The Flames of Hell (Escarcega, Campeche, Mexico)

It’s hot.  The flames of hell sounded quite appealing today.  This heat makes a bike ride on the surface of the sun seem like a cakewalk.  It was so hot today I started dreaming of cooling off by jumping into the wicked witch’s cauldron.  In other words – it’s hot.

I drank water by the bucketload all day.  Honestly, I’m not sure how much water I ingested in the end, but I know I drank at least 1.5 gallons.  Yep – that’s gallons.  As in – four quarts to a gallon….  Which means I drank at least six quarts of water.  And yet, I didn’t pee all day.

And Daryl?  He drank a grand total of one cup of water.  Yes – one cup.  Therein lies our problem.

We’ve tried everything to get Daryl to drink more.  We’ve asked him; we’ve begged him; we’ve threatened him; we’ve reasoned with him.  We’ve put flavoring in his water, but it just turns hot yucky water into hot yucky flavored water.  Daryl is convinced he’s drinking enough, but we know he’s not.

Our only saving grace is Daryl’s fierce sense of justice and fairness.  Every once in a while we get a 2- or 3-liter bottle of soda, and Daryl is bound and determined to get his fair share.  Which means, of course, that he forces himself to drink a whole bunch.

But still, our problem remains.  And so I thought I would put this out here in the hopes that you, dear reader, will have the magic bullet we need to encourage our son to drink more.  Do you have any words of wisdom you can pass on?  And suggestions we can try?  I thank you in advance for your help!

Kilometers today:  85

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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14 Responses to The Flames of Hell (Escarcega, Campeche, Mexico)

  1. 331miles March 9, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

    Positive reinforcement — if he finishes a quart (or pint?) between rest stops, he can have a bottle of soda at the stop. No water consumed, no soda.

  2. nancy March 9, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    That’s a novel idea, Jeff! Somehow we hadn’t even thought of that one.

  3. Melynda March 9, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    When I used to take kids hiking, I’d play drinking games with them–you know the ones you played in college…but with water rather than beer.

    Every time someone says a word (bike, hill, ocean, you pick) everyone has to take a drink.

    Go around the group (family) and each person says something they’ve never done. (I’ve never spent a whole day swimming). You choose something you haven’t done, but Daryl has.

    Find a small container and play quarters.

    Have a race to see who can down the most water the quickest. Make a mark on each person’s water bottle and that’s the place they have to get to. Maybe there is a prize for the winner.

    You get the idea.

  4. Melynda March 9, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

    ooops…the rest of “I never” is that whoever HAS done the thing has to drink.

  5. nancy March 9, 2009 at 3:00 pm #

    Good ideas! I guess we were just too tuckered out to think about playing games with them – but on hot days like this we’ll need to think about it!

  6. Rachael March 9, 2009 at 6:41 pm #

    This might be a stimulus – or post about our daughter getting dehydrated in Cambodia a couple of months back – if he doesn’t like needles and hospitals, it just might be the scare tactic you need – actually, I offer it hoping it might be useful, not to frighten him (though it was frightening to us at the time)

  7. nancy March 9, 2009 at 6:46 pm #

    Rachel – we’ve talked with him about your daughter. In fact, we read the whole article to him! His response whenever we bring it up is something along the lines of: “Did she feel like she was full of water before it happen?” or some such thing. He drives me crazy – he just can’t ‘get’ that his body NEEDS more water!

  8. Grand Canyon Harry March 9, 2009 at 7:16 pm #

    Nancy: All of the comments have their merit. I can only pass on my experiences. I suffered from heat stroke in Viet Nam in 1970 and the issue stays with me today. I have been dehydrated a few times since then – once seriously in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. There is a simple test for dehydration – simply pinch the skin (not hard) a few inces above the wrist, if the skin immediately goes back to normal all is OK but if the skin stays “welted” up there is a potential problem. Unfortunately we don’t realize dehydration is setting in until too late. Sodas are not good for rehydrating – the caffene raises the pulse rate and adds to the problem. Water is best. When I exert, a sport drink helps but watch the salts – nasty stuff. When medevac’d in Viet Nam they gave me 4000 cc of IV in just a few hours – I gained 5 pounds immediately. Daryl: please take some adult advice from ‘ol granpa Harry: DRINK MORE FLUIDS!!!!! Thinking of you daily. Harry

  9. Rachel Hugens March 9, 2009 at 7:59 pm #

    Is there some other need not being met and it’s coming out with not drinking water?

  10. dustend March 11, 2009 at 9:54 pm #

    Maybe a hydration pack would be novel enough to encourage him? Instead of water bottles he could be using a hose and nozzle. My wife loves it for bike touring but I prefer bottles myself. Keep up the good pedaling!

  11. Tiffany March 12, 2009 at 6:09 pm #

    Well, if the problem is that he doesn’t drink water because it’s not cold enough, I have a couple of tricks I’ve found to keep the water cooler. I can’t stand drinking warm/hot water so I’ve had trouble drinking as much as I should too.

    One thing you can do is to slip the water bottles in a wet sock (cut off the excess at the top of the bottle). As you ride, the wind will cool the water as the water starts to evaporate. Obviously, this does best in arid regions but it may be worth a try even though you’re in a humid area.

    The other thing is to get a water bladder and fill it with ice. You can scoop ice into water bottles as needed.

    I hope that helps out some.

    Tiff :o)

  12. Kevin Fitzgerald March 13, 2009 at 5:56 am #

    Hi! As a BRAG Dream Team mentor with a tandem, I have to be sure my stokers drink enough. Most of the time that’s worked out well, but one of the girls who did OK riding with me got dehydrated when she was on her own later in the week. The weird thing was that she passed out during a free massage quite some time after she finished riding. She ended up going to the hospital in an ambulance and had to have an IV. This also meant that our Dream Team leader had to become involved, and he had to leave camp to make sure everything worked out OK. This turned out to be very expensive, and a bit embarassing for the young lady. It also cost her a day in the sag wagon while her body readjusted.

    So tell Daryl that even though warm water might be hard to take, it’s way better than putting himself and your whole family through a lot of needless and expensive difficulty.

    Also remind him that his kidneys have to last him the rest of his life, so he’d better take care of them now so they’ll go the distance. Also, I don’t know if people his age can get kidney stones, but every other person I know who’s had them say the pain is very very bad! Drinking enough liquids is critical to prevent those in my case, since I lost some of my intestines to illness back in 1980. That’s why my cross-USA tandem has 5 water bottle cages. Thank God I’ve never had stones, because I drink like I should, even if the water is warm.

    I got a kick out of grossing people out by downing lots of (safe) sulfur water near coastal Georgia on BRAG 2008. No problem for me! Sulfur water and Powerade mix? Well, that’s another story, but I will still drink it!

    Best wishes and safe miles!


  13. Laurie Ashton Farook March 13, 2009 at 7:17 am #

    Depending on how dehydrated he’s getting, electrolytes (including salt) might also be required. Personally, I get dehydrated very easily, suffer from heatstroke more frequently than I’d care to, and I always keep a few packets of pediatric electrolytes – to be added to water – with me and use ’em as necessary. But I’m also a bit of an extreme example.

    I’d also suggest, if possible, that he daily consume watery fruits and vegetables – watermelon, honeydew melon, cucumber, and so on. It can be a great way to sneak extra water in. Alternately, soups if you’re up for such things.

  14. nancy March 13, 2009 at 3:34 pm #

    Thanks for your ideas everyone! Daryl did a lot better on this last stretch. Yes, it cost us a water bottle (he actually took it off his bike and carried it around during his breaks – and one time left it behind), but he drank more water than he had before. He seems OK – there are no signs of dehydration at all. But we just don’t see how he could be riding all day in this heat and not get dehydrated on the amount of water he drinks! I figure as long as he is peeing a couple times a day he should be OK, so I’m using that as a guide.

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