This month for our dare, we’re going to sweat.
No, not with ‘80s headbands and Olivia Newton John. (If you know her, though, please bring her along. I’d love to meet her!)
I challenge you, in icky sticky sweaty smelly July, to get outside. Go for a walk, or a run, or a swim, or a bike ride. Work in the garden or sit on your porch and drink lemonade. Listen to the birds. Feel the sweat trickle down the back of your neck.
You may be asking why. Or, if you’re like my kids, you may be asking whyyyyyyyyyy.
There are so many reasons to avoid going outside in the height of summer. I’ve experienced several pretty big ones myself.
A few years ago I had two surgeries to remove melanoma from my face—wear that sunscreen and those big floppy hats!
Last summer I was on an extensive round of antibiotics for suspected lyme disease that increased my chances for sunburn—use your bug repellant and more of the sunscreen and hats!
I’ve developed mid-life allergies—hello, Claritin!
There are all kinds of heat warnings and charts that show the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion that are downright frightening—drink water and bring some with you, much more than you think you’ll need!
But I realized this spring that I’ve missed a lot. Outside is where the birds are, and the fish and squirrels and frogs even the creepy spiders.
It’s where you can walk so long with your kids that they finally say what’s on their minds.
It’s where you can cross paths with new neighbors, and invite them over for impromptu s’mores.
It’s where a deep breath that includes mint and lilies and grass and distant water can flood you with a thousand memories at once that make you want to hug someone for no reason at all.
It’s where you can be alone, and still feel connected.
It’s where you can glimpse just how big the world really is, and dream accordingly.
Feel free to set goals if you like. I’m hoping to someday hike the Camino de Santiago in Spain, so I’m trying to expend my hiking endurance (and trying to learn how to not get lost—that’s a story for another day). But you can also just sit and breathe and take it all in—there’s an awful lot of beauty out there.
Hug the humidity. Accept the sweat. Come out and play.
More ‘80s sweating, just for fun: