I woke up one morning after hitting the Chinese buffet harder than usual the night before feeling a bit “off.” According to my son, I was an odd shade of yellow. “I don’t think you should go on a run. You don’t look well,” he said as he watched me lean over the counter as a gas pain nearly split my body in two.
“I’ve had three kids without drugs,” I said. “Trust me, I’m fine to go for a run, Honey. It’s just a little gas from the beef and broccoli last night, that’s all.”
Only I wasn’t fine. The gas pains I thought would shake out after a mile down the road ended up being a large lump in my shorts I couldn’t hide as I tried to look like a gazelle running past all my neighbors homes on that hot August morning.
You see, what I thought was a just a minor upset stomach ended up being a massive shart — you know the term, you think it’s going to be a fart but instead you end up touching cloth.
After it left my body, I felt a warm blob in my underwear and casually reached back there to make sure it was all clear. It wasn’t at all. There was a mound in there the size of a large order of egg rolls and I was so thankful for the liner in my running shorts.
I should have known better. After all, I am anally-allergic to Chinese food. Everyone in my family knows this except for me apparently. That night, my one-plate limit turned into three. I don’t know why I thought I’d make to through the next day without blowing mud.
I was a mile from home when I started dropping the smellies and had no other choice but to keep running. I was closer to a private, wooded area than I was to a toilet. Unless of course I wanted to knock on someone’s door and ask them if I could drop off an aged deposit in their toilet and risk them seeing the skid marks that were making their way down my legs.
I thought about the second option, but I live in a small town where news travels fast. I decided I’d be better off to find a pine tree I could hide behind, shake out my shorts, and try to get home without making more of a mess.
Sadly, this did not happen. First, have you ever tried to peel off your shorts and undies while sweating like a woman experiencing a hot flash in the middle of August? That in itself is a feat. Try shimmying out of them just so, in the middle of a forest while trying to keep the dumpling that is sitting in the lining of your shorts away from your legs, and you have an impossible chore on your hands. Those who can accomplish this deserve some kind of poop award.
Also, dried oak leaves don’t feel good on your butt, they don’t make good scoopers, and the mosquitoes were out in full force. These were, by far, the most humiliating moments of my life and I have three kids who make it their job to embarrass me. To this day, I cannot look at an oak tree the same way. Not even in the fall in all its golden glory.
My stomach pains were growing worse and there was no way I could phone a friend now what with all the stains and smells and pieces of oak leaves caught in my butthole. Yes, I just decided to leave them there because I’d been through enough trauma. There was no way I was going to reach in and retract those suckers. Don’t judge me unless you’ve run a mile with shit in your pants.
My only option was to put on my best poker face and finish my run, make it home, and shower (for the rest of the damn day) in hopes to cleanse this whole experience from my mind and body.
Once I was pretty sure my mud-gutter had stopped running, I stood up and reminded myself I was a strong woman and I could get myself home. Only as soon as I started jogging at a snail’s pace, it happened again — an explosion so fast and fierce, the only thing I could do was stop and squeeze my legs together and pretend like I was looking at a rock as cars flew by me.
Only I wasn’t looking at a rock. I was splattering my britches and I knew my undergarments didn’t have much life in them.
After a few more uncontrollable butthole contractions, I made it home to my three lovely kids who took one look at their mother and were petrified.
“I shit myself and if you ever breathe a word of it to anyone, I will make you pay for the rest of your life,” I said as I walked (bent over) upstairs.
They didn’t even laugh. A smile didn’t even cross their lips. They knew they’d never un-see the mess their mother had made in her running shorts and they were beyond disturbed.
While I was in the shower, my son knocked on the door and said, “I brought you up a garbage bag for your clothes. I told you not to go running.” In that moment, it was as if he was the mother and I was the child. The shame I felt for not listening was so great, I couldn’t even tell him he was right.
“I’m fine,” I said, literally scrubbing dried feces off my ankles as tears mixed in with the poo swirling down the drain.
To this day, my kids threaten to tell the story about how I pooped in the woods while I was running. They use it as a bribe, hold it against me when they want something, and try and use it to make me laugh when I am mad at them.
This experience will stick with me like, well, pieces of dry oak leaves in your butthole after you’ve had explosive diarrhea and tried to use them as toilet paper. And if I could go back, I would have listened to my son.
Some time has passed, we’ve all done some healing, but please learn from my experience. Trust me when I say you can not always out-run gas pains. They will sneak up on you, turn your bum hole inside out, and leave you to empty your drawers in the backwoods where there are spiders and other bugs waiting to suck blood from your butt cheeks.