20 Degrees In The Summer! Written By Charity Butler
In the midst of my hometown’s relentless heat, it is hard to imagine a place where the temperature is between 10 and 20 degrees in the summer!
Welcome to Sweden, where degrees are measured using the Celsius scale. Ten to 20 degrees Celsius is approximately 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
When it comes to cool weather, I will admit to being a bit of a wimp. In fact, quite often during Skövde summers, temperatures loom in the 40’s F. It usually feels colder than the actual thermometer reading, too. The wind is biting.
I most definitely prepared for cool outdoor practices. My workout apparel included tights, wind pants, long socks, Under Armour gear, a sweatshirt and occasionally a beanie.
I was even known to take scorching hot showers before layering up for practices and games. The steam seems to jump start my stiff, cold muscles.
Well, during the Swedish season, I was able to fly home for several weeks. Many of the Saints team members represent their country as players for the Swedish National Team. The European National Teams competed in several international summer tournaments.
As a result, the Saints experience a lull in play during the summer months. So, the Saints staff granted me the privilege of training at home.
Can you imagine simply stepping outdoors in Florida wearing my Swedish workout getup? Ugh!
The first half of my Swedish journey was phenomenal. I must say, though, it was quite refreshing to visit home.
Upon my return to the states, I experienced more than a mere difference in temperature and workout attire. The change in elevation required adjustments as well.
At the beginning of the softball season, I was astonished at my overall condition during my first Saints practice.
Why did I feel as though my lungs were shrinking? Why did my legs feel slow and heavy? Was it the jetlag? Was I dehydrated from the journey?
I DID train and prepare. What is going on?
Living at a higher altitude was a new experience for me. As I continued to train, however, my body successfully adjusted. I regained my wind and did not give the situation another thought.
Then, I arrived back in Florida. After completing my first workout, I felt as though I could run forever. I was back to the beach where the air is rich and thick! I had to work twice as hard to keep my lungs strong. I did not want to miss a beat upon returning to Sweden.
I cannot change the temperatures, altitudes or other environmental factors of my preparation. Just as in competitive training, I realize that many factors in life are also outside of my control.
No matter the challenges that stand in the way, I can find a way to get the job done. No excuses. I have a choice, and so do you. We can overcome.
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