Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Peeing in the Woods

The other evening on one of my extended bike rides home I had the strong urge to Pee. I don’t really want to get into my bodily functions but I drink a great deal of water and therefore I pee quite a bit. Something though has happened to me and it’s disturbing me.
I’ll digress for a minute. I’m a guy so peeing in public is no big deal. I’ve been doing it since I was wee little. I’m also a Plodder athlete (more on that in a later posting) and have gotten used to pee breaks on the bike or in the middle of a run. Yes, I do take pee breaks while swimming on occasion but I always get out of the pool for that. I’ll have to admit though, I’m not European. Here in Europe pee breaks are not just for runners in the woods. Regularly you’ll see guys and kids standing on the side of the road, just about any road, relieving themselves. On the Autobahn there are frequent rest stops. Driving at high speeds can be very tiring. These rest stops generally do not have bathrooms (It’s Europe, remember) they usually have parking spaces and picnic benches. The dogs and I found out a couple years ago that lack of bathroom doesn’t stop anyone. And Peeing is not the only thing they do at the rest stop. It was so bad I think the dogs felt weird taking a leek. Anyway it’s an acceptable practice to go when you have to go here in Europe. Don’t think it’s just for the guys either. Maybe not as blatant, but the girls aren’t bashful about it either.
Now back to my problem. I feel like I’ve lost my sense of decency. For instance, my coach has me inserting walking breaks into my long runs. If I have to pee I do it during one of my walking breaks. I turn around continue my progress only backwards and pee. On the bike I’ll stop just about anywhere along the road. I generally don’t wait for a trail head any longer. I just stop and go. The other day in our local forest was the breaking point. I had to go so I stopped on my Mountain Bike. Instead of turning towards the side of the trail like I normally do I turned towards the middle of the trail. In mid stream I heard the click, click, click of a Nordic walker. I paid no attention and continued. When I stopped I pulled my shorts up (no, I’m not a little kid, they were not at my knees) and got back on my bike. Only then did I look up. The Nordic walker was a solo woman. I had just peed on the trail she was walking on. Her polls or her boots were going to go right through my pee. I was devastated. I wanted to scream. I wanted to stop and apologize for all men on this earth. I wanted to hide. Instead, I just road right past her saying nothing and acting as though nothing really happened. I’m really bummed by my actions. My inner voice has failed me. I’m not that guy. I have furthered the notion that in Europe anything goes.
I think I’m writing this because in less than 3 months I’m going to be living in Sunny San Diego again. If by chance you are driving down the coast highway one early Saturday morning and you see a guy walking backwards taking a leek, please honk and remind me where I am.
It’s a good life….

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