Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mammoth Trip: Climbing and Sweaty Encounters

Last weekend some buds from college and I went to Mammoth Lakes, CA. A Living Social deal for a rock climbing excursion prompted the weekend getaway. We could not have picked a better weekend. While it was 95 hot as hell degrees in LA it was a 70 wonderful cool degrees in Mammoth.

Sorry Natalie, don't mind my hair in your face.

Derek was my first friend in college.
He was also the first, of very few, that I told I had hyperhidrosis.
A lovely break from the city life.

"Shut up. You sweat?"
My friend Natalie and I weren't lucky enough to have vacation time from work so we headed up around 7:30pm on Friday for our six hour drive. Hours on hours on hours to talk.

As of late, relationships have dominated our conversations. Natalie and I are fairly inquisitive so given a long stretch of time we can get in to some really juicy topics. We were only about an hour in when hyperhidrosis made it's debut into the conversation. Natalie asked frankly, "So what are your insecurities when it comes to guys?"

There it was. My window of opportunity. Here it is Sara, run with it. I made some noises and a few words that didn't make a complete sentence. I had about 5 more seconds before Natalie was going to ask if I had a stroke and could no longer speak properly.

"Funny you should ask. I don't know if you've ever heard me complain about being sweaty. Well it's an actual condition called hyperhidrosis." I was clearly holding my breath too long as after wards I felt winded. I put it out there. On the table.

"Shut up. You sweat? I never noticed." She never noticed. I questioned this thinking of our friends birthday party in June where my clothes were soaked. Thinking of our trip to Palm Springs just a few weeks prior where I had to leave the bar we were at because I was so uncomfortably sweaty blaming my early departure on being tired and my phone needed to be charged (it did need to be charged.) She didn't notice? Really? Each friend I have told has said the same thing. "I've never noticed," sometimes adding, "I've known you for 5,6,7 years. How did I not know this?"

Natalie went on to divulge her own insecurities. We were both completely surprised by each others hang ups. I can say that drive was a huge eye opener. So many laughs along the way. At one moment we feared we missed a highway change because we were so engrossed in conversation. Recalling previous trips to Mammoth, "I know we're on the right highway when the road feels like 'Rollin with the homies'" It's a series of short hills. We in fact were on the right highway but I was thinking of a different one. We didn't get to roll with the homies.

Brittany Murphy you will forever be remembered for
"Rolling With the Homies" in Clueless. Rest in peace, girlfriend.

It was about 1:00 am when we arrived at our hotel. After six hours I was straight up crazy brain. GET ME OUT OF THE CAR OR I WILL EXPLODE. In addition, Mammoth is in the mountains. That means high altitude. That means the air is thinner. That means I was on a permanent high all weekend. I could not stop laughing when we finally met up with our other friends. They thought for sure I was nuts. I wish I could relive that moment right now.

The mini vacation started out perfect.

Climbing in the Shade = GLORIOUS 
As a sweater I tend to over pack especially if physical activity is on the agenda. That said, I took a bit of a risk not thinking the day through properly. We started out with a walk around one of the lakes (gorgeous), and proceeded to get some lunch. I was living on the edge because I didn't bring a jacket or change of shirt in the event that I sweat through my top and got cold. We went straight to our climbing appointment at 2pm. We wouldn't be back to our hotel until about 6:30 pm when it would be quite chilly. I thought for sure I'd be screwed.

Airing the pits out.

Helmets add legitimacy to extreme adventure.

Let me address the pink elephant in the room. You're probably wondering how someone with hyperhidrosis could ever go climbing. In some of my posts (here and here) you may have seen I had ETS surgery. My hands don't sweat. It's funny though, climbing with clammy hands is actually helpful to get a grip on the rocks. My dry hands slip just as they would if they were sweaty. Climbers with hands that get too sweaty use chalk. This isn't enough for HH dripping hands. You will want to invest in some gloves. If you have any desire to try climbing I hope you don't let sweaty hands stop you. The climbing community is generally friendly from my experience.

Back to our adventure. Our instructor, Zach, took us to Horseshoe Lake to climb. It was shady and about 60-65 degrees. SCORE! I hardly broke a sweat. I have experience climbing in a gym so my nerves were calm. YAY YAY YAY. I don't remember the last time I did any physical activity where I didn't sweat. I break a sweat walking down the block to the liquor store. Thin chilly air, marry me.

Zach was awesome with his instruction and he got along with our quirky humor. Two thumbs way up for Sierra Rock Climbing School. The experience reminded me I need to get back to a climbing gym and conquer my fears of outdoor climbing.

"Finish my beer then I'll buy you another drink."
 When it was clear we were just about done with climbing I had Mexican food and cocktails on the brain. It was 40 degrees and I got to wear my pea coat! We had a great dinner recounting the day and then proceeded to a recommended watering hole. Let's booze bitches.

Knowing I get super sweaty when I drink I started a little cautiously. It was so cool in the bar everything seemed to be going well. I was sweating in my crotch region but nothing my jeans couldn't handle. Pits were doing good with my multiple layers. I ventured out on the dance floor. My friend Derek and I proceeded to do what we always do on the dance floor... dance like we're on Dancing With the Stars. We twirled, dipped, spun and got our heart rate up. I took a moment to check how I was feeling. Dry. I was dry! So I danced harder. I was also given a shot from some new friends we made.

Things turned rather quickly. I went from dry to wet in a matter of 2 minutes. I was concerned but my sweat wasn't noticeable yet through my clothes. I chugged some water and was still sociable. That was until dudes started gettin handsy.

It's common practice for fellas to put their arm around you or on the small of your back. It's not creepy. It's a small gesture to let you know they're interested. If even for the moment. At this point I don't want anyone to fucking touch me. Of our three new friends one started in a drunken stooper to make a move on me. Keep your paws off you normal seeming friendly nerd guy who I know has no ill intention. UGH.

I still laugh though thinking about his luring line. "Here. Take this. Here. Finish. Finish my beer. And then... I'll buy you another drink." Giving me this wink and nod type look. Oh woe is me! Steal my heart, sir. As soon as he went to the bar I made a MAD DASH to the bathroom. Toweled off in a moderatley drunken state in the stall. I exited and grabbed my friends, "We need to go immediately." Sorry dude I'm sweaty and cannot be seen. "Wait. You're leaving?" Yup! Hive five man, I'm out.

So I made up for my lack of sweating earlier that day. If I had to choose between sweating during the day and the night. In this instance, I would've kept everything the same.

Climb on!