Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 31

The Time Mookie Went For A Run And Nature Came Calling

As I approached my 30’s, I started running as a way to lose weight and generally get in shape.  While I have been “off-the-wagon” in terms of running the last 2 or 3 years, I’m trying to coax myself back into it.  In thinking back about all the places running has taken me and the experiences I have had doing it, there is one that pops up in my mind from time to time.  It is not one of my “prouder” moments, but I’m sure it could have ended up a LOT worse than it did.  I don’t even think my wife has heard this one…so enjoy.

The one thing I hate when I’m out on a run is having to stop.  Whether it’s due to traffic, fatigue, pain, or even someone asking for directions…I hate to stop for anything.  This is not because I’m a dick, but because I struggle to keep going once I’ve stopped.  If I completely stop or start walking just once, I usually end up starting/stopping several times through a run and it pisses me.  So I do my best to make sure nothing will stop or hinder my forward running motion – and this includes bodily functions. 

Running can put a hurt on the digestive tract.  Because of this, if I am heading out for a run of more than 3 miles, I try to make sure I have “vacated” all bodily waste whether I need to or not.  The body of course does not always want to “go” when you want it to, so I have had many runs where I have had to circle back and head home, find an open gas station, or nearby park with appropriate “facilities” to take care of business.  It is frustrating.  When I head out on my early morning “training” runs that take me farther than 8 miles (or out into the country ), as a precautionary matter I always stick close to a nearby “porcelain convenience” for the first 3 miles to make sure everything is “OK” as far as the intestinal things are concerned.  Well……almost always.

My car was due for an oil change and servicing, so I decided one Saturday morning to take it in to the dealership where we had purchased it.  A great perk of this particular dealership was its proximity to the Cedar Valley Nature Trail.  I enjoy running this trail from time to time, and decided I would take a nice run while the grease-monkeys oiled up my car.  The weather was cool that morning, so I put on my full-length tights, a junky plain white t-shirt, and two long-sleeve thermal shirts over that.  I had my gloves and hat if need be too.

Once I got to the dealership, I took care of any car service issues with the Service Manager, and made my “prerequisite” visit to the bathroom before I headed out for my run.  As it turns out, I did not have to "go.” But in wanting to get my run in and make it home in a timely manner, I felt like I’d be “OK” and headed outside.  The plan was a 6 mile run – 3 miles out from the dealership and 3 miles back.  The nearest access point to the Nature Trail was about a mile down the road from the dealership, so if anything “went wrong” after I left the dealership, I’d have to go back.

I plugged in my iPod, set my GPS, and took off.  It was a brisk morning, but it felt good trudging along the highway.  About 9 minutes later I got to the Nature Trail, and set off up the trail and the nature-filled surroundings.  It was then that the lower regions of my stomach began to feel a bit unpleasant.  I have had this happen before, and sometimes it would go away if I kept going.  I hoped this was the case, and pressed on up the trail.  After another mile, much to my dismay - my discomfort did not subside.  I was like “Oh shit.”  I was two miles from the dealership (20 min of running or 30 min of walking), and had the very certain thought that even if I did turn around – I was NOT going to make it.  It was about then that my intestines decided that I needed to go NOW – whether I wanted to or not.  I consider myself a well-rounded individual, but I honestly had never had to stop somewhere and vacate my bowels in the middle of nowhere.  That was about to change. 

I began looking up and down the trail to see if anyone was in proximity to me.  I didn’t see anyone running or walking, but feared that someone on a bike would come out of nowhere and see me.  SO. I needed to find somewhere out of viewing range - quick.  I jumped down into the ditch-like ravine that was next to the trail, and waded through as much brush and foliage as I could to hide my activities. 

I quickly found a downed tree laying on the ground, dropped my pants, sat down with my butt hanging over the back of the log and......let nature explosively take its course.

A word of advice:  Do not wander off the trail.
As I sat there sweating (from the run and the urgency of it all), I continually scanned up and down the trail for possible spectators to my event.  Thankfully...I was still alone.

Then it hit me that I would somehow need to “clean up” after all of this.  “What to do, what to do?”  It was “fall,” so I was not about to use any fallen crispy crumbly leaves off the ground.  I then remembered that I was wearing a junky plain white t-shirt, and quickly and smartly surmised that was my best option.  So I began peeling my layers, and briefly was sitting there shirtless and had my pants around my knees while sitting on a log.  This was NOT one of my prouder moments in my life.

I quickly put my long-sleeve thermal shirts back on, and then used the t-shirt to “freshen up.” It was at that point I happened to look down and noticed my shoe laces and pants (inside and out) were covered in cockle burs.  COCKLE BURS!  I hate these things.  Mother Nature created these things just to EFF UP your day, and she was succeeding here like a champ.  So there I sat, half-naked and picking cockle burs out of my pants and shoes, and cursing like a sailor.  After a few minutes of cockle bur removal, I pulled up my pants, and discreetly shoved the soiled t-shirt under the log I was sitting on.  I actually felt bad leaving my shirt there because I was technically littering.  However, there was NO WAY IN HELL I was going to carry that back to the dealership.

I climbed out of the ditch and was very relieved and thankful that there were no witnesses to my bodily issues.  Even though I had just endured a personally embarrassing moment, I decided I should probably continue my run.  So I trudged on up the trail to the 3-mile point, turned around and then headed back to the dealership.  

Amazingly, I did not feel the need to stop and walk on the way back - even though I had to “take a break” mid-run.  So while I certainly lost the battle with my intestines, I definitely won the usual battle with my brain and overcame the feeling of continually needing to stop and walk after previously stopping.

I also learned you should never ever ever ever pick up a stray t-shirt if you should see one laying somewhere.  It may be a discarded for a reason.

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