This morning I had to confront a terrible reality:
When I started out on my run this morning at 5:50 am, I was all self-congratulatory since getting up was in and of itself a feat. I was very proud that it wasn't yet 6 am and here I was out and running. About half a mile into the run, my stomach grugled and I felt things do "the shift" and I figured, well, I'll have to poo when I get home. Another mile later, the gurgle became a little more serious, but I didn't want to turn back for home yet, so I tried to ignore my lower intestines. At barely the two mile mark, I knew I had a serious issue at hand.
I had passed a gas station about a quarter of a mile back, so I quickly turned and headed back that way. My stomach lurched along with me and I felt the poo pressing. As I sprinted across the street, I had an awful moment when I believed that I could hold it no longer and that I would indeed poop myself (which would have been just disgusting in my running shorts, and then what? how would I walk home in poopy shorts?). It's a fate I have faced head on before, particularly in morning commutes when the combination of coffee and a muffin can sneak up quick on a girl, but I have always managed to avert what would be the worst humiliation. But a block from that gas station, I was wondering if I could make it and knew it would come down to two options: shit myself, or poop in the grass by the side of the road. Neither was appealing.
So I squeezed my butt as best I could and ran as hard as I could across the final distance and ran through the doors of the gas station, across the short aisles and into the women's bathroom (I would have cried if it had been occupied, but at that hour, the chances of that were slim). My butt barely held on until I had locked the door and pulled my shorts off, but then it was sweet relief! Afterwards, I sat there kinda shaking and feeling a little sick from the anxiety and the effort to hold it in. My knees felt weak, my hands trembled.
When I walked out of the bathroom, I darted out of the gas station without making eye contact with the attendant and then I was back into the twilight of the early morning. The incident had left me feeling drained, and while I initially started to trot, I quit that and just walked home. So, what should've been my longer 4-5 mile run turned into a barely two mile run combined with a quarter mile sprint and a walk home; I was disappointed, but as I walked home, my stomach still felt a little uneasy, so I really didn't want to push it.
When I arrived home, it wasn't even seven yet.