13 April 2008

My cryogenics experiment

(Otherwise known as my Saturday).

In the morning the host school was having an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. The cook was amazing. He had some kind contraption/skillet/table where he could cook 24 pancakes at one time. And the batter was squirted out of this machine into perfect circles. He even tossed the pancakes to you with his spatula. I ate seven pancakes. I have never eaten that many cakes in my life. But they were so delicious I could not bring myself to stop. The pancakes were wonderfully fluffy and warm.

That was the last time during that event that I would feel warm.

I have never been so cold. I thought the Wash U. meet was bad a few weeks back, but that was nothing. That was a shorter experience, with no wind. Yesterday there were gusts up to like 20. I was running the JV high jump and the bar was being blown off consistently. Then it started to sleet. SLEET!!!! It is April. Mid-April.

I had on 4 t-shirts, 2 long-sleeved Ts, one fleece pull-over, one thick runners jacket that feels almost like rubber, my thickest hooded sweatshirt, one of those nylon-like jackets runners wear, another nylon-ish jacket. I had on three pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, three pairs of gloves. I wore two hats -- one nylon-type runners hat that usually is super warm, and another wool one on top of it in addition to my hoody

What did all this do for me regarding my warmth?

I would have to say not a mother-fucking thing.

It was so cold I even had to have one of my coaches stop on his way and buy me those hand warmer things. They are supposed to exude warmth for up to 7 hours. I used them at one of the football games this fall and became a believer. It was unbelievable. I really thought at one point that if I didn't remove them I would get a serious degree burn.

Of course since the weather was so cold, I would somehow get a defective pair.

I took them out of the bag and they didn't seem to warm as quickly as the last time. I put them in my socks and all they did was make my feet feel moist and cold. Placed them in the gloves and felt nothing like the warmth or burn of the last time. It was more like the feeling you get when you have a few cubes of ice in your mouth and try to blow into your clenched fists to warm them up.

I bought four hot chocolates during the meet. The first was really great. One of my assistant coaches bought it for me as I was working the high jump. It was a long walk from the concession stand to the pit, but the cup was still emitting steam. And as I took the first sip, it warmed my whole body.

I tried it three more times in hopes of the same temperature rising effect. No luck. Each subsequent cup was more and more lukewarm.

But I kept hope alive and continued to buy more. When I got the last one I asked the lady if she was serious. Did she think she was selling a freaking iced-cocoa drink? I took a sip. I guess it was good that it was too cold for me to move my arms quickly. If I had tried to throw it back at her the fluid probably would have done nothing but trickle out since I couldn't move my arms quickly enough to cool her face with the drink. Perhaps since she was standing close to the grill to cook the burgers and dogs she didn't really understand how cold it was. Perhaps she was not heating the water on purpose to see what people's reactions would be upon sipping that concoction. I really didn't have time to think up her reasoning. And I was too cold. I was not going to take it any more. I asked her if she was going to make another batch and actually have it be HOT chocolate. She said that it was just as hot as this morning. I asked her for my money back and went to continue freezing as I watched my athletes.

The kids, as a whole, did all right. Some performed magnificently in spite of the weather -- we broke five school records. Others were challenged for the first time with some decent competition. Others couldn't make it to the starting line before the gun man was ready to start their race. How is it that an entire relay can almost miss their race? Twice. And not warm up when it is 30-some degrees. I really had to bite my tongue with them. Until the bus ride, when I let them know my thoughts. But since the driver was there and he did not need to hear my diatribe, I will let them hear the rest on Monday.

When I left the meet it was 7:55pm. It was 37 degrees with winds still gusting, a drizzle falling and a wind chill of 29 degrees.

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