Friday, January 29, 2010

Sweat and Silks


It's hot here. People who know me know that I do not handle heat well. I was raised in a mild climate and for me, 75 degrees and breezy is the ideal day. I love the pouring rain and would rather be cold than overheated. So, these last few days have been hard for me. Here is/was this week's weather. I particularly like today's (Friday's) description (click on it for a larger view):

It's not only hot, it's humid, which makes it feel about 10 degrees worse than it is. I can't stop thinking about the "fat man on your back" analogy that a friend used to explain the summers to me in the bliss of November. I know, I know, I shouldn't complain about my perpetual summer. Especially since it's 15 degrees in Philadelphia right now. (Though WTF Canada, how are you ever going to host the winter Olympics without snow??) But, I'm going to complain just a little more anyway.

For the most part the heat was enjoyable during November and December and even the first part of January, because we'd get 1-2 nice days and then it would rain, wiping the slate and the city clean. But the heat this past week has been relentless. Every day it just gets hotter and more humid, and it's like each day builds on the last in terms of irritability, though today I'm sort of lethargically resigned to it.

The worst part is that it's impossible to get cool. Our apartment has fans but no air conditioning, and my room doesn't have a cross breeze. I wake up each day already hot and uncomfortable. Amy and I spend most of the day moving as little as possible and wearing as little as possible (thank heavens for girl roommates) and occasionally mustering up the energy to say something witty like, "I'm so hot." (Did I say witty? I meant whiny.) I can't even take a cold shower since the water tanks are on the roof; the best I get is lukewarm. The cat is also hot and as a result extremely lazy until all of a sudden he's attacking your feet and like a crazed animal. Then he remembers he's hot and passes out again, usually inside a paper bag. What's up with cats and bags?

On Wednesday I had a 4-hour self-induced debacle at the international post office - which was shockingly air-conditioned - that sent me running back to my house and then back to the post office like a hot mess. It all worked out in the end (thanks to Katie for my awesome birthday in a box!) but the subway ride home was unbearable. Sweat was pouring down my back, down my legs, down my face. I never even thought of myself as a sweater until I saw how little Latinos perspire. When I got in my building's elevator I saw the view people has behind me on the subway: a giant sweat spot on my brown dress just above my butt. It took me almost 2 full minutes to peel the damn thing off. I then chugged two glasses of water - staying hydrated is impossible! - took a lukewarm shower, and said a quiet thanks that Amy and our one-night houseguest were not at home so I could decompress without snapping at someone. Bless their souls, they knew I'd had a rough afternoon and came back with fruit and cold white wine.

So, yeah. It's hot. End rant.


Last night was my fourth acrobatic silks class. Yes, I finally started! The first two classes were really hard and I spent the whole week after being sore. I also got pretty frustrated that I wasn't very strong and then worried since wherever the silk was wrapped around my body hurt like the dickens. I nearly didn't go the third week - it was hot and I was worried I couldn't cut it - but I'm so grateful that I mustered up the will to shame myself into attendance because I did my first trick that day!

The pain wasn't as bad - an even distribution of bodyweight helped the pressure of the silk around my foot a lot - and I learned how to do the murcielaga or "bat" pose. This involves wrapping part of the silk around my right foot with my left which is known as a "foot lock," lowering myself down and crossing my legs over it to secure the silk in place, and then LEANING ALL THE WAY BACK and extending my arms downward like a bat. Scary as hell and very fun. This is what it looks like, more or less:

The whole class clapped for me. I am the only beginner and they've all been really supportive once we got past the initial "new girl" treatment of generally ignoring me and chatting amiably among themselves. Turns out that's a universal experience, but I was friendly and remembered all their names and by class 2 was being included in the chatter.

I nearly didn't go last night either because it was so hot and the building is not air conditioned. But I did, and of course I was glad I did. It was a lot harder for me to climb yesterday - everyone was affected by the heat, not just me, phew! - and I only got a little further on my next trick, called baby, but I was proud that I didn't flake. Also, a friend of mine showed up at my apartment right as I was about to leave which made me a bit late. I've never been so glad of tardiness in my life. I walked in and was greeted with a genuine happiness to see me - they thought I was going to drop out and they'd never see me again! It was really touching and I exchanged information with one woman who said they'd start inviting me to their weekend get-togethers in local parks to practice.

No classes in February unless I can find a place that offers them at the beach, but I hope to exercise and get my muscles built up in time to start again in March. Encouragement greatly appreciated!

Speaking of the beach, I leave on Tuesday and a smattering of visitors will follow suit during the whole month. Details to follow, suffice to say I am very excited to excape this infernal heat.

Special shout-out to Amber who is my most faithful commenter and also sent me a wonderful package of goodies not too long ago. (Amber, I'm still hoarding one of the salted Fran's chocolates.) She's going to Korea for a year to teach English; I invite you to follow her via her blog which is posted in my links to the right.


katharine said...

The silks class you are taking sounds like fun and loads of hard work. Keep it up!
Do you want me to send you some icy pops to keep in your freezer? it sound a bit miserable there at the moment.

Pamela said...

Hahahaah. Cats & bags. It's like PB&J, it is what it is.

I, too, am not very tolerant of the heat. I find in extreme heat, the oddest of places on my body will sweat. Sweaty shins,sweaty knees, my nose even sweats! Not very ladylike and I'm usually so buggered by the heat, I don't think it funny until much later. But I have had sweat stains on my knees in capris before. Not pretty. Enjoy the beach, there are no sweat stains on a swimsuit :)

AmberAnda said...

Thanks for the shout out! An upside to being unemployed is having enough time to keep up with friends (: I am so stoked you are learning silks! Will has taken classes in Seattle and says it took him about 2 months to really build decent strength. I already want to take classes when I get back from Korea!

Momma Archer said...

I loooove Fran's Salted Dark Chocolates. I also hoard them. Hmmm...could be a family trait. (Put them in the freezer--especially yummy.)

Way to go on the silks. Reminds me of you as a freshman in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Happy memories.

Try to stay as un-sweaty as possible!

I LOVE YOU said...
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日月神教-任我行 said...
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