Sweaty McSweater is one of my many Multiple Personality Disorder characters. In fact, it’s the dominant personality among a host of them. She comes out to play entirely too often.
When I was a young girl growing up in disgustingly hot Iowa without air conditioning, I believe the first time that I pitted out was at about 3 years of age. “Oh my God, Emily! You have rings of sweat under your armpits!” I didn’t know then, but when my own mother proclaimed this in front of my cousins in the backyard, she probably should have taken me aside and given me instructions on using deodorant.
I obviously inherited my Mom-of-the-Year genes from her.
Unfortunately for me, it took a very disturbing event when I was in the 5th grade to get Mom’s attention about my armpits and above-average sweating prowess.
At the pool, as I prepared to do a perfect swan dive in front of my childhood crush (Cute Boy), I raised my arms high above my noggin to impress him with my amazing skills to get his attention.
One of his friends, who will forever be labeled in my mind as Cock-Blocker, pointed to me from the water and shouted, “Holy shit! Look at the hair under Emily’s armpits!”
Time froze as I glanced down in a very deliberate manner under my left arm, which was exposed to Cute Boy. I wondered, “What the hell is that hair, anyway?”
My mom could never be blamed for being liberal and progressive in teaching her daughters about puberty. I was so naïve.
I glanced back at Cute Boy and Cock-Blocker, as well as the entire deep-end crowd looking at my pits which were exposed, did a belly flop, splashing water all the way to the kiddie pool with a giant smack, and attempted to swim under water back to my house in shame.
After crying in the car on the way home, with my mom trying to get me to calm down, she eventually got to the bottom of my hairy situation. She proceeded to laugh uncontrollably, increasing her chances at winning the 1985 Mom-of-the-Year Award, and finally conceded that maybe it was time to introduce a razor to Osama Bin Laden’s beard under my arms.
We also put an air conditioner in our window.
My pitting-out and sweating issues continued throughout my athletic career and basically every time I stepped out of bed onto the floor. Stairs were the worst. Still are. I’m a huge fan of the elevator.
I can’t wear t-shirts that are any color other than black or white because the wet ring that forms is way more obvious in a bright pink t-shirt. I can’t sit for very long in a warm setting because the crotch sweat that appears is mighty embarrassing. Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be a warm setting. The crotch sweat is my life partner, apparently. I would love to talk about my boob sweat, but some of you sickos out there might get turned on.
And we can’t have that, now can we?
So when I said not so long ago, “I’ll never participate in hot yoga,” I figured that was a pretty safe statement. I mean, I have to draw the line with Sweaty McSweater at some point.
S.M. hates boundaries, let me tell you.
The other day, I signed up for a really cheap deal on yoga classes. When I went to actually schedule a session, the only times I was available to attend fell during the various hot yoga sessions.
Dammit. Just my luck. My Inner Sweating Goddess was doing back-flips. I hate her.
So, because I paid for it, I went.
It was damn hot. I mean, sweltering.
Thank God this guy I know recommended to bring a towel so that I wouldn’t slip on my yoga mat. He wasn’t kidding, either.
It was hard. Seriously hard. And slimy.
In the end, however, Sweaty McSweater and I made peace.
It was an amazing experience. My arthritic knees, cankles, and wrists were able to endure the Monkey Pose and muscle shaking Planks because of that damn heat.
I had to push through my sweating issues to concentrate on my breathing and the difficult poses.
I liken this to life. The hard shit is really difficult to get through isn’t it? Life doesn’t give you many timeouts and can really turn up the heat. How about your divorce? That’s really tough.
But you can’t go under it, you can’t go over it, and you can’t go around it. You have to go through it. Sometimes the sweating you endure is almost too much to bear.
Kind of like my hot yoga session with Sweaty McSweater.
In the end, after all of your hard work, stretching in ways you never knew you could, putting in sweat equity and making peace with all of who you are (including those not-so-welcomed personalities that you display during your divorce process and amicable relationship building) you become a fulfilled person. A completed individual. And you feel great about yourself.
Maybe you’re not there yet. That’s okay. Work through it. Breathe. Stretch yourself and embrace the tough stuff as something that will make you stronger. Take breaks when you need it so you can face the next pose that comes along. And breathe. Don’t forget to breathe.
Sweaty McSweater and I believe in you.
Love, Sweat and Namaste, Emily