It’s Hot…even right now at after midnight and it is still more than 90F. I have been sweating all day and I’ve noticed people have an aversion to sweat. Not just a few people but a lot of people, and especially in the workplace….well at least in Arizona and Texas (because I have lived in these states).
Why do people get so uncomfortable in an office setting, restaurant or shop when someone comes in all sweaty?
Well I experience this awkwardness first hand. You might interject that awkwardness is a personal feeling and that I might just be pushing my uncomfortableness on others. Well there might be some truth to this, but then why should I feel uncomfortable being sweaty? It’s like our culture has decided sweating is bad… It probably has partly to do with advertisers and media such as deodorant adds that make fun of high school kids around the “pretty” girl (that is probably pretty boring to hang out with) because his pits are all sweaty. They also insist that sweat = smell. This is scientifically untrue as not all sweat glands produce odor smelling sweat. Even if you do have a smell I say that it is peoples pre-conceived notion that upsets them regarding the smell rather than the actual smell itself, because let’s face it…all humans have smells as much as we try to cover it up. Whether it is smell or the idea of being uncool, our culture permeates the idea that sweat is something we should have an aversion to.
Well personally I have come to enjoy sweating! I dont’ really get sweaty pits where you can hide it by keeping your arms down, no, my back is the sweat machine; and there is no hiding a dark oval spot on the back of your shirt in 110 F Phoenix Summer. Just walking will develop this ring of glory. I mean I do live in a dry heat so my sweat would probably be worse back in TX with high humidity but I say don’t let it bother you!
And shouldn’t we all reconsider sweat as something more prestigious rather than negative? In our socially conscious culture that knows the horrors of obesity that result in diabetes, hypertension, muscle and bone fatigue, + More harmful results….shouldn’t we reconsider our view of sweat? Well, I think yes, but I don’t think it will be easy…but that never stopped me before!
Sweat is a sign of health and wellness. It is a sign your body is working away those calories and working to get fit. We should High Five to a sweaty back because we know someone is working their body in a way it was intended*.
One thing my faith has taught me through the year is not to worry about what other people think and in this case it is very true. If I worried about my sweaty back I would not have the opportunity to do some of my favorite activities, like BIKING! Now that I have lived in PHX 10+ years I have really come to appreciate sweating to a new level. I ride my bike to and from work during lunch and don’t mind the 15 minutes it takes me to cool down and dry the sweat. That’s time I don’t have to take from my family to work out later on. I love my “non-smoking smoking” breaks at work where I power walk for 15 minutes rather than stand and drag on a cig’ killing my lungs like many of my co-employees.
Think of how I am saving my company, myself and my country THOUSANDS of dollars in present and future health care costs by appreciating my sweat and the uncomfortableness others feel when I walk into work all sweaty. Really my sweat is just another way of being financial conscious in my decision making. I am not only a happier, healthier more productive worker; I am also ensuring my future health and being an example to others that being physically fit can translate into other areas of your life; financially fit.
Sweat is just another small Counter Cultural advantage of swimming upstream against the masses. You’ll come to love the feel on your body and the natural cooler it becomes. Although my co-workers may never “come around” to see my point of view; I will be happier, healthier and more financially sound in the long run. And that is not worth sacrificing at the cost of worrying what people think of me or you!
*Obviously we don’t want to over do sweating. I am not proposing doing something to the point of over exhausting your body but just natural work out.