Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I never thought it was possible, but there was somehow a very hot, strong wind to go along with 31-degree heat this afternoon. It seems a cruel joke to live in a city where there is the risk of death from running in temperatures that are too cold and too hot. It is a virtual guarantee that a winter day in Toronto, no matter what the temperature, will be windy. It is also a guarantee that this wind will be in your face. The tall buildings tunnel the wind and open spaces offer no protection from its ravages. Soon enough, the overwhelming heat settles in for the summer and the humidity saps the life out of anyone who dares to leave an air-conditioned office building, subway car or home. Twice a year, there are roughly six weeks of respite that could be called pleasant weather, but for the most part, we in Toronto suffer gamely through lunar fluctuations in temperature, about 55 degrees in a typical year.

Toronto is also, unfortunately, a reasonably hilly town, though I like that. However, today I ran up the Iroquois Escarpment into a headwind, feeling like I was running into the welcoming arms of a flamethrower. The only thing I could do was to run faster so as to have some semblance of control over my suffering, but the heat won easily. I didn't stop sweating until about a half hour after I finished running. Then again, I was able to respond to verbal cues and hand gestures afterwards, which is certainly a victory for me.

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