My hot weather exercise fix

For some reason, strenuous exercise on a real scorcher of a day is very addictive. Each summer I feel it. The mercury climbs above 35 degrees (in the shade), the humidity weighs like a hot blanket, and the sun beats down. I have an uncontrollable desire to get out: sprint up the steep hill nearby a few times; run for an hour; push weights for an hour more. At the end I am a rag, soaked and pouring with sweat. My head feels like it is about to burst from the heat. But I love it. Afterwards I feel cool in the heat, my mind is sharp, and I feel serene with the world.

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4 thoughts on “My hot weather exercise fix

  1. Yes! This I understand! And here in the Northern Hemisphere I’m going bat-shit stir-crazy, impatiently waiting for those hot and humid days.

    Without a moment’s hesitation, I can say that the most ecstatic state of mind that I can achieve is on a mountain bike, riding as hard as I can, alone, on dangerous terrain, on the hottest days of summer. Drenched with sweat—and I mean completely soaked, such that my shoes are as wet as if I had walked through a stream—and usually bleeding from sideswiping trees and barreling through briars, I struggle like hell to get out of the river basin up a relentlessly steep trail cut along the edge of the hill sides to get back to the higher ground where the tent, food, water, and beer await. When my heart pounds not only in my chest but also in my ears with deep thuds at a 200 beats per minute and my tortured lungs are screaming, “Stop!” “Stop!” “Stop!!!”—when I finally do stop, with mouth agape with saliva falling freely out, eyesight trying to go dim, and fighting some small panic that if I lose consciousness here, in this very spot, then the authorities will be called to find my corpse—this is what is takes to actualize vitality to its fullest. Only moments later, the mind does indeed become sharp, perhaps even extrasensorially sharp: I feel like a wild animal, and every sense becomes far more acute; I can smell some animal musk from the direction of the wind; branches and leaves stand out in exaggerated three dimensions; I can hear everything with extraordinary clarity and differentiation; the detritus smells wonderful, and there’s a synesthesia that makes it seem as if I can “see,” through the olfactory sense, the slow movement of the agents of decay feasting on the humus. I’m strong, too—very strong—the primeval, subtropical primate I essentially am.

    This is the power of adrenaline. And I love it. And, like Roland, when it’s over and I’m back at the camp, the mind is sharp and I can enjoy the second phase: serenity.

    I’ve only been able to achieve this intensity on the hottest of days, alone, in a dangerous physical environment. Praise the hot summer days and strenuous exercise.

    1. Wow, Dan, I am just back from another one just like it. After a 1 km swim, I took off running up the long hill – on a steamy day. Half-way up my chest was tight, my vision detached, hearing on another plane, and legs throbbing. By the top, I was completely blasted. But that’s when I force myself to keep running, so that by the time I am at the stair sprint near home, I am so intensely in touch with the world around me it is almost painful. But I glide up the stairs, full of the rush.

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