Beat the heat, you athlete


Illustration by Andrea Nebhut

In a world of contention and a climate of unrest, there are still some things we can all agree on: the sky is blue, skunks smell bad and Elise Hester is the most dominant athlete that has ever lived. While I could list stats and share examples, there is no need. This fact is agreed upon by all in the same way that we all can agree that summer in Texas is hot.

It’s very hot. The heat was something I had to deal with this summer, working as the camp videographer at Camp Olympia in Trinity, Texas (not to be confused with Trinity University). The city has a population of about 2,600 and is home to Camp Olympia, which was recently named the best sleepaway camp in the nation. I am responsible for creating a video of each of the four terms, each of which lasts two or three weeks. In addition to tribal competition between the Spartans and the Athenians and nightly programs such as dances, cookouts and carnivals, the kids participate in 10 activities they chose from over 45 different activities offered ranging from weightlifting to wakeboarding, sailing to softball, golf to gymnastics and ping pong to puppies.

Being the videographer at a sports and activity camp is a very physical job, and I dealt with heat. Sure, I spent most of my time editing on the computer inside where I almost froze solid thanks to the over-aggressive air conditioner, and sure, the time I spent outside I did have a golf cart, but I would do anything “” anything! “” for the shot. Whether it be treading water for several minutes in the middle of the lake or sprinting from event to event during relay day or rollerblading alongside sprinting children in a race, it was very physical. Like I said, I am the most dominant athlete alive, with no competition. For that reason, I have very good tips for dealing with the heat.

My first tip for dealing with the hot weather is to dress accordingly. This does not mean just wear a sports bra or a tank top, or for those of you who are men, no shirt. Sure, it may feel better to not wear a t-shirt, but then your skin is unprotected. As great as they may look, tans are really just the visible indicator of permanent damage done to the DNA in your skin cells. (That being said, ask me about my watch tan. It’s pretty rad.)

Another way you can beat the heat is to drink water. Drink lots of water. Any time you are thirsty, drink water. Notice that I said water. Not Powerade or Gatorade or Tigerade, but water. A little bit of sports drink, such as the tiny bit given in a Dixie cup “” either by a TU athletic trainer or a Camp Olympia nurse “” is OK after you’ve been doing serious exercise and need to replenish your electrolytes, but it’s still terrible for your teeth because it is loaded with sugar. There’s just nothing that beats water. Water is the best thing for you in every situation. If you only drink water for the rest of your life, you would be fine.

Another tip is to find shade. Sit in that shade. There’s not much else to explain, so my next tip is to pace yourself. Take a break every once in a while to sit in the shade or stand in the shade.

My last bit of advice is to complain. Complaining about the heat will always make it better. Not really; complaining will make it worse. Just be happy and embrace the sweat.