I Sat In The Sauna for an Hour and This Happened

Most websites recommend not to sit in the sauna for over a half hour. Being a daring individual, I decided to push the limits of the sauna and sit for an hour. www.livestrong.com suggests that a “brief” 10–15 minute session in the sauna will cause a person to lose a pint of water, weighing 16 ounces. Of course this is not truly losing body fat, but rather losing water weight. The typical sauna is 160–195 degrees Fahrenheit. That is 90–130 degrees warmer than a typical household, or 105–145 degrees warmer than a college house during winter in Montana. The most glaring side effect of sitting in the sauna for too long is Death, which would be a real bummer.

My goal was to sit in the sauna for one hour (without drinking water) and see how it affected my body. This saunathon was set to take place on a Monday afternoon. That morning, I had consumed roughly 60 ounces of liquid. I wanted to measure the physical and psychological effects of sitting in the sauna for an hour.

Before I got in the sauna, I recorded my weight and resting heart rate. I weighed 181.5 pounds and my heart rate was 75 bpm. To be expected, I felt great as I got in. I spent the first few minutes questioning what I was getting myself into, and hoping that I wouldn’t end up on the front page of the Missoulian for this. As I moved into the 15–25 minute zone, I began to question whether my stubbornness would outcompete my rationality. My heart rate had increased to 114 bpm, a jump of roughly 40 since I had gotten in. A group of physical therapy students joined me in the sauna at 15 minutes, and strongly advised me against staying for an hour. What do they know anyway?

Around the half hour mark I began feeling the effects of dehydration. Headache, extreme thirst, and difficulty breathing were all setting in big time. My heart rate continued to climb, now measuring at 133 bpm. According to my Fitbit I was in the cardio zone, which made me feel that this endeavor was more productive than I had originally planned. Some more conversing with the PT students made time go by a little faster, but the clock was starting to seem broken at times. I would also imagine that my sentences were starting to seem less coherent during my chatter with my new friends.

At the 45 minute mark I finally had to throw in the towel. I was experiencing an extreme headache, and knew if I stayed in any longer that I wouldn’t be able to walk myself out. My heart rate had reached 144 bpm, which was alarmingly high given that I was sitting still. I made my way out of the sauna and down to the scale, where I measured myself at 177.5 pounds. I had lost 4 pounds, or roughly 64 ounces of water. I quickly scurried to my locker and downed my 32 ounce water bottle, which quickly cured all of the symptoms I had been experiencing. I wish I could say this was a good experience for me, but I will definitely never try it again.


Owning a Car in College: You’re Probably Not Going Places

One of my earliest memories involves a go-kart, willful neglect of clearly stated rules, and an incredibly angry woman who took life too seriously. My parents took me to a small amusement park, and I was thrilled to discover I could drive my own go-kart. I should also mention that I was, and am to this day, a competitive asshole. While riding around the track, I repeatedly rear-ended the driver in front of me, who continually yelled at me the rules that were so clearly posted on all signage: “Do not bump other cars.” I eventually passed her and crossed the finish line, wheels burning and victory swelling in my chest.

I no longer intentionally rear-end people, but Karma marked me that day and said: “Your time will come.” My time came when I purchased my first car. A 2002 Nissan Sentra with the check engine light on. That’s right. I walked into that relationship saying: “I can fix you.” Those relationships always work.

The check engine light stayed on for the next three years. I broke down on the interstate repeatedly. Sometimes I would pull the emergency brake going 80 miles an hour. Other times, my car would completely shut down, forcing me to turn the wheel as hard as I could to pull over to the side of the road. It’s worth mentioning that my arms are as strong as a couple of cooked spaghetti noodles. After every breakdown, my dad and I repaired the car, always thinking that THIS repair would be the end of that little orange glow on the dash. How naïve we were.

The car broke down for the last time during the weekend of my college graduation. I knew the catalytic converters were broken, but I didn’t have the money to replace them. My dad found the parts online, and we were prepared to take on the task of repairing the car ourselves yet again. Mechanics laughed at us. All I had to do was drive 340 miles to my dad’s garage. No biggie.

A little over half way there, my car started to overheat and refused to go faster than 20 mph. On the interstate. A tow truck took me to the nearest town, and my dad towed it the rest of the way. After working for a couple days, we finally had the old parts out, new parts in, and everything put back together. It was midnight. We were exhausted, but high-fiving and taking pictures.

This is when my dad said: “Break out the camera. We’ll want to remember this moment. We beat this thing.” Spoiler alert: We did not beat this thing.

He went to work the next day and I took the car for a test drive. I made it two miles before the engine started to overheat again. Remember that 340 mile journey? Yeah. Blew a head gasket. $2000 to fix. Did I mention that I was starting a job in less than a week? In San Francisco. 1200 miles away. We accepted defeat.

Long story short, I ended up buying a new car. I made it to San Francisco just fine, hoping that my brain would black out the last week entirely. It’s been nearly a year since then, and I have to say that I’m glad I remember every moment. Do I miss the stress crying? No. Am I thankful for a family who pulls together and helps me out during life’s shitty times? Absolutely. My dad was always right next to me, teaching me how to replace every damn part on a Nissan Sentra. Really, he taught me determination, instilled in me an appreciation for my possessions, and allowed me to see that no matter the situation, I’m going to make it out on the other side.

Most importantly, do I regret rear-ending that angry woman 18 years ago? Not even a little bit. Karma can suck it.

Trump wins! Mexico agrees to unique deal with America to pay for “The Wall”

After an unexpected phone call with the president of Mexico over the weekend, POTUS Donald Trump claimed victory once again in his quest to make America great again by coming to an agreement that benefits both countries.  “The Wall” as it is commonly known, will be constructed and financed by Mexican citizens seeking to enter a country that isn’t great yet, but promised to be so soon.


The terms of the agreement include Trump using American labor and American steel to create a casino wall lined with slot machines.  Those seeking to enter will have to “play to stay,” using slot machines constructed using American steel from one of Trump’s companies, commissioned by Trump himself.  Alistair Bernhard, a former student of Trump University and currently on visa from England, had this to say about the arrangement: “Gambling is great.  I love gambling.  The chance to gamble for citizenship in this soon to be great country is what everyone should dream of.  He’s getting rid of accessible healthcare for everyone.  Do you know how annoying it is to be given affordable healthcare and never use it?  Anyway, the real threat is on the Canadian border.  We should build a wall there.  They have affordable healthcare, and we know how bad that is for a country.”


The decision to use Trump’s branded casinos comes with a bit of confusion, however.  In line with his rule to dismantle two regulations for every one created, he has decided to dismantle two that he created.  Trump will be removing the visa application process and removing the current ban on several Muslim countries, so that anyone visiting “The Wall” can use his slot machines.  He expressed his excitement for the ensuing construction with this statement, “The Wall is going to be great.  It’s going to be so great that Americans are going to want to see how great it is.  It’s going to be built so greatly you’re going to want to see how great it looks like on Mexico’s side.”


We already want to be on the other side, Donald.

Get Out of Your Own Way

All my life I have abided by this plan.  A plan involving a series of life goals to be completed in a particular order at a particular time with little variation.  I am very much a perfectionist – refusing to accept any standard short of perfection and breaking at the seams when things stray out of my control.  It is something that I found little fault in until I realized that it was actually getting in the way.

I grew up in Charlo, MT, a small town about an hour north of Missoula, MT.  You can verify this with my parents, but I believe I got off to a good start – not getting into a lot of trouble growing up, smiling for pictures, and eating my fruits and veggies.  Like most small-town kids, I was involved in a lot of school sanctioned activities.  I stayed busy spiking volleyballs, dribbling basketballs, or leaping over hurdles after school.  I was a part of several student groups aimed at developing various skills and helping the community – all while maintaining good grades.  I had the support of my family, the tight-knit community, and all the hours invested into me by my teachers and coaches.  When it came to my senior year of high school, I knew where and what I wanted to study before that notorious “last first day.” I was too proactive for my own good.  I filled out as many scholarships that came my way to ensure I could afford my college education without taking out loans or burdening my parents.  I received my high school diploma and was set to attend the University of Montana and study Marketing through the school of business administration in the Fall 2014.

Everything seemed to be going according to this meticulous plan I had my mind set on.

Although I know many non-traditionalists, adventurers, free spirts and the like that contest this idea entirely (and there is nothing wrong with that), I imagined my life following this ideal order in which I went to high school and graduated with good grades and big dreams for college.  I would start college the following fall with an idea of what you wanted to study and make a career out of.  I imagined meeting all kinds of people, growing as an individual, graduating 4+ years later, and stepping immediately into the ideal career the day after I receive my diploma.  To date, my life has followed this plan.  As I near the end of my college endeavors, I fully expected to make the later part regarding a career a reality.

Up until recently, I felt that I had to tailor my life to this rigid plan otherwise I wouldn’t succeed at getting where I want to be in my life.  I would fail myself, my family, and everything that had gotten me to this point.  I felt so constrained by this expectation I had put on myself to follow this plan exactly that the thought of not knowing exactly what I want to do with my life – let alone after college – was alarming.  As you can imagine this was a HUGE obstacle in my plan. I assured myself that I would figure it out.  I had to figure it out, but I was running out of time.  Quickly the seams of my sanity pulled further and further apart with each passing day.

I finally realized that it didn’t have to be this way at the source of many great epiphanies – a long car ride.

It all bubbled to the surface after spending a much needed four-day weekend away from Missoula.  On the ride home with my long-time boyfriend, we started talking about school and how we planned to turn our degrees into a career.  As the conversation progressed, I realized that I don’t honestly know what I want to do with my life, and I probably won’t find my ideal job right after college.

The more I thought about it, the more ludicrous this expectation seemed to me. Not only did I come to terms with that fact that it’s okay to not know exactly what I want to do, but how could I possibly know what I want to do for the rest of my life?  Why should I base the next 40-60+ years of my life on a mere 20 years of life experience and knowledge?  I was fed up with the preconceived idea that I had to stick to the plan.  I realized that it was unrealistic, and although it is a potentially suitable path, it is not the only path.  I finally committed myself to being less of a perfectionist and letting life take its course.

I don’t know exactly what I want to do and that’s okay – but I’m not going to stop trying to figure it out.  I want to be honest with myself and let go of the things I can’t control.  I want to search for opportunities to grow and become more of the person I want to be – whether that be job opportunities, painting, internships, traveling, volunteer opportunities, or voicing my thoughts in my first blog post.  I am a business student, but I don’t need a big corporation and paycheck for a satisfactory life.  I don’t want to get washed up in something to big.  I want to be purposeful and make an impact with the work I am passionate about.  I want to network with people not because “a bigger network makes you a better prospect” but because I want to have genuine relationships and get to know others who are finding or have found themselves to.  I want to be inspired by what I am doing.  I’ve realized that there is so much more to life than simply making money and living for the weekends.  If I want to accomplish these things, it is unlikely that I will get it all on the first try.  So, I need to stop thinking I will.

This is the type of realization that everyone seems to come to at some time in their life – a series of “mid-life crises.”  I have shared my quarterly life crisis in the hopes that it might inspire those of you that feel burdened by plans, expectations, social norms or whatever it might be to come to terms that sometimes it really doesn’t matter that much!  Even more so, I wrote this for myself – to hold myself accountable and remind myself to let go and live a little looser.

I will always plan, but I have made a pact with myself to not be tied down by it.  Someone once said, “Just because my path is different doesn’t mean I’m lost.”  I haven’t always believed this, but I’ve decided to start thinking this way.  Don’t be afraid to get lost occasionally and embrace your own journey.

Aspen Runkel is a student at the University of Montana pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration.  When she graduates in May of 2018, she will have majored in Marketing with a certificate in Digital Marketing and a minor in Media Arts.  She enjoys painting, cooking, DIY, and being active with sports, hiking, and traveling.

The Best Bar in Missoula That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Missoula Montana has a pretty phenomenal variety of bars to choose from for your weekend endeavors. The themes and varieties range from dive bar, burger joint, dance bars, wine bars… and the list goes on. Well today my friends, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The best bar in Missoula is not located at the heart of downtown but rather off of the intersection of Brooks and Stevens in the Stevens Shopping Center. Yes, my fellow beverage enthusiasts, I’m talking about the one and only Katie O’Keefe’s!


Now if you are unaware of this magical establishment I am speaking of that is quite alright. It’s an easy to miss location in a shopping mall, with barely even a sign out front. Don’t let the street view fool you because inside is where all of the magic happens.


When you walk into the establishment you are greeted with a buzzing red sign that assures you that you’re right where you want to be. Don’t walk up to the bar top just yet or you might miss the single best thing about Katie O’Keefe’s.


Before you get to the bar top there is a room to the right where you can pick the prettiest horse out of the group and put money down on some ponies. Yup, I’m talking about horse race gambling. In this room, there is a window where you can place your bet with a fine woman to put your money on a horse in accordance with The Tote. This might be the most unique feature of this little-known bar is that you can bet on live horse races. This is a great spot to be when the Kentucky Derby rolls around!


Let’s go back to the bar top and check things out.


Ah this beauty here, this is called the Wheel of Destiny. This is a fun bar game where you get to spin the wheel and you purchase the beer it lands on for only ½ of the price. The trick to this game? Don’t land on a beer that you don’t want to drink! There are 30 different beers that include Highlander, Red Stripe, Colt 45, Skull Splitter, Dragons Breathe, Mickeys, Old English and many more. Ah there are possibilities for some great half prices beer on that wheel but also some beers I NEVER want to drink. May the odds be forever in your favor…

Moving on… The bar top is made of a wooden counter top with plenty of bar stools for you and all of your friends. The employees here are kind and true friends that make the place feel like home.


This first room is filled with gambling machines for you to try to win some money playing Poker, Keno, or Line games. You gotta love Montana for making it easier to gamble than any other state. So we have pretty much covered the first few rooms and the main bar area in Katie’s. You might think this is the end of the tour but OH NO!! There is another level to this amazing hole in the wall bar that I know you are excited to go check out!

There are a few stairs towards the door of the establishment that take you down a lower level of Katie’s. There you will find so many tables and fun bar games that you could spend all day there. There is a plethora of tables in this lower part of Katie’s that pretty much guarantee you a place to rest your booty, even on the busiest nights.  I know these tables are a few extra steps away from the bar, and let’s face it that makes some of us a little uneasy. But don’t worry because cocktail waitresses flow between the tables making it easy for you to get a beverage without ever leaving your seat.

Don’t feel like sitting down and enjoying your drink? There are plenty of bar activities for you to pass time with your friends. These games include two separate dart boards as well as multiple pool tables.

Now that we have seen the games, the other half of the downstairs part of the bar includes many, many more tables for you and ALL of your friends to enjoy. The decorations of this bar include many Montana bar staples such as an Elk mount, a Moose mount and plenty of TV’s to watch your favorite sports programs.

Katie O’Keefe’s has a few more perks to mention before I let you go. Where do you usually go to watch your favorite team play when football comes around? Are the local bars too crowded that you can never get a good spot? Katie’s is definitely the place to be on football Sunday because they have catered food provided by The Montana Club restaurant.

Are you a person who enjoys the dying card game of cribbage and just don’t know where to go to play? Don’t worry because Katie’s has a cribbage club that allows for some card playing fun.

Thank you for joining me on this journey through the best bar in Missoula that nearly no one knows about!

Written by: Raelin Jaqueth