Even though I have lived in El Paso for most of my life, my body has yet to grow accustomed to the scorching heat and arid air. The effects of the desert climate are exacerbated ten times over after I come back from my comfortably humid little college town of Ithaca, New York and am forced to weather the 100 degree, Sun City weather. Being back compels me back into habits I have neglected to keep up. For instance, water intake. Up in Ithaca, which is surrounded by lakes and waterfalls, and where the air is always moist, it's easy for me to ignore how much I need water when it is essentially all around me. My skin doesn't dry out because of the humidity and I feel that I don't need to replenish as often because the sun isn't always bearing down on me . Coming back to El Paso, however forces me to guzzle down bottles after bottles of water in attempts to reclaim my skin's moisture as well as quench my dying thirst, helping me achieve the recommended 8 cups of water a day.
Coming back to El Paso also forces me back into the habit of wearing sunscreen, a task I forget about under the ample cloud cover of Ithaca, NY. Even though I know that you should wear sunscreen every day, whether it's sunny or not, I rarely ever lather on the 'screen when it's under 70 degrees outside, which is how it is pretty much every day up north. My logic is, if it doesn't feel burning hot, there's no risk of burning, which, I acknowledge, is deeply flawed. However being in El Paso,where the sun is unforgiving and 90+ degree weather is commonplace, pushes me to grab the bottle of block and make sure I get the sun protection I need.
Lastly, even though I am often heard complaining about how much I loathe the desert heat and praying for a little cloud cover, the sunshiney days of El Paso remind me that I should get outside more often. Because even though the frequently bleak and dreary days in Ithaca are great for lazy, House- marathon days, I don't get enough fresh air and exercise by cooped up indoors. One thing I can always count on in the EP is that the harsh sun, no matter how annoying, will always invite me outside to play and get active.