in the past two years a big insecurity of mine has been sweating. i have terrible night sweats, and i also find that in the heat and humidity, i tend to sweat a lot more (and quickly) than those around me. it’s a problem – that’s for sure – but i’d rather not take medication and mess with my sweat glands. the only thing to do is deal with it – but not without always worrying about it.
as you all know, i picked up volleyball in the past couple months and have fallen absolutely in love with it. although others don’t usually notice, i sweat more than my entire team combined and it has really been something that makes me nervous every time i went to play. with this constantly bothering me and with nothing i can do but smile and pretend it doesn’t, i just keep pushing on – hoping that as my fitness improves, my sweating problem will, too.
this last friday – something happened. something i can’t forget, and it changed things for me. my friday night volleyball team name is swat team. we’ve been playing together for several weeks now, and honestly it’s one of my favorite parts of my week. everyone on my team is so kind and when we work together, it really feels like team spirit. after the first set, i was sweating terribly – the gym was especially hot, and i had worked a bit harder because i really wanted our team to win. once the set finished, one of my teammates jokingly asked, “are you seriously sweating already?” this was the first time someone (other than bae) had remarked on my sweating and i was caught off guard. i immediately started jokingly panicking telling him how i hate that i sweat so much and that’s something i can’t help. even though i was smiling, i thought to myself, great, they’ll always notice how much i sweat now. how embarassing.
but then it happened. the referee blew the whistle that it was time for the second set, and as we put our hands in to shout “swat team” they joked that we should say “sweat team” instead. i was horrified, but took the teasing as i should and laughed. we did it, and then our team won that set. we put our hands together, shouted “sweat team” again and then we won the next set. they all started laughing about how we started doing even better when we became sweat team. and then suddenly, this thing i was so worried about became a happy memory. it became something i could actually find happiness in. i know it sounds simple and stupid, but i was just so overjoyed that something that hung over me for so long had been fixed by something like that.
i’m sure this story doesn’t seem to have much value, but for me it was a turning point in how i saw myself, and i realized i didn’t have to take it so seriously anymore. i sweat. that’s okay. and i have a whole team with me now to prove that.