Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Summertime...and the living ain't so easy

I have lived in Texas all my life, so technically I should be accustomed to the insanely hot, usually humid weather that characterizes the months of April through October in the state. Somehow, though, every summer it takes me by surprise. And it’s not just me – it’s like a rite of passage for lifelong Texans to commiserate about the heat as though it’s something new.

Last summer I decided I was 1) not going to complain about the heat and 2) not let it keep me from doing things that require going outside. I did pretty well, I think. I can’t say I never complained, but I tried. And I kept up my walking/jogging routine, getting out in the blazing sun (slathered in plenty of sunscreen, of course) 3-4 times a week after work. I admit I didn’t actively seek out outdoor activities to partake in, but when it was necessary, I just accepted the fact that I would sweat and be somewhat uncomfortable and moved on.

This summer is different. First, by the time it started getting hot (a bit later than usual this year), I was about 6 months pregnant. At first I didn’t let this stop me from walking (having put the jogging on hold); I’ve read that pregnant women are actually better able to regulate their body temperature than usual, so I didn't worry too much about the heat. Then I was put on bed rest due to early labor symptoms in my 34th week and didn’t leave the house for 10 days. As wonderful as this mandatory relaxation sounds, it’s actually somewhat draining. When I got the all clear to move around again, it didn’t take much to wear me out, so extended time in the summer heat wasn’t at the top of my to-do list. About a week after that I started having slight blood pressure issues and was advised to continue taking it easy. So, no more brisk, energizing walks for me! Which means that now that I’m not pregnant anymore, not only do I feel like I’m back at square one fitness-wise, but I have absolutely no tolerance for the heat…the relentless, cloying, oppressive heat. Adam and I took a 30-minute walk on Sunday afternoon and I felt like my eyes were melting. Awesome!

The worst part is that being on maternity leave gives me a good amount of free time that I could be spending outdoors (one of the things I hate most about my job is that I’m inside all day), and I can’t really get out. Oh, I realize it wouldn’t be impossible for me to get used to the heat again, but with Ash it’s a different story. Taking a 6-week-old out into 100+ degree weather…not happening. Most days the extent of our outdoor time is a foray to the mailbox around the corner, and even that leaves us sticky and wilted. So when this record-hot summer decides to draw to a close, you can bet I’ll have my jogging shoes and stroller prepped and ready to go!

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