In the far distant future, when our brains are preserved in jars hooked up to electrodes and we won’t have to care for these overly-complicated bodies, everyone will rest in a warm amniotic bath and read books all day. THAT will be the future as we were promised…

…but until then, I keep having to do maintenance on my body – the furnace/AC/energy delivery system that my brain is currently hooked up to. And it’s been years and years of poor maintenance that I’ve got to repair!

As you know, I’m learning all kinds of earth-shaking things (like sugar is poison AND the devil, and the glute muscles are holding on to the upper thigh bone like claws from the coffin). But I’m also learning truly insignificant things.

Here’s today’s observation, after running stairs:

My face sweats.

I know everyone’s face sweats; I’m not talking about everybody else. I’m saying I think I’m the only one – a rare unicorn! Dig me! – whose face sweats for HALF AN HOUR after I get the heart rate up. Surely that’s not normal?

After I run stairs, I have to sit around panting for a while, because if I jump in the shower right away, I can stand under icy torrents and still when I get out – all dewy and clean and scent-of-soapy – then out of nowhere, I’ll start sweating all over my face. Big, round, cartoon-like drops which sometimes roll down disgustingly.

I end up looking like the windshield of a car that’s just been Rain-ex’ed.

This doesn’t only happen when I’m running stairs. On Thursdays, I go to Barbara’s Balance Class. (Which is hard and fun and you should join us.) We work out madly, ignoring the contempt of the far-tougher cardio workout class that happens one room over.

(That’s literary license; there ARE no contemptuous looks at Body Dynamics.)

After I’m fully sweaty – and my fellow victims and I have strong-armed Barbara into adjusting the thermostat until the room is chilled to impossible lows – then I stay in that room for Stretch Class.

Now, because of the aforementioned strong-arming, Stretch Class is the polar opposite of Hot Yoga. It’s Icy Stretch. Anyone who comes to Stretch Class without having first gone to Balance Class has learned to bring a sweater or jacket because man, those industrial air conditioners really work. Praise be!

And fifteen minutes after my high-energy Balance Class playlist has been replaced by temple bells and waterfalls and mystic, new age spa music – long after we’ve done our deep breaths and arm circles and frog poses – I am STILL reaching for my gym towel to blot my face of the epic amounts of sweat that appear to have been generated by a simple figure-four butt stretcher.

But it’s not the stretching that’s making me sweat in the icy air; it’s Balance Class, now just a distant gasping pant in the past.

And no one else is scrubbing their faces during Stretch Class.

So I think it’s just me. I am as rare as (if far less lovely than) a unicorn!

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If you’ve ever noticed – and you probably haven’t – I’d be grateful to hear if your face sweats hard long after exercise, too. Perhaps I can find my herd?

5 thoughts on “Unicorn?

  1. 1) I love your writing. Love it. Love it. Love it. 2) My husband is part of your herd. He sweats like that too. And he also is an outstanding human. But he can’t write like you do. THAT makes you a rare unicorn.


    1. Cathleen, you are my new favorite person of all time. YOU should feel free to comment ANY time!! (And I’m glad to know your unicorn husband, if only at great remove!) Are you the Cathy from Balance Class?


  2. I’m a big time sweater. I overheat so easily it’s not funny, and it’s not because I’m out of shape. I do an hour+ on the elliptical 4 days a week. AND I sweat like you wouldn’t believe. I sweat so bad that mopping my face with my towel irritates my face. I’ve created sores on my nose from so much towel-to-skin contact. I can wring out my shirt at the end of a workout. I have to mop the floor under my elliptical because I sweat that much…

    In non-exercise situations, I also overheat too easily. I walk about 3/4 mile from my car to one of the offices where I have meetings. The sweat is often worse after I arrive, so I have the “build up” issue too. And it’s like that year round if I’m not careful. Walking too fast in “nice” weather, but even more so in cold weather results in sweating when I reach my destination.

    One tip – don’t try to cool off with a cold shower. What that does is close your pores so you stop sweating and your body builds up the heat – sweating is your built in coolant. As soon as the cold water stops and your skin warms up, you start sweating again…maybe more! Showers when you’re overheated should be as close to luke warm as you can get. It doesn’t close your pores nor heat you up more.


    1. You are a GENIUS!! That now makes perfect sense – showering with cold water is just closing down the pores. I’m having a “Duh!” moment. Thanks for this; you’ve changed the way I shower after every work-out from now on!!


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