Monday, January 23, 2012
WARNING: Running can be Humiliating!
WARNING: Running can be Humiliating!
WARNING: This post contains TMI, foul language, and other uncomfortable scenarios. Read at your own risk.
Imagine this: A fieldtrip. The school group has reached Crystal Cove State Beach in beautiful sunny, southern California. There are 3 bus loads of kids and parents lined up to use 2 outhouses before setting out on a hike.
Now, imagine a female runner who is 3 miles into a wonderfully intense 12 mile hill run. She is feeling really good and strong, so she pushes it even harder. A smile of pride, excitement, and happiness is beaming across her face. She is propelled by this feeling of physical validation. She is really pushing the limit of her physical ability. She rarely has the time to do anything over a combined 7-12 miles a week and almost never pushes for speed. She is thrilled with how well her other training has done her body good. She is humming to herself and almost giggling, still smiling, so happy.
Then the smile is gone.
The smile has been replaced by an expression that would probably come across a person’s face if they were being encouraged to kick a sack of puppies or kittens.
She checks her Garmin, “Oh WOW a 7:46 pace for almost 4 miles! Yippee!!!” She almost forgets for a moment why the smile had left her face. Her average fast pace is about 8:30 on a flat course, and that is still usually a challenge for anything over 4 miles. It is easy to see how the thrill of this unexpected accomplishment on a hilly course could have distracted her from how her body was feeling.
She has never been one to train for speed. She enjoys distance at a relaxed, mellow pace for the sheer enjoyment of using her two legs and breathing fresh air.
As an opportunistic runner whose physical, personal, and professional obligations are not conducive to traditional marathon training, she makes the most of any chance she gets to add some miles into her weekly schedule.
On a day she feels well rested, and especially fit, she will choose to either challenge her speed or her distance depending on time constraints, weather, and whim.
On this day, all is going great so she is challenging everything…until her body reminds her once again why the smile has left her face.
She has experienced this feeling several times before. She remembers the 2 times last year as she was training for Big Sur (she is training for Big Sur on this day) that she felt something similar, yet not so intense nor persistent…
“Oh no.” she knows what the problem is. She thinks she can handle it. She taps into all the breathing techniques she knows. This has helped each time she’s been in this situation. “This feeling should be gone by now” she thinks to herself, as she tries not to panic. “Oh fuck.” The breathing really isn’t helping. This feeling has never been so intense before. “Oh shit.” The diaphragmatic breathing isn’t helping to sooth the situation. “Oh fuck!” Visualization and relaxation techniques are not helping. “Oh no…” she audibly whimpers “…oh, fuck...I’m gonna crap my pants…”
Now, imagine this poor runner realizing the nearest bathroom/outhouses are more than a mile away. She starts running faster which only makes matters worse…
She twice almost scampers into the bushes along Pelican Hills resort but each time she attempts to take cover and take care of business, a golf cart maintenance guy drives by.
At this point she is crying.
She knows she is close to the bathrooms so the tears are not only of severe discomfort; they are partly from relief knowing the end is near.
She runs faster.
“I can make it!” She pants loudly, positively, letting her belly become heavy, trying to relax her bowels.
All the Kundalini breath work, and other kooky breathing and yoga techniques she can think of are finally paying off! The severe pain and discomfort attacking her bowels belong to someone else at this point. She feels as if she is flying, floating, sprinting…then she hits a stop light on PCH.
“OH FUCK! Fuck Me! Oh FUCK FUCK FUCK!!! MotherFucker!!! FuckShitFuckShitohFuck!” she is seething, whimpering, and audibly growling these words. The words are loud enough, or maybe the tension in her body and on her face are enough, to elicit alarm on the faces of the passengers in the car waiting to make a right hand turn. They look at her with creeped-out shock and concern.
The light turns.
She sprints across PCH and down the little pathway towards the Crystal Cove restrooms. Less than a ¼ mile to go and the hell will be over!
“…less than a mile. less than a mile…” Is her quick little breath-y mantra propelling her towards the restrooms, and then…
“NnnnnnnnnnnOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! WhatTheFUCKKKKKKkkkkkkNnnoooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!” She screams as she sees 3 bus loads of children and parents waiting in line to use the only 2 outhouses for a half mile.
EVERY head turns towards the crazy lady wearing a plaid pink, black, and grey running skirt; a pretty lululemon Run Swiftly top; a white Nike visor, and awesome Merrel Pace Glove minimalist running shoes.
“I’m gonna SHIT MY PANTS!!!!” she rabidly screams at the top of her lungs as she sprints towards the outhouses.
“Kids, let the poor woman go!” The line monitor sympathetically and protectively orders as she reaches her arms out in barricade fashion to make way for the crazy lady who is now making inhumane noises between squeaks, squeals, and cries of pain and agony.
All the kids are letting out terrified screams that last for a few moments, til they realize they are not in any danger from the crazed lady. They then begin giggling hysterically and pointing at the woman who’s doing a crazed, writhing, stomp-dance and making animalistic noises.
Luckily an outhouse door swings open and a meek little girl tries to exit but is met by the loony woman. There is a brief pause til the woman pushes past and slams the door to begin over 5 minutes of sheer embarrassment that is partially concealed by all the giggling and screaming of the kids now chanting “She was gonna poop her pants! She was gonna poop her pants!”
Moral to the Story: Running can be an activity that can lead to humiliating experiences. Experiences that scare children, cause women to curse in public, and may lead to sh!tting your pants. Participate at your own risk!
Gotta funny “run” story?
I’d love to hear it!
Wishing y’all a Happy and Healthy Day!