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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Shower Temp

I always have a tough time determining the shower temp after I return from a run. On the one hand, I want something that is cool to soothe my very sweaty, very hot skin; however, I also don't like the shock of going from being very hot to being chilled by icy bullets of water. The logical middle ground would be a shower with lukewarm temps, but I often find myself fiddling with the tap in order to find the perfect temperature for my shower.

Ordinarily, I love a hot, steamy shower. The sort of hot that chafes the skin and fogs the mirrors in the bathroom. When I was growing up, my parents constantly monitored my shower time because, according to them, my long, hot showers were the source of their high energy bills (it turned out that I was also responsible for other high costs: phone bill, car insurance, etc). So I was often restricted to five minute showers. "Five minutes! Everything you need to wash can be washed in five minutes," my stepdad used to say. I'm sure it can be, but I don't like a long, fiery shower for washing, I like it for standing in. The heat relaxes me and the gentle pelting of the spray feels good. Plus, you have to let that conditioner sit for 2-3 minutes, and you can't shampoo, wash your face and your body, and shave in five minutes (though I'll admit that now I only shave once in awhile because of laziness and the fact that it's so damn time-consuming, much to my husband's dissatisfaction).

So now that I'm an adult and I'm the one who has to pay the electric bill, I like to luxruriate in the long, painfully hot showers; however, I don't take them very often since I primarily reserve showers for after I workout, and who wants to step into a hot shower after sweating? No one wants to sweat more.

Sometimes I settle for the ick of a lukewarm or even cold shower after a run in order to feel refreshed, but later in the evening I might run a hot bath and let myself boil in the skin-dehydrating heat (I also was renowed for taking baths so hot I made myself sick when I was growing up, but strange as it may sound, I still love taking a really hot bath -- I only sit in it for about ten minutes -- and then laying in front of a fan to cool off; it feels good, and makes me sleepy). I need to soak up that heat without some yelling "tick-tock" outside the bathroom door.


KT said...

I'm addicted to scalding hot showers too. Lately, I've been enjoying the ice bath post-run, followed by super-hot shower. Ahh.

Liv said...

One of my all-time favourite books is called "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins. It's an insane story about, amongst other things, a couple of exiles searching for eternal life. On of the secrets to immortality that they discover is the necessity of taking a hot bath every day in the following manner: a couple of luxuriously hot soaks each followed by lying on cool tiles and letting your skin steam. So go for it - it's good for your muscles, and you might just live forever.