General

When my hair lies like a second skin over my cheeks and I look as if I were just caught in a sudden storm, I let myself step off the exercise machine. My legs are empty and there is a rising feeling of nausea from my stomach. It never ceases to amaze me that the muscles that were working so hard only seconds ago now struggle to hold my weight. I stagger to the mirror to gawk at my sweaty form, my achievement, a visual that calms my fear of being fat again. I see muscles and bones that not so long ago were buried. This is the new me, the one who works to keep it off instead of consoling myself at the coffee shop with another commiseration prize.

General

In the haze of the afternoon I can feel the loose shirt start to cling to my back in places and there is a slight sting to my eyes - old mascara. I never seem to learn to throw it out before it goes rancid and I'm just too vain to leave the house without it. My sister, who got father's brown skin, looks beautiful even when sweating; her skin becomes more like polished stone. I'm white like mother right down to my blue eyes and red-tinged hair. Sweating makes me look like I need someone to dunk me in an ice bath fast, anything to put out the fire in my cheeks,

General

I used to find sweating so gross. It was the dark stain under the pits of old men while they played boules in sun hot enough to drop a cow. To a teenager that's right up there with pus and puke. Perhaps in my so called maturity I've become obsessed, part of being an insecure person I guess, but I can't go three days now without running until I am sweatier than all of those grandpa's put together. When my hair is saturated and the salty drops run into my mouth it's a kiss of life. It's the reassurance that I can still run, still enjoy the body God gave me for years to come. I check for the grey hairs sometimes, none yet, but even if they sprouted faster than spring weeds I'm not ready to buy my boules set just yet.

General

Before morning passes the heat has our sweat running like condensation off winter glass. What started as a glossy sheen became beaded, but not attractively like morning dew, and then formed tiny rivers that flowed into our clothes. We're not in trouble unless the sweating stops, and then we must find water come what may or face the delirium of dehydration.

General

When Adam exercises Samine hangs back, watching him shine like a freshly washed car in the morning light. She moves forward once he's still, running her finger down his arm just like she used to with winter window at the farm, always slick with condensation.

General

The sweat is a dark and growing map down the front of Olivia's lycra top, turning it from a bright pink toward magenta. Her skin is as wet as if she's just pulled herself from a pool, yet there is no water around, only the dank underground gym her father began many years previously.

General

There is nothing timid about the heat. The sweat comes and is evaporated just as fast leaving us dry to the touch. Drinking water is almost a full time occupation, sucking enough in so that it can be drawn through our skin.

General

Salty droplets flow down Ian's face like soft summer rain, dripping onto the concrete as he sits to regain his breath. His down his back is a dark stripe amid the salmon colour of his sleeveless top, a spreading map of perspiration.