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Battery's Dead: Embracing sweat

One of the more noteworthy, stinky, and appalling fluids the human body can produce, and often one of the banes of all our collective existences, is sweat. People sweat all the time–some people can’t help but sweat, even when they don’t want to. It’s an awful experience that doesn’t really make sense unless one is running around or doing something in the summertime. 

Peak sweat season is summer. A short walk to the car is enough to bead some human moisture. A crucial part of this season is becoming accustomed to the heat, accustomed to sweating, comfortable with the idea of, “hey I’m doing something. I should be prepared for my body to make itself wet and smelly.” 

This season is ending. This is the first week of the semester where I can feel campus slipping into a groove and leaving room for the defining aura of these 16 weeks to begin popping up. A major part of that is how cool it is becoming outside–how fewer people are sweating. This is very important; it leaves room for the other types of sweat, the ones with more character, to take center stage. This is both good and bad. 

In the summer, if I am doing anything at all, my underarms are going to be damp. That’s just a fact of life.

However, when the seasons change, sweat is not normal. My body is telling me something: something, somehow and somewhere, is wrong. When it is a cool 45 degrees outside, and I’m taking a slow jaunt, my body suddenly leaking from every follicle it has domain over is a sign that I need to be somewhere that I am not. 

(Of course, this happens in the summer but I’m already sweating in the summer. It’s not as jarring.)

The cooling down and the changing connotation of sweat are indications that we are entering the good, eventful, real-life part of the year. At its core, summer is an unserious period of time. Moreover, baseball–the most American sport–enters its postseason, while football–the most militaristic sport, and therefore also very, very American–enters the fold. 

In September, as you feel nervous when giving a presentation, having a meeting or talking to someone you’re interested in, note how different that kind of sweat feels. Instead of losing feeling and freezing, let your body remind you of how alive you are. 

In the summer, we take sweat for granted. It is a fact of life. Sucking and stinking, there is nothing we can do. So, when it rears its ugly head in the colder months, remember the dreary, unending easiness of July. Remember the all-encompassing heat that made every step seem like a war with your limbs, and remember that this sweat is to be welcomed.

You are busy and what you are doing matters. Take a moment and soak in how lucky you are to be in a place, in a time, where things are happening, and things are important. And make sure you wear deodorant, too. That doesn’t change with the seasons. 

Matthew Butcher is a junior studying English at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Matthew know by tweeting him @mattpbutcher.

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