Adele – Someone Like You

Love is one of the most beautiful things you can experience in this lifetime if it’s reciprocal.  However, if you are one of the unlucky few who got served a huge dose of unrequited love you will know exactly how much pain can come from it.

Thankfully over the years I have had the chance to reflect and take note of some of the mistakes I made in the past where love was concerned.  In the past I have paired myself up with people who actually did not love or care about me.  I saw the signs and chose to ignore them.  A slight sign of concern was automatically mistaken for love.  For me love had to make my heart go pitter patter, lose my senses, lose sleep and have me going through extremes of happiness and sadness.  That was clearly a lot to take in in the name of love.

I used to be a bitter woman, I was mad at the world.  Mad that I loved someone who did not see all the things I did in the name of love.  More than anything I was mad at myself for not seeing something was not good for me and simply walking away when I still had the chance to do so.

I am happy to say that what I view love to be has completely changed.  For me love will not leave me close to feeling a panic attack, love will complete me, love will give me a warm, calm and confident feeling towards my partner.  I don’t think I still get butterflies, maybe it’s an age thing; but I certainly feel that this is right when I am with the perfect match.

I no longer feel anything towards the man who once shattered my heart to irreparable little pieces; I am indifferent towards him.  You will be surprised to note that this very song used to bring me to tears each time I listened to it but now I listen to it and recall that it used to be his favourite song.  Through it all in as much as things didn’t work out between us we had our happy moments.  They didn’t last but for the season they were supposed to they brought a smile to my face.

It’s important to take a step back whenever you get the chance to and find out where you go wrong.  It’s easy to sit down and blame the world for things going wrong in your life when most times you are the very source of your own pain.  You can’t choose who you love though you can try very hard to make sure you love someone who at least feels the same way about you.

I have made it my personal mission to continue to grow myself in love.  How?  By doing things that bring me joy, filling my days with happy moments, understanding that not everyone will understand the intensity that comes with me and above all else to keep learning and unlearning habits that might hinder my progress.  Not everyone will understand what I am about but the right one will know that I am amazing just the way I am.

We live yes, but how many of us actually take time to learn?  

 

 

 

©MaKupsy 2017

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Rest Day

Running and resting are two peas in a pod.  There is no way you are going to enjoy running if you don’t take time to rest.  The Winter Challenge that started on the 1st of June is still going strong with more participants joining in from across the globe. Today is Rest Day for those that managed to run 5K on Sunday for the #JustDoItChallenge and participants are beyond excited!  Below are some of the things they will be getting up to to ease their mind from the running challenge which has proved to take a number of people out of their comfort zone.

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Team Fitness In The Park

Archie : I slept in today and it was sooooo nice!

Nyasha: I am still deciding between a lie in and a Spa morning.

Fungai: Definitely more sleep for me, I have a day off from work, I will have brunch later on, anyone to come and wash my trainers??

Dumisani: I was really going to enjoy my rest day if today was the weekend because I was going to sleep my day away so I will settle for taking it easy today.

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Team Fitness In The Park

Yeukai: I am not going to work tomorrow?  How is that for a rest day??  I will be making my way to News Cafe Borrowdale to try out all of their burgers.  Okay, I kid.  I will try out one of them.

Real: I actually don’t know.  I will probably day dream about that roco mamma’s cheese and bacon burger.  I will also use the day to rest and see if my knee heals.

Fitness Bae: I enjoyed every single minute of the extra two hours of sleep I had today.  I will stretch at least three times today and enjoy a laid back day.

Unfortunately not everyone got a rest day today and this is what some of them will be up to:

Sammy: I am actually not resting today I will skip seeing that I didn’t get to run most of the days.

Tawanda:  I am going to work and chances are I will be finishing at midnight if not tomorrow morning.

Thembi: I will be at work and will complete Day 14 of the challenge in the evening.

Toriro: Day 13 of the challenge was done with the whole family.  We had two members joining and by the end of the challenge the whole family will be on the road.  After running we did squats, leg raises, crunches, planks, arm workouts and stretching.

I love to run.  Running is my release and I am happy that I am part of a team that not only enjoys taking up challenges but finds joy in learning new ways of making this health and fitness journey all the more fun.

Rise, Run, Rest, Repeat! 

Fitness Bae®

3 Quality Calisthenics Lessons

The first question I get when the word calisthenics rolls off my tongue is, “What is that?” with a hint of skepticism. I do not blame people for being skeptical because calisthenics is pretty mysterious in its nature. The word itself is of Greek origin and is a combination of two words. ‘Kalos’ which means aesthetic beauty and ‘Sthenos’ which means strength.

Calisthenics is beautiful strength.

It is what the Spartans practiced to be the best warriors in all of Greece. If you need an idea of Spartans and their combat abilities be sure to watch the movie ‘300’. What makes it so mysterious though? It is probably the fact that when advanced versions of calisthenics moves are being done they look unreal and make the doer seem super human.

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Handstand on an sunny day 🙂

What is even more interesting is that everyone has done something that resides in the realm of calisthenics at least once. Whether it be a push up, pull up, bridge, handstand, jumping jack or a cartwheel it’s all calisthenics. When you use your body to workout you are practicing calisthenics.

I came upon calisthenics by accident in 2015 and I have been practicing it ever since.

My practice has revealed quite a number of things to me while also correcting so many misconceptions I had about strength and fitness. Calisthenics has many secrets to share but today I’ll share these three:

 

  1. The Body Works As A Unit 

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    The Front Lever is an advanced compound isometric exercise

Weightlifting generally focuses on isolating muscle in order to make it grow. That is the reason you will notice people doing 3 to 5 exercises for the chest, arms, legs or any other muscle group. The only drawback is that in the real world the body works as a unit. You may lift amazing weight with your biceps but you will fail to do a single pull up because your biceps are strong enough to carry you but your forearms, fingers and lat muscles aren’t.

Calisthenics movements are always compound movements that work more than one muscle group at any given time. This means that they not only make you stronger, they make you stronger proportionally. When you do a pull up your biceps, forearms and lat muscles will grow together in proportion leading to the type of body structure that lands on the cover of Men’s Health magazine. To reap the benefits of your body’s potential start doing more compound exercises. Burpees are an excellent example because they are a full body exercise that aids in weight loss and gaining strength at the same time. Other compound exercises include mountain climbers and jumping jacks to name a few.

2. Intensity Is Key

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A 1 arm lever is Intense!

Intensity by my definition is the time spent while your muscle/s are under tension. If you squat and you hold it at the bottom it gets intense. If you run at full speed you’ll find it more intense than jogging. Intense exercises burn way more calories and tone muscle. If fitness is the goal upping the intensity is the key that opens that door. Calisthenics moves are compounded so it is a given that they will be intense if done right. Intensity depends on form very much. In weight lifting, the heavier you go the more likely you are to affect your form. In calisthenics, form depends on how strong you are. If you try a 1 arm push-up before having mastered the narrow/diamond push-up you may go down but you won’t come up and your body will tell you why. How can you make your exercises more intense? Slow down the rate at which you do them. That engages more muscle.

Decreasing rest periods also increases intensity because the muscle won’t have time to replenish its chemical reserves or Adenosine triphosphate if we are getting technical. That means aim to have shorter workouts with less rest and more work. However, intensity does not mean doing 10 or even 20 sets. Nor does it mean running 8 kilometers often. 2 kilometers covered using sprints and jogs is way more intense than 8km done jogging. push the body hard for a short time then let it rest and recover. Do not push it too hard because it will push back.

Intensity is the key to fitness no matter the discipline.

 

3. The Only Supplement You Need Is Your Focus

I have used supplements. When I did weight training I took supplements and I believed they made me grow although I never quite saw the results I wanted to see. When I started calisthenics I stopped using supplements and focused on working out, resting and eating. I gained weight all the same but this time it was actually muscle mass because I could see the muscle. I got a gift of supplements earlier this year and decided to give them a go again. I gained weight but my muscle definition went down and I couldn’t do the more challenging moves I had become accustom to doing. I got fat. That incident brought me to the conclusion that supplements make me fat. I speak for myself there. Perhaps they make everyone fat then people work hard to burn off the fat and attain muscle but, can’t food do the same thing? Calisthenics taught me that I just have to eat right, put in the work and the results will come. I have nothing against supplements but I believe they are unnecessary if your goal is fitness.

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Focus!

I would advise you focus on eating clean and regularly. That will give your body the caloric intake it needs to grow. Workout intensely till you feel yourself trembling. That will send the signal to your brain that your body needs to grow. The most important part is resting. Muscle only grows when you sleep and you have to sleep adequately. The recommended amount of sleep for real muscle growth is ten hours but nobody has that much time so aim for seven to eight hours of sleep. The rest is clock work.

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A Calisthenics Body

Your discipline may be different from mine and that’s alright but these 3 lessons are not etched only in calisthenics. Calisthenics just taught them to me and if you can apply them in what you do you will be amazed at the results you achieve.

Cheers to your fitness and well being.

Paul T. Bako

Key Benefits of Sleeping

According to researchers sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best.  

About two years ago I decided to challenge myself and run as much distance as I could between 4:30 am and 5:30 am.  It was some time in summer and for nearly 5 days each week I woke up at exactly 4:30 am and went out for a run.  I used to go to bed around 10 pm; I did this for a straight month and by the time I was approaching the second month my body was slowly shutting down.  I would get home soon after work, take a bath, hardly have time to cook anything and fall asleep.

For a moment though I thought I was pregnant and alarm bells went off because that was one of the symptoms I suffered within my first trimester; sleepiness.  I had a talk with a friend of mine and he simply told me that what I need to do was get enough rest and slow down on the running.  You obviously know I thought he was talking crazy but after a few days I decided to try out his advice and it was at that point that the key benefits of good old sleep were unleashed.

After taking my sleep seriously(at least 8 hours each day) these are the key benefits of sleeping that I have experienced:

  1. Sleep Better

Now when I go to bed I pass out especially after a day of working out.  Two weeks ago I ran a 9K which was an uphill for at least 5K of the distance and when I slept I didn’t even get a chance to wake up for a pee break. The sleep was that nice!

  1. More Energy

Sleep = Recharging.  Ever noticed how your mobile phone performs perfectly on a full battery charge.  You can take all the beautiful pictures, spend more than enough time on social media apps, surf the internet and generally enjoy using your phone.  It’s the same with your body, when you recharge all the other activities become a walk in the park.  Runs are smoother, lifting weights is easier, and focusing on your Yoga poses is more accurate; see where I’m going with this?

  1. Enthusiasm

Each time I get enough sleep I wake up with a smile on my face.  Even my good morning messages are filled with positive vibes and happy emojis.  I look forward to the day and my body will be rushing with feel good hormones.  Good bye depression!

Those are just a few of the many benefits that come with getting a good night’s sleep.  If I were you I would enjoy sleeping in at least two or three times a week especially given that it’s winter this part of the world.

Feel free to share some of the sleep benefits you know in the comments section below.

Image from Lochnation &photo taken by Noreen Yolanda

Fitness Bae®

Stretching 101

We’ve all had that super stiff feeling especially at the beginning of or Fitness Journeys. And what advice do the pros give us?  Stretch!   In fact if your pro didn’t give you this advice you might need to reconsider your pro. Here’s the thing about stretching, there’s more to it than we think. The benefits of stretching go far beyond stopping soreness. They include:

  • Increased injury resistance
  • Improved performance (who doesn’t want that?)
  • Speedier recovery and even improved sleep
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Image from Pinterest

From my experience; when I was told to stretch I hated the idea. I was advised to ditch the pre and post workout stretching and focus much more on a stretching programme.  Stretching before bed and when I wake up. On days when I’m sore or just feel like it, stretch in the afternoon too or through the day if possible  First day I noticed one change that made it worth it, my muscular pain from strength workouts was drastically reduced. What I wasn’t prepared for however were the other results of taking stretching seriously like this. My running pace improved, I was much more flexible and got to sleep real easy.  Why didn’t I think of that?


Getting it right

Now I wouldn’t totally ditch pre workout stretching but because of the regular stretching habit I can dedicate much less time to it. 3-5 minutes and I’m ready for a 5K run. Just remember a few things to get those stretches right.
1. Hold don’t pull – seek to hold a position and not necessarily ‘pull’ on your muscles
2. Keep it comfortable – if it hurts it’s too far
3. Keep it short – 10 – 30 seconds at a time
4. Don’t bounce around or move – you hold for a certain amount of time and release. Then repeat, you should notice you can reach farther than the previous time
5. Breathe normally – don’t hold your breath or breathe fast, just breathe normal
6. Opposing muscles – try to stretch the opposing muscles when you stretch e.g.: hamstrings and quads, calves and shins etc.
7. Get advice- if you’re injured seek professional advice before attempting to ‘stretch it out’.


Known benefits of stretching
1. Stress relief – the connection between your physical state and mental state is well documented
2. Reduce injury risk – prepared muscles move better
3. Ease of motion – the increased flexibility leads to a better range of motion (e.g. increased stride length for runners)
4. Improve performance –better range of motion means you get through movements (e.g. running or lifts) easier and therefore faster (more reps or movements per minute)
5. Quicker recovery – Your muscles will repair faster and better and you’ll need less rest time between working out the same muscles (that doesn’t mean don’t rest)
6. Increases endurance – by loosening muscles and tendons blood flow is improved which combats fatigue
7. Better sleep – stretching before sleep reduces tightness and this improves sleep quality
8. Improved posture – tight muscles may be a sign of weaker muscles, stretching helps to correct posture by freeing muscles


Try it!
I challenge you to try this for a week. Whether you’re active or not just get into the habit of stretching in the morning and before sleep. For the active ones I’d suggest you add it in the afternoon or through the day if you can.

Thank you to Fitness Zuda for the very informative article.

Fitness Bae

Run With Fitness Bae

We had a Run Everyday Challenge that ran from the 10th to the 16th of October.  I must say this was the toughest week of my life!  The challenge was to run 5 kilometres every single day for 7 days and the participant who had the best pace won.  There were 13 participants, please check out the table below to see how awesome everyone in the group was.

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Unfortunately not everyone managed to run every day and we came up with a penalty.  We decided that your slowest run plus 10 seconds was going to be slotted in for the days you didn’t run. Trust me, this method saw some participants who were ranking first place move down the grid.  I think it was a fair move because running is hard, waking up early morning and sacrificing the comfort of your bed is harder and running every single day and telling yourself you can get through a run is hardest of it all!

Thankfully we survived the challenge but it came with a lot of changes for everyone in the group:

  • Bed time was super early for most morning runners because most people had to make sure they were done with their run by 6am.
  • I can confirm that when I went to bed I was completely lights out. I am a light sleeper and most times I wake up at least twice during the course of the night.  With the challenge nothing of the sort happened; after jumping into bed I was probably dead till my alarm went off at 4am!
  • Most runners complained of fatigue.
  • I remember dreaming of new running routes to try out!
  • The classic one was when were one of the participants stated they were too tired to have sex with their partner thanks to the running challenge.
  • Women talked about how running actually helps during your period. Somehow exercise helps with the cramps and when one of the participants tried to back out of the challenge due to her period we encouraged her to keep going, it only gets better.
  • I for one can tell you that my appetite went out the window. I was hungry in the mornings, lunch time as well but come supper time I was just too tired to feed myself!  I think I lost a couple of kilograms but thanks to my bathroom scale dying out on me last minute I will never know!
  • Calvin went crazy on the last day of the challenge and ran at a pace of 3mins 12seconds on the last kilometre of his run. WHO DOES THAT??  No one in the group ran anywhere close to that pace and we were all green with envy because that’s a pace we only dream of.  Well done dude!
  • Kudzai also set a great pace, look at number 8 on the grid.  Unfortunately he missed a run or two and he lost the first place.  I actually had my fingers crossed that he would win but I guess he needs a longer pair of “secret socks”.
  • The one thing I was very happy about was that most runners had not ran 5 kilometres in a very long time others never at all but this challenge pushed them to their limits. Now that’s what a challenge is all about!  Nothing but serious business when it comes to fitness!
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Natalie

The winner was NatalieShe is truly an inspiration (and very young too).  The pace she set out for everyone was out of this world!  I mean, who runs an average of 5mins 12 seconds per kilometre for a whole 5 kilometres!  Like I said she is young and straight out of High School where they play sport, do all those cross country events almost every day so of course she was going to win! (This is what sore losers sound like. LOL)  A big congratulations to Natalie, she did very well and because she was the winner of this challenge she got to choose what the next challenge will be.

The hash tags will be #NatalieChallenge #RunWithFitnessBae.  In order to win you must take part and when you post your run on social media don’t forget to use the two hashtags I mentioned.   This time around there are prizes to be won and they will be announced a few days just before the challenge starts.  If you want to take part please contact KudzaiUmba or myself and we will add you to the WhatsApp Fitness group.  There is a lot of information on and fitness, encouragement, good laughs and healthy food recipes so if that’s your cup of tea come and join the family.

Well done to each and every single person who took part in this challenge.  I know some participants have not taken on this kind of pressure before but look at how you sailed through this!  This is the beginning of many challenges to come.

The next challenge is from the 31st of October to the 4th of November 2016.

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I hope you had a weekend as lovely as mine.  If you have any questions on the next running challenge or you just want to join and get started on your fitness journey don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Today is Monday by the way, the perfect day to get up and do something!

©MaKupsy 2016

Missed Call Alert!

I can tell you that I have had moments I have questioned what was going through the other person’s mind when they were busy leaving 10 missed calls on my phone.  When I try to contact someone and they don’t pick up the phone twice, that’s the end of that I won’t try doing so again because they clearly are tied up and when they are free they will get back to me.  So I am left puzzled when I see my phone with so many missed calls from the same person within a short space of time.

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Image from Google

If I didn’t answer the phone the first 3 calls there must be a reason why I am not picking up your calls.  Reasons such as…

  1. My phone is on  silent and I didn’t hear it ring.
  2. I am probably taking a bath.
  3. My phone is on the charger in the next room.
  4. I am tied up at work.
  5. I am in church.
  6. I am exercising.
  7. I have a visitor.
  8. I am doing some housework.
  9. I am probably asleep.
  10. I do not want to talk to you.
  11. I am upset with you.
  12. I will call you back once I am done doing whatever (or whoever) I am doing.
  13. I am working on my next blog and need maximum concentration.
  14. I am not in the mood to talk to anyone, it’s really not that deep.
  15. I want to be left alone.

So you see, people have one too many reasons for not picking up your calls.  My advice is try at least twice, and wait a while before making the second call.  If all else fails then you can get a hint right?

P.S. This also goes to messages on WhatsApp that go unanswered.

What have been your reasons for not picking up someone’s call?  Do you always want to be taking calls or sometimes you just need that “alone time” the same way I do?

© MaKupsy 2016

I Wonder Where The 1 kg Is Hiding?

It’s such a lovely morning.  I went for my morning run and got back feeling so great.  I had not been sleeping well since the weekend but last night I slept well and so soundly I clocked in a whole 9 hours of sleep.  I have this sleep application on my phone, who knew you burn all those calories while you sleep; technology is really going all out hey?

I weigh myself each week as you already know.  This week my scale read an extra kg.  I wasn’t expecting that seeing that I still run but just not as often but to be honest it’s not a train smash because I know if I eat right and work out religiously this week my scale will be back to normal again come next Monday.  For some people I know you are probably reading this and rolling your eyes saying “Really, it’s just 1 kg!” but for me a kg will set me off track if I don’t manage it now.  I am still wondering where the 1 kg is hiding though because I still look and feel the same…or so I think.

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I never want to be overweight again.  I was unhappy, I was in a dark place, I lost most of my confidence and I don’t ever want to go through that again.  I love the healthy and fit me.  I have so much energy and I am so much happier.

I have so many feel good hormones running through my veins and listening to some Old School music just made me even happier.  These are some of the songs on my playlist this morning.

  • All My Life  – KCi & Jojo
  • Rock A Party – MC Lyte
  • This Love – Donell Jones
  • Door Number 1 – LSG
  • The First Night – Monica
  • Get It On Tonight – Montell Jordan

What are you listening to to get your day going and how is your fitness journey going so far?

MaKupsy

 

WhatsApp Addiction

My name is MaKupsy and I used to be addicted to WhatsApp.  I used to have my phone on me 24/7 even took a bath while I was starring at it!  I would attempt to prepare a meal and most of the times I burnt the food because all my attention was on my phone.  Housework, well, it took me double the time to finish doing it because the number of breaks to check out new messages slowed everything down.  I would sleep late night and wake up feeling all groggy all in the name of wanting to chat.  The work front was worse, countless times my manager would walk in on me and I would be chatting away and that did not look good on my work image, AT ALL.  Talk about not wanting to miss out on what’s happening around you or rather on the latest gossip!  This whole WhatsApp phase has got people hooked and most people don’t even realise it.  I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing but if your whole life centres around your phone and the moment you run out of credit or your battery dies out on you you feel like the world will come to an end then there is definitely a problem there!images

The worst thing about having someone to talk to at the tip of your finger is that when you are going through something you just blurt it out.  Mainly because someone is online and ready to talk you find yourself pouring out your emotions to them and half the time they are not even interested but they would like to tell the rest of the world about your problems; and you don’t even realise it.  It was easier when you had to make a call or meet up with a friend to tell them what you were going through now you just type away and who knows, someone might screenshot your conversation and share it with a whole bunch of people who don’t even care about you…Technology is a funny thing.

I had to work on my addiction with baby steps.  Started leaving my phone behind when I went to work and then attended to it from the moment I got home to bedtime.  I wrote things down in my notepad for reminders and important things I had to do that day all in a bid to not rely on my phone too much.  It wasn’t easy considering I used to walk to work and text at the same time for fear of missing out on something that might pop up on my phone screen.  Just imagine the chances of being run over by a car because I wasn’t focusing on actually walking to work and getting there in one piece.

Don’t get me wrong, social media is not a bad thing, but for me, I now prefer it in small doses because if all my focus is on my phone chances are I will miss the priceless moments.  I won’t even notice that it’s a bright and sunny day because my eyes keep darting through my phone.  Now I use my WhatsApp as and when necessary, it is no longer a life threatening issue if I don’t have my phone… life goes on.  It is actually more peaceful for me.  Actually, the reason I am still on it is to communicate with my mum so that she can send me my daughter’s photos, videos and voice notes.   If it wasn’t for her I would have since left because the addiction was unbecoming.

MaKupsy

The Heat!

 

Goodness me, I don’t remember the last time I slept soundly.  Today the weather forecast predicts a maximum temperature of 33 Degrees Celsius.  If you ask me it feels like it has been 40 plus Degrees the past few days.  It is freaking hot this side of the equator!!!  Hot isn’t even the word actually, it’s just so uncomfortable I don’t know what to call it anymore.

I have to wake up at 0430hrs so that I get to head out for my morning run because anytime later the sun will be out and blazing and my energy levels dwindle when the sun is out.  By the time I am normally done with my run it’s anytime just before 0530hrs and it will be already blazing hot!  Whatever sins we are paying for may the gods please forgive us already, we have learnt our lesson and we will stay on the straight and narrow path because this is not on.

Last night in an attempt to sleep better I made a “cold water bottle”.  I froze a bottle of water and then put it next to me in bed. HAHAHAHA Desperate times people, desperate times.  It didn’t work though, it just felt even more uncomfortable.  Then I decided to soak myself in a whole bath tub of cold water for a few minutes.  I felt better for just a few minutes then it was back to the heat.  Sleeping naked is a total waste of time, been there, tried that you can still feel the heat.  Opening the windows just made things worse because mosquitoes came flying in.  Do mosquitoes ever sleep?  This is a genuine question by the way.   I have been contemplating getting a fan but I know I can’t sleep with it on because I know myself and that will just be a recipe for catching a cold.

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I drink a lot of water already but now I drink a lot of water with lots of ice to try and cool down but this stuff is only working temporarily.  I have no intentions of going to hell after experiencing this heat on earth.  If what they say about hell being burning hot and I feel like I am being roasted right here and right now then that bus can miss me any day!

I keep thinking if I feel like I am going to pass out any minute at bed time and yet I sleep alone, what about couples?  How are they managing in this heat?  Then there is sex…How do you even get your freak on in this freaking heat?  Unless you have sex in the shower or in the bath tub, that could work.  Actually, I need to put that on my bucket list.

What are you guys doing to help you cool down?  I am in desperate need of ideas.  I have even stopped leaving the office during my lunch break because the heat will just make me feel tired and drained.

This heat is making me really unhappy.

MaKupsy