Last Monday, the day before Independence Day, beneath the near 100-degree sun, my mom, aunt, and I took a fast-paced 2-mile stroll along the exercise trail at the air force base.
“Let’s go get some exercise,” my mom said early that morning.
“Why?” I whined, “Why can’t we stay in the house today? It’s going to be almost 100 degrees.”
“You need some exercise,” she replied quickly.
I was sweating the moment I got out of the air-conditioned car. It was the sunscreen, those things manage to produce sweat even in this super dry condition. Carrying four bottles of water in my backpack along with juice boxes and Cliff Energy Bars, we began walking. That’s when I realized we were the only ones carrying backpacks of water and food.
Most of the people we saw along the trail wore tank-tops or sleeveless shirts and shorts. A few carried a bottle of water but there wasn’t anyone carrying a backpack full of supplies and certainly no one was as covered up as my aunt. She wore jeans, a shirt, and a jacket. She said she’s not hot. I doubt it. Meanwhile, I was sweating like crazy.
As I continued the trail and beginning to get behind the group, I wondered when I’d have some shade because I was pretty sure my arms were burning up. I get sunburn very easily ever since I got diagnosed for Lupus last year. On a regular day, I have to wear SPF 50 just for work. That day, I wore two layers of sunscreen – SPF 50 and SPF 70 – and still I got sunburned. It’s ridiculous.
By the time this picture was taken, I was super behind. Those two people in the picture? My mom and aunt. I couldn’t run to catch up even if I wanted to. The sun was beaming down at me and my mouth was so dry that no matter how much water I drink, it’s still not enough. So I gave up. I began hiking this trail in small steps like one would when they’re walking across the desert.
After what seemed like forever, I made it through one lap. “Let’s walk one more lap.” My mom said. I had just about cried.