool, fresh air in all night. We’d keep up the cycle until the heatwave broke. Fortunately, they’d never be too long.
Here is a little different. It would be an actual emergency without the AC, but we still find ourselves slowing down just the same. I don’t have a porch or swing on which to to sip tea and fan myself, so introducing the kids to the Star Wars saga on Netflix has been the next best alternative. How long do we keep doing this (yes, I know there’s a limited number of Star Wars movies…)? I have little expectations for this summer (other than the AC to keep doing it’s job). I find that I”m giving myself a bit more grace. I’m not running from one thing to the next depending on the day, and that’s allowed a little more opportunity for presence. If I want to sit in the discomfort of 105 heat index to really feel it, I can.
Instead of avoiding it, which I have my entire life, I can take a second to really feel it.
Maybe that’s why I never have completely come to acclimate to the humidity or embrace it. We can’t overcome what we avoid or work around, only what we work through.
You won’t find me on a long run the next few days (I have my limits and my sanity), but I’ll be spending a few moments making friends with the discomfort inside and out this week. With any luck, there won’t be an opportunity quite like this again to do so.
What have you been avoiding that you’re ready to overcome? How can I help?
Stay safe (and cool!)