The Heat is On, and I’m Off


 

You've gotta love summer to be smiling like that

People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy. ~Anton Chekhov

If Chekhov is to be believed, I must be incredibly unhappy…because every year around this time I’m in a fog. To put it simply, I hate the heat. And I’m in a bad part of the country for that. Don’t get me wrong: I really enjoy exercising and sweating. I just like to do it on my terms, in an environment that doesn’t feel like the inside of a baker’s oven. Which is why, from June through September, I tend to exercise at night. (Midnight swims are incredible, if you’ve never tried one.)

There’s just no escaping the heat, unless you’re lucky enough to live in a place like Seattle or San Francisco. It literally sucks the energy right out of your body. How our ancestors ever did what they did without the benefit of A/C, I’ll never know. Maybe I’m just spoiled. I did spend a few summers working outdoors, though, so maybe Chekhov had it right. I loved that job so I never even noticed that it felt about as warm as a sauna in Hell.

How’d I become such a heat-phobe, anyway? Much of my youth was spent in the western deserts of the USA, some of which were used to film the Tatooine scenes in Star Wars. It was a blazing inferno out there. But I come back to that central question. Was I happy? Yes. It’s easy to endure triple digits when you’re shooting at jackrabbits or playing Indiana Jones. Not so much when you’re stuck behind a desk and the building’s A/C is on the fritz.

Tatooine-where the only thing hotter than the temps are Jabba's slave girls

Now that I’ve spent 10+ years of my life in a climate more suited to Amazonian bush pilots than mild-mannered library workers, I still haven’t adjusted to it completely. In the afternoon I just want to have a short siesta (our Latin American cousins have that part exactly right.) I crave bottles and bottles of Gatorade or iced tea. And I’ll eat ice cubes by the bucket. Still no use. It’s still killing me. I fade faster than a 50-1 longshot down the stretch.

Maybe I’m not the only one. At least I try and keep in shape so my endurance levels are up. I cross-train in the heat to “build character.” Even if I’m crankin’ up the White Stripes and AC/DC, lemme tell you, it’s still pretty miserable. But I do it anyway. It makes me a better person (and better yet, it makes me NOT one of those people who wheeze like an asthmatic horse after just one flight of stairs.) I can handle it.

One of these days I’ll make it a point to move up to one of those Snow Belt states. Three feet of snow I can handle…and stay indoors. But, like the dark side of the Force, there’s no escaping that killer heat. I’ve just got to deal with it for now.

Oh, and if you’re not wanting the rest of your Gatorade, can I have it?

The official mascot of Summer 2011

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to click “Like” and subscribe to P&Q, for Murdock’s sake! Got comments or questions? Send ’em to wikusandmurdock@yahoo.com

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on July 21, 2011.

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