Mountain Time

I’m out west for work, enjoying some fresh mountain air — and trying to adjust to the time change and the change in elevation.

On the time change, there’s not much you can do except try to sleep as late as your brain permits and not get too upset if you are wide awake at 3:30 a.m. You can do something about the elevation, however, and that’s drink lots of water. I ignored that advice on an early trip to the Mountain Zone and paid dearly for my stupidity with some temple-crushing headaches. This trip, I’m taking no chances and guzzling water like I’m about to trek across the Sahara Desert.

It’s nice to see a mountain every once in a while, by the way, and a time change and constant hydration is a small price to pay for the privilege.

Hydration Fixation

Yesterday I was in LaGuardia Airport, waiting for my flight home, when I saw that Delta had helpfully put a “water bottle refilling station” in its terminal for those people who seem to carry a water bottle and take a swig everywhere they go. A simple water fountain isn’t good enough — we need a “station” where those brightly colored, quart-sized plastic canisters can be filled to the rim.

IMG_1848I’m sure there’s a purported health reason for this fixation with water, but it’s always seemed weird to me. A few years ago I asked a summer clerk at our firm to come to my office for a meeting. To my surprise, the guy brought along a full, sloshing jug of water, with a plastic straw protruding out. Good lord! How long did he think the meeting was going to last? Was he really worried about becoming dehydrated during a discussion about a research project? Maybe he thought I’d spew so much hot air that the risk of dessication was more than he could tolerate. And his constant sipping made me think of a hamster, too.

What is it with the hydration obsession of some people? Is it supposed to help them stick to a diet by filling them up? Is it supposed to keep their body’s flushing systems working at desperate overload levels? Is it supposed to keep their skin moist and dewy fresh?

I like to drink water as much as the next person, but this hydration fixation seems to be reaching ridiculous levels.