Friday, June 21, 2013

Conquering My Fear of Sweat

Sweat makes me cranky.  Sweat makes me feel icky and it zaps my energy and my good attitude.  Though I love the relaxed pace of summer, I often spend most of it in the house, out of the sweat-inducing weather.

Running has slowly been pulling me out of my comfort zone.  I started running last year on the last day of September.  I had printed out the Couch to 5K plan sometime in July, but I didn't consider starting until I  was convinced that summer temperatures were finally behind us.  I ran comfortably though December, but when January arrived, I had to learn to power through the cold wind and icy air to run through the winter.  Spring brought a new obstacle-- a warmer but stronger wind-- and I learned to adjust to that, too. 

My goal for this summer is to conquer my fear of sweat-- to get outside and put up with the discomfort, not only as I run, but in an effort to make memories with my kids. 

I thought my first test would be a few weeks ago as we planned to attend a National Get Outdoors Day event as a family.  The forecast was a warm day with high humidity.  I braced myself for heat and I reminded myself not to complain, but instead the air stayed cool and we were caught in a torrential downpour while walking through the woods to the archery display.  I hadn't prepared myself for that!

I assumed my second test would be on Wednesday as we went to the beach.  It's no secret that I'm not a beach girl.  I dislike sand.  I dislike sunscreen.  Oh, and I dislike sweat.  My kids love the beach, though, and I told myself I would live in the moment and not complain this year.  On Tuesday,  I was reminded twice in the same day of the words of Jim Elliot: "Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God."  Timely. Can that apply to taking my kids to the beach?  I think so. 

Anyway, we packed up and headed to the beach.  I got into the van with a good attitude and I prepared myself for a little discomfort. The kids had a great time building in the sand, digging holes, and splashing, but it was pleasantly cool and cloudy, and instead of sweat, we had to deal with blue lips. 

As it turns out, my biggest challenge so far this year has been my morning run. The extreme humidity is a killer.  The damp air means that sweat can't evaporate efficiently so by the time I'm done, I literally have sweat dripping off of my elbows.  I've been attempting to maintain my running schedule by getting up early to run 3 mornings a week.  When I ran on Tuesday morning this week, the humidity was at 87% as I left the house.  Even thought the air was still mild, I returned home drenched.  That is terribly out of my comfort zone, but I'm learning to embrace least long enough to walk in the house to the shower!

Conquering a fear often means facing it head-on. To this end, I have almost convinced myself to sign up for a race on the morning before my 33rd birthday in August!  {You mean, I am choosing to sweat? And I'm choosing to do this a treat for my birthday?! I'm not even sure I recognize myself.}

Of course, this morning when I left for my run, it was only 51 degrees, and though there was still 93% humidity, I didn't sweat as much as I would on an 80 degree morning.  We still have another day at the beach coming up, though.  Somehow I know that an afternoon in the heart of July will deliver the heat and will push me a bit closer to conquering my fear. 

1 comment:

  1. Sweat makes me cranky, too!

    I tried to conquer my fear of sweat by picking blueberries for 4 hours this morning. I'm not sure it worked, but we do have 24 pounds of blueberries waiting to be bagged for the freezer :)


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