We played football this morning. Just a 10am kickaround to blow the cobwebs away before the, nothing too strenuous this early in the year – we’re not stupid.
Or are we? Because there were definitely echoes of that fateful day as I jumped out of the car at Century City. I’d left home about 15 minutes earlier at 22ºC and with a pleasant southeaster blowing. Upon my arrival at the venue, I was already seeing 28ºC and there was not a breath of wind. An eerie stillness prevailed, almost as if someone were waiting for 10 slightly unfit white blokes to die from heatstroke.
We played: some admittedly more than others. Most (all?) admittedly more than me. As I repeated often – safe in the knowledge that there’s basically no way it can ever happen here – stick me on a field in -2ºC and I’ll run for days. But I’m far too European to be able to sprint around a 5-a-side court for 75 minutes in the hot African sun and actually survive.
There can’t have been a lot of sprinting then (as I’m sure my teammates will happily testify), because I am still alive.
I came home and stood in a cold shower, trying desperately to balance the urgent need to reduce my body temperature to something resembling normality with the precarious water shortages in Cape Town.
The former won out in the end, and I emerged somewhat wrinkled but thankfully much cooler, several hours later.
So was this The Worst Idea Larry Ever Had II™? No, no it wasn’t anywhere close to that bad. That day and its consequences will live long in the memory, whereas this one will simply go down as an hour that could have been… more comfortably spent.
A braai this afternoon – accompanied by copious amounts of Energade – will surely mean that I’m in tip-top condition to face the rigours of lab work (and possibly even the rigors of a body in extreme shock) in the morning.
I’ll let you know.