"I'm just waiting for people to start asking me to make the rain disappear." David Copperfield.
It's that time of year again. Time for park sprinklers and sandy toes. Time for tank tops, sundresses and sandals. Time for spray bottle wars and afternoon icy breaks.
It's getting warm outside and that means summer fun for Maya, ice coffee for me and sweaty time at the dojo.
Like most traditional schools, we do not have air conditioning. There are many reasons for this. First of all, while all that cool air feels great when you are sparring, it feels awful once you stop. Sitting in a sweaty gi in an air conditioned room is just a summer cold waiting to happen. Also, all your muscles start to stiffen up. So it sucks. Secondly, karate is supposed to be fun but it is not necessarily supposed to be comfortable. Training when it is 95 degrees outside is a hell of a challenge. Embrace it. Finally, running AC all day in a storefront on the Upper Westside of Manhattan is expensive! While you are whiling away your summer hours on the beaches of Coney Island, Con Ed is getting rich!
I'm not going to lie, the dojo is quite steamy today. I sweat just teaching my 45 minute toddler class. The kids on the other hand didn't really care. Kids rarely complain about the heat, or the cold or the rain. No, it is us mature adults who cannot adapt to our surroundings. We whine when it is hot outside and moan and groan when the humidity makes our hair frizz. (Mine is a disaster, unless "big poof" can be called a hairstyle.)
To be fair, most of our students just bear with us in the summer. Some of them even wear their sweaty gi as a badge of honor, as well they should. If you have ever done sparring with us in the middle of July you are a true karateka. If you have done it without whining you are a bonafide warrior!
Often it is the nannies who complain first. ("Oh there's no air conditioning? Hmmm.. Sara are you sure you want to do karate today? It's sooooo hot! Aren't you hot?") I suppose I get it. This karate kid is not yours. You are being paid to watch him all day and now you have to take him to a place that feels like the inside of your coat closet. But moms and dads should suck it up! We know it is hot. But the only way your kid will care is if you teach her that she should. There is something truly unnatural about a 5 year old who asks where the AC is.
When it rains outside you can run screaming for cover, or you can just get wet. Even better, take a leaf out of your kid's book and go splash in some puddles. No matter how much we attempt to micro manage every little detail of our lives, we cannot control the weather. So adapt. If you are going to train in the heat, drink lots of water. Be careful. Pace yourself. But don't baby yourself. And please, don't baby your child. I promise you she will not melt.
Ok, time to climb down off of my soapbox and find a cafe with some AC. Its freaking hot in here!