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Staying Cool in Austin: Outdoors Activities & Heavy Drinking

By Hunter Ruffin

In last week’s blog, Dean Kittredge offered a few points of advice for the incoming professor of Church History. While I found most of her points to be colorful takes on staying cool in Austin, I must say that I feel like she got at least half of the first point wrong.

The part that I think she got partially wrong is the latter portion of that piece of advice. First and foremost, Dean Kittredge is absolutely correct that one should take up heavy drinking during the summer months in Austin — heavy drinking of WATER! Anyone that has been here for any small amount of time can you tell that you are going to sweat in the summer months — A LOT! Therefore, any person considering a move to the lovely Austin, TX should begin getting used to consuming at least a full liter of water each morning and each afternoon. Trust me. It will keep you sane.

Now as for taking up an indoor sport, I’d have to say that Dean Kittredge is categorically wrong on that piece of advice. I know, I know – it’s hot down here, which means it makes perfect sense to take up an indoor activity like playing bridge or watching the grass grow — from inside the house. However, as Christians, we are used to living with paradoxes so it should come as no surprise to any of us that it is more sensible to take up an outdoor sport during the summer.

How can this be logical you ask? Well, when you start your day with a good healthy run or bike ride or walk or any other physical activity that takes you outdoors, your body temperature will naturally begin to increase. As a result, you begin to sweat, which helps your body rid itself of toxins, and after you have cooled down from your activity of choice, you can move throughout the day thinking how lovely it is outside because you are not nearly as hot as you were during your morning workout. See how nicely that works out in your favor?

In addition to the cooling effect of being physically active during the summer, and only speaking as a runner myself, I can tell you there is no greater satisfaction than wringing a nice large puddle of sweat out of your running shirt after a breathless 3.5-5 mile run around Town Lake.

While I certainly acknowledge the brilliance of Dean Kittredge in many other important matters (for instance, New Testament scholarship), I definitely believe that my plan for staying cool in Austin is a much better method than taking up an indoor activity. By now, I hope that you are nodding your head as you lace up your own running shoes while downing that second liter of cold water in preparation for tomorrow’s plan for staying cool in Austin!

Hunter Ruffin (@chruffin) is a senior in the MDiv. program at Seminary of the Southwest and is from the Diocese of Southeast Florida.  Hunter is an avid summer runner, plays catchup to Dean Cynthia Kittredge in New Testament anything, and posts blogs of his own when not thinking of outlandish strategies for staying cool in Austin, TX.  


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