Beaten By The Heat

I don’t complain about how hot it gets. Yes, it’s been a heatwave for the last forever, with the temperatures in the high 30s, high humidity, all the crops are dying, the grass is far from green as possible, the very air is on fire, everyone is fed up … but I won’t complain. I refuse to complain. Hey, at least it’s not winter.

When we get sixteen feet of snow in six months, I’m blaming everyone who complained this week.

Really, I don’t mind the heat. Obviously, I’d prefer if it weren’t a million degrees outside. Normal weather would be nice, but I don’t mind the heat. I can deal with it, I can work around it. I know what to do, how to fight through the heat.

The problem is that the heat fights back, and today, despite all my best efforts, the heat beat me. It beat me badly.

Over the last few weeks I’ve set my day up to conquer the heat as much as possible. I wake up early and get my runs and workouts done before 9am, when the sun hasn’t yet set the world on fire. I then stay inside, out from the burning sun, letting the air conditioning carress me. I venture outside as minimally as necessary. It’s a good system. It works … until today.

Two things happened. You can probably guess based on my above paragraph. Yes, the air conditioning stopped working and I had to go outside. That’s check and mate right there. More in depth, the air conditioning at work stopped working, which is a big deal because it’s a karate dojo and air conditioning is vital for living. It was only for one hour, and I only had one student, but that was far from pleasant.

Immediately after that, I needed to run an errand, which involved a 20min walk both directions. That’s 40min of being under the sun. That’s 40min of sweating just from walking in the shade. That’s 40min of pure torture. Well, not really. I sucked it up and did it, and I even enjoyed it. Well, a little.

Yes, walking in that terrible heat sucked, but it wasn’t winter. That’s what I kept thinking. I had a discussion, even an argument, with several people the previous day. They insisted that it was better to be too cold than too hot, even though they are obviously wrong. Obviously. As I walked today, I couldn’t help thinking back to those arguments, and this seemed to confirm it.

Namely, I was moving, and it was fairly easy. Not fun, but easy. If this were -30 instead of +30, that would be a different story. My head would be down, buried from the oncoming wind. Eight-thousand layers would be on every body part, and every step would be a constant struggle. Compared to the cold, this was easy.

Though compared to this, everything is easy.

When I arrived where I needed to be, I got a brief reprieve due to actually working air conditioning. This was a blessing … and also a curse, as it made reemerging back into the outside air all the worse. I then trucked home, with sweat pouring off me as I rounded my steps. The air conditioning at home worked, hurray, and there I stayed until my afternoon shift started.

For those two hours I just relaxed at home, eating a sandwich, doing nothing. At 3:30pm I went back outside … and immediately felt smitten. It had rained briefly, not enough to wet the ground or green up the dying plants, but just enough to raise the humidity even higher. Thanks, rain, that’s just what we needed.

My walk to work was less than ten minutes, but those ten minutes destroyed me. Really, that’s not even completely accurate. I had been destroyed earlier. These ten minutes simply brought it to light.

All day, I had been battling the heat. I thought I was doing fine, and I was, but a battle requires effort. It takes energy to swim through humidity, to teach without air-conditioning, even just to move around. Everything required energy, and my energy was all used up.

That’s what I felt as I walked in. I suddenly had nothing left. I yawned ferociously. My eyes started closing. I needed a nap in the worst way, but here I was, just starting my shift. Lucky me. Fortunately, the air conditioning at work had been fixed since earlier in the day, so I didn’t need to suffer through more heat. Instead, I suffered through something even worse: boredom.

I had nothing to do. Almost no one showed up, which makes sense as it’s week six of a neverending heatwave. Who wants to work out on a Friday evening after a month of ridiculous weather? Why not go to the beach or the cottage or stay at home in comfort instead? I agreed. Given the choice, this would’ve been the last place I’d rather be.

Well, maybe the sun, but I’m not sure it’s much hotter there.

You might think having a quiet night would be perfect, but it’s the opposite. For the second class we had four full instructors, three junior helpers … and six students. Yes, we had more teachers than students. I stayed in the background, allowing the juniors to get some valuable teaching experience. I only needed to step in if someone had a question or things went off the rails, but neither came close to happening.

I just stood there, watching. That’s it. I had little else to do, which was terrible. I had nothing to distract me from my lack of energy. If I had to do something, if we had a busy night, then I would have shook off my lethargy. I’d have to. And even if I remained completely drained, punching and kicking passes the time a heck of a lot faster than standing around doing nothing. Sometimes doing nothing is the most tiring thing of all.

By the time the final class filtered out, I was so completely done. I had nothing left … but I wasn’t done yet. You see, I hadn’t written my blog post yet. With my workouts and running around, I hadn’t had time. I figured I’d do it after work, which seemed smart at the time. Now it seemed like the dumbest thing ever.

If you’re still reading this, yes, I’m writing it while half conscious, and yes, the second the last period is in place I’m falling asleep, waking only tomorrow or after 12 hours, whichever comes first. I have been beaten by the heat … but I refuse to complain about it. It’s not that bad. Hey, at least it’s not winter.

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