Younger longer – water for life

Here is a glass of water from my well.
It tastes of rock and root and earth and rain.
It is the best I have, my only spell,
And it is cold, and better than champagne. 

From May Sarton’s poem ‘A Glass of Water’

As a child growing up we often played adventurous games in and around Tar Creek in Miami, Oklahoma. (Yes, home to the worst environmental disaster.) But it wasn’t that way in the ’50’s and ’60’s. The cool stream protected by trees and acres of farm land bubbled up from the ground, and we drank from it in cups made of folded tree leaves. With our clover necklaces we pretended to be princesses who wanted to hide from the world where Atomic Bombs from Russia couldn’t harm us.

Tributaries from various creeks flowed through the golf course, through Lou Newell’s horse farm and into Tar Creek. I spent nearly two decades of my life playing golf, practicing, swimming, and simply playing with friends in and around these creeks. Our fresh water for drinking on the nine hole golf course (holes #3, #5, #8) came from wells deep down in the ground and within sight of Eagle Picher, the highest of the chat piles built with chat from the lead and zinc mines of Northeast Oklahoma during the forty year boom from 1910–1950.

Remaining chat piles around Cardin, Oklahoma.

The most painful memory I have from those years was the day I didn’t drink enough water to walk, talk, or think. By the time I reached the cool inside of the golf shop I passed out and barely missed falling into the glass case displaying golf balls for sale. I only remember waking up to dozens of people pouring cold water on my head, wrapping me in wet towels. It must have been a Thursday, men’s night for the CS Club because Dad and Doc Jackson, Doc Ford, showed up. I thought I was in trouble for sure, since they had to leave their golf match, but they merely sighed in relief that I was fine and made me drink water until I had to go to the bathroom.

Miami Country Club circa 1963.

To this day I fear passing out from dehydration whether gardening, walking, playing golf, or sitting in the sun and watching OU football. One of the most often spoken rules on the golf course for women is, “never let a bathroom pass by without a visit.” My rule is, “never let a water jug pass by without adding water to my cups.”

Water with lemon and cucumber.

My water consumption stems from that experience, but also, because I sweat so much more than glistening as many people say. Even as child I preferred vinegar/oil on my salads, dill pickles at the movies rather than chocolate or candies. My system prefers dill, sour, and salt over sweets. I think this is important to know what your system needs to sustain good health. Therefore, I also drink “Pickle Juice” that I purchase at Academy Sports, and I drink packets of electrolytes called “Smart Styx” that I order online.

We often talk about getting the ‘dummies’ on the golf course or at home from over working in the yard. The ‘dummies’ are a direct result from mild dehydration which leads to negative performance and weakened endurance.  As much as I know to drink water, I don’t always follow my own advice. The easiest rule to remember for how much water to drink is called 8×8, drink 8 ounces of water 8 times a day, and it is calorie free. Luckily, I like plain water, but there are so many other options for drinking fresh water, such as: adding lemon, pineapple, orange, cucumber and lemon mixed in a filtration jug, or add a splash of various fruit juices like cranberry juice.  I carry jugs of water most everywhere I go now, and do my best to finish them before coming home.

For more information on the benefits of water this is excellent article: The value of drinking plenty of water.

The benefits of drinking water make it drink for life. Our brain is mostly water and drinking it helps by improving concentration, maintaining memory function, increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain (so important as we age), helping to flush out waste, regulates body temperature, and lubricates the joints.

Like May Sarton wrote: (A glass of water) tastes of rock and root and earth and rain (and it’s better than champagne).


 

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