by Thad Peterson, founder of You Can’t Fake Sweat
I'm 43 years old, so 1st grade was a long time ago for me. But I distinctly remember the most obscure scene from 1st grade. I was at Cabot School in Newton, Massachusetts. We had just come in from recess. It was a hot day. And a big bead of sweat was trickling down Greg LeBlanc’s temple. At that tender age, I didn’t sweat a whole lot, and I remember being envious that Greg sweated that way. There was something cool about it. Something tough about it. Something rugged about it.
Flash forward 36 years. I no longer have to envy Greg LeBlanc. I sweat like a pig these days. And I’m glad I do. I still think there’s something cool, something tough, something rugged about sweat.
Here are 5 reasons I love sweat.
1) Sweat serves as a signal. Sweat tells me things about my body. It gives me a sense of how hard I’m working–be it at CrossFit, on a jog, or chopping wood. If I’m sweating intensely, it’s my internal gauge telling me that I’m working hard. And if I’m sweating profusely, it’s a sign I need to drink water to stay hydrated. I value these signals.
2) Sweat stings. OK, I’m getting into masochistic territory here, but sometimes, my sweat stings. Especially on dry summer days, the sweat on my forehead gives me a stinging sensation—or maybe a tingling sensation is a better way to describe it. In the same way that the tingling in my mouth after I brush my teeth makes them feel clean to me, that tingling on my forehead makes my face feel clean.
3) Sweat cleans. For thousands of years, various cultures have subscribed to the notion that you can “sweat out the poison” in your body. Be it aboriginal sweat lodges, Turkish bath houses or Finish saunas, people around world have subscribed to
the notion that sweat cleanses for centuries. And according to a Journal of Environmental and Public Health review, all these people are onto something real. The paper reported that sweat excretes toxins such as bisphenol-A, cadmium, toxic trace metals and mercury.
4) Sweat lasts. Often times, I’ll get my body revving high enough during a workout that I end up sweating for a good 10 minutes after my workout. That entire time—during the post workout high—the sweat is a sweet reminder of the hard work I just put in.
5) You can’t fake sweat. This is, by far, my favorite thing about sweat. Sweat is 100% real, yet it’s also one of life’s greatest metaphors. I can feel it trickling down my skin, but I also take enormous satisfaction and pride in the fact that it’s a badge of hard work. And when I’ve worked really hard, when I’ve truly pushed myself… that badge covers my entire body. And there is no faking it. Sweat doesn’t lie. If I’m sweating, that means I was working hard. And there’s something pure, authentic and beautiful about that.
This post is from Thad Peterson, founder of You Can’t Fake Sweat. Like 99% of all guys, Thad earnestly believed he would be a pro athlete one day. And like 99.999% of those 99%, he never even got close. But sports and fitness have played a huge role in his life nonetheless. These days, the sports he participates in most frequently are hockey, ultimate disc, basketball and CrossFit.
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