It was my birthday last week!! I remember all growing up thinking that adults were out of their minds for not being excited about their birthdays, but I kind of felt it last week. It completely snuck up on my and I realize that being 26 isn't even remotely "old", but I wasn't stoked to jump the fence to the other side of 25 if I'm being totally honest. It was just a passing thought in my mind on Wednesday morning as I took my joint-cushioning supplements for my achy knees. But moments later was slathering acne medication all over my teenager troll face and I yelling, "HOW OLD AM I REALLY?"
The jury is out on this one folks.
I'm definitely not old enough to think things through all the way, though; I can tell you that much.
You know this is heading towards a story, right? Good.
Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays (sometimes) are my running days. It was 90 degrees last Tuesday and I decided I would go for a trail run instead of my usual route around town. My reasoning behind it was that there would be much more tree cover and I wouldn't be so hot. Which, was true about a mile into the run. I usually mountain bike this particular trail, so my brain was calculating time and distance from a bike's point of view and I was hot and tired running up that first mile into the hills. There weren't any clouds and the incline was steeper than I remember, so I was chugging the water from my Camelbak like crazy. Once I got into the trees things got a lot nicer. It was cooler, it smells amazing, the trail levels out and varies in climbs and descents, it's great. For some reason, though, I thought the loop I was on was only around 3 miles long; it wasn't. And I realized that when I hit 3 miles and was still high up on the mountain side. An extra two miles really isn't a big deal for me, that's not what was starting to worry me. What was starting to worry me was that I still had two miles to go and I really had to pee. It was all downhill the rest of the way though, so I pressed on while I told myself I'd be to a bathroom in no time.
Well, the downhill did make me go faster, but it also was bouncing my bladder much more aggressively. I had about 3/4 of a mile left when I was like, whatever, I'm just going to go here. I'm no stranger to peeing outside; I'm actually quite good at it. What I didn't want to do was climb off the trail into the thick brush to squat down and go. I had been on the trail for over four miles and I hadn't seen anyone the entire time, so I figured I'd just step on the trail about a foot and go real quick. Once I had drained the ol' bladder, I was about to stand up and go on my way when I happened to look downhill and to my dismay made extremely uncomfortable eye contact with an old man hiking up the trail. I froze in the squatting position like a deer peeing in the headlights, shorts and underwear STILL around my ankles, before my instincts kicked in and I jumped up. I pulled my shorts up and I took off back up the mountain, hoping beyond all hope that I wouldn't have to interact with this human who just witnessed me in the most vulnerable position ever. After about 30 seconds of a pure adrenaline-induced sprint UP HILL, I realized I wasn't not going to be able to run like that the entire 4 miles back. I was too tired and my knees were starting to hurt (curse them)! I made a split second decision and dove off into the thick brush and army crawled under the branches and through the mud until I was sure that I was out of sight. I stayed crouched to the ground and tried to keep my breathing as quiet as possible. Just as I could hear the old man approaching, my mom started to call me on my phone and I scrambled to answer it. "....Hello?" I whispered to her, "What are you doing?" She asked me. "I'm hiding." I'm sure it sounded like I was in a horror movie or something. Especially because I went silent after that because the old man was walking past me at that moment. I stayed frozen and quiet for a few more seconds until I explained to my mother that I was hiding because an old man caught me peeing off the trail. She laughed at me uncontrollably and I tried to keep my laughter quiet as I crawled out of the trees. I was bleeding and covered in mud, but at least I was safe to continue on my way back down the trail. And at least I didn't have to pee anymore.
I'm sure my mother is proud of me.