Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by today. I just want to give a quick shout out to Alex. He woke up at 4:30am, drove 3 hours down to Delaware to see my parents and younger brother, then drove in the pouring rain for almost 5 hours. He deserves a giant cookie…except he doesn’t like sweets very much. I’m taking suggestions of a non-sweet version of a giant cookie 😉
While at the tournament yesterday it was HOT. The feels like was over 100 degrees. It was hot just standing on the sidelines in a tank top and shorts so I can’t imagine how hot it felt for the players. If you’ve never seen a lacrosse player, they look like the person below (courtesy of Google). That is the gear they wear plus an undershirt (to prevent chaffing) and a jersey. During the last game, a player collapsed on the field. Thankfully he was okay and just overheated. But it was scary because when I ran over with water seconds after it happened, the boy was unresponsive before coming to.
Seeing this happen got me thinking about how important it is to listen to your body. It can be hard to tell someone whether it’s a friend, parent, coach, etc. that you need a break from whatever you are doing. Your body is constantly telling you how it feels and it’s out job to listen.
For example, a few years ago my family was in Cheyenne, Wyoming, at a local parade. Even though I was just sitting in the sun watching, I started to overheat. At the time I was young so I thought that telling my parents I was hot would mean that I had to miss the parade which was not fun. So I stayed silent and started to feel worse. There was a group of girls next to us either late high school or college age that were doing each others hair. I asked my mom if she could get a ponytail holder from them since I didn’t have any and neither did she. Just simply putting my hair in a high bun on top of my head made me feel much better.
As a 22 year old, I’ve learned the signals that my body is telling me. If I start to feel hungry, I drink some water to see if I’m actually just thirsty. When the water doesn’t help the feeling then I eat a snack (or a meal if it’s a meal time). If I’m hot and outside, I put my hair in a bun on top of my head and drink some cold water.
Listening to your body doesn’t just have to deal with food and drink though. It has to deal with working out as well. If it’s hot and you’re on a run, it’s more important to realize that you can’t hit paces and slow it down so that you don’t collapse. Your health is so much more important. As my high school cross country coach told the team on multiple occasions, you are your best self advocate.
I don’t care who you feel responsible to whether its a teammate, coach, boyfriend, girlfriend anyone. They would rather you go slower than the paces scheduled or cut a run/workout short or not workout at all. It’s so much more important to be healthy and safe than to push yourself to the point of collapsing or injury.
Now I’m not saying this and having you all think that I do this. I need to take this advice myself sometimes. I guess seeing someone else, a 16 year old boy none the less, push themselves to that point and seeing how scary it was puts it into perspective. While I don’t want any of you to see someone get to that point, it’s important to take the necessary precautions so that you stay safe in the heat and humidity (or the cold!)
Going forward, I’ll be sure to assess any signals my body is telling me. It’s important to be sure that I’m not trying to ignore a bad signal telling me to stop or slow down. I would much rather run 4 miles instead of 6, a 9 minute pace instead of 7:45, or whatever my workout may be than push myself to needing time off or, god forbid, medical attention.