Hello. My name is Kelly, and I am a sweater. You read that correctly. I didn’t say I am wearing a sweater, I said I am a sweater. I don’t have that sweaty palm/feet thing. It’s more like everywhere else. Even though some people exclaim “Oh, that must be so healthy,” I am still searching for how this is benefiting my health. If anything it is more of an annoyance. It’s embarrassing and quite gross. I’ve been dealing with this ever since hitting puberty in the early 1980s. Since I played a lot of sports growing up, I found myself quickly being compared to one of the greatest basketball players from Georgetown University. I am convinced I was cursed with PESS: Patrick Ewing Sweating Syndrome. During pre-game warm-ups for my high school basketball games, I too would be drenched before tip-off happened. Not cute.
Sweating is something that men are supposed to do – women are supposed to perspire or glisten; at least that is what some old Southern expression once said. When Dry Idea came out with their “Never Let Them See You Sweat” marketing campaign in 1987 I felt like they were taunting me.
People who know me well are used to me complaining about my “condition” and backing out on various outings or activities because I can get grumpy when I get overheated. I wish the reason my body gets hot just like an oven is only because of Sexual Healing. I simply think I have a higher internal body temperature than the average gal; maybe the average guy too. My friends who see me when I get overheated still get shocked and have an expression of sympathy for me. I know it’s hard for them to understand because it’s not something they have ever experienced physically. One of my best friends barely sweats at all. When she played volleyball in high school, she told me her coach would “punish” the entire team during practice by making them do drill after drill until she shed a few droplets of sweat. If I had been on her team I would have thrown some of my sweat on her so she could pass it off as hers just to end the torture.
It’s mid-March and Mother Nature has asked her son Heat Miser to bring summer like temperatures our way already. Everyone around me is going bananas about how wonderful the weather is, but I am not overjoyed. For me it just prolongs the period of time where I will want to stay in a cooler environment. I’m the Debbie Downer who prefers air conditioning in the car while everyone else wants fresh air.
Almost a decade ago I was working out with my trainer and one of his clients asked us if we wanted to go to a Bikram yoga class. When he explained that it was 90-minutes of yoga in a room with the temperature of 105 degrees I laughed at him and said there was no way I would subject myself to that. After hearing about the benefits of the class, I thought why not try it. I ended up practicing it off and on for a few years. Taking the class taught me many things; the primary was about control and pushing through my fight or flight response. If my mind is set to spend time exercising then sweating doesn’t bother me. If I have taken the time to do my hair and makeup and put on any gear that’s non-athletic, then sweating irks me.
I was excited to hear that actress Nicole Ari Parker was flexing her entrepreneurial muscles to create a head wrap for women to save their hairstyles while they are working out. It’s called Save Your Do. I ordered one and it just arrived in the mail.
I am not convinced it will work for me because of my extreme circumstances, but I wanted to support her effort. Plus, a portion of the proceeds benefit the Sophie’s Voice Foundation – the organization she and her husband Boris Kodjoe founded to support better healthcare for children (like their daughter) and adults living with spina bifida.
If the GymWrap works, great. If it doesn’t, then I will just chalk it up to I am just someone who sweats more than others and my “do” can’t be saved. C’est la vie. I’m a 70s girl: it’s the decade I was born, an era where I dig the tunes and the number of temps I like. My name is Sweaty Betty, and it is what it is.