On Ear Hair
I was looking at myself in the mirror today, and saw what appeared to be a 2 inch long hair growing out of my right ear.
Now, I don’t know about you, but aging and body hair are two of my least favourite things, and they appear to go hand-in-hand like those protein shake sippy-cups and Tapout gear t-shirts at the local gym. That analogy goes two levels deeps, by the way. 2nd level: They are both awful.
So as I get older I’ve made better and better friends with a pair of tweezers. I am not a confident man, and though I aspire to be a manly man, I simply cannot rock a 2 inch long ear hair like it ain’t no thing. Maybe if I was 50 and had a rockin’ white beard and one of those metal framed backpacks, and a walking stick. But not now.
Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to pluck hair on the side of your head, but the lack of depth perception makes this quite challenging. Like Calvin trying to break eggs into the pan from above his head (“See, the secret to having fun in life is to make little challenges for yourself.”)
Finally, I got a hold of the sucker, braced myself for the pain, and … Oh, it was just a dog hair. Thank Christ for that.
Adventure Is Poor Planning
Last night I went running up a section of the Leadville 100 course called “Powerline”. Aptly named, because it follows the cutout section of the woods underneath a massive powerline. The unfortunate part is that it’s all up-hill, and roughly at the 80 mile mark. Maybe further. So it’s extremely tough, and a great place for people to basically give up, and drop out of the race at the next aid station. So it is worth practicing.
So I left the dog with the dogsitter (a new thing I am doing) and drove out there. I got there at 8:20. Took me a while to find the start of the trail, but then once you’re on it it’s hard to get lost. I started running and was having a really hard time. I’ve been having a very tough time breathing the last few days, and I’m wondering if it’s just from being tired from the training camp? Dunno.
Anyway, I ran for a bit, but powerhiked up the hill. It’s really steep, eroded road, but nice and fun enough. I was somewhat worried about the crackling powerlines frying my brain with electromagnetic waves, but whatever, we all die somehow.
My guts started really bugging me. I think it was this oatmeal I’ve been eating. I had the worst gas on the planet all day. I was like a hot air balloon, it was ridiculous. I knew going into this run that I was playing with fire… but it had to be done. Anyway, I was at about the 2.5 km mark, and it was like … “I can run no further.” I had to deal with this problem.
Pooping in the woods is terrible, but I have learned a few tricks. The most important trick is to find two trees or rocks that can form like, a backrest, or a “V”. You basically do a wall-sit against these two supports. That enables you to get your pants, now bunched up around your ankles, out of the way. This is important not so much for #2, but for #1. Because if you’re a man, and you just squat, you’re going to pee all over your feet and pants. Not a good scene.
So anyway, I found a good rock setup, and did what had to be done. I’m not proud of what I did.
But cleanup? Now, if you’re a wild man shitting in the woods, you’re going to have a bad time, unless you brought TP. One can resort to a sock, or trying to tear a strip off your boxers, or your t-shirt, but I was wearing one of my last few pairs of clean socks, and my running shorts. In Colorado, the woods are a sharp, rocky, inhospitable place. Not leafy and green and mossy and soft like BC. So unless I wanted to wipe my ass with a sharp stick (I did not) I was out of luck.
One thing I’ve never understood is: why don’t dogs have to wipe their butt? My dog basically has a clean bum all the time. But people always wipe their bums, right? I mean, I do. Maybe other people don’t. I dunno. Perhaps I am defective. On the other hand, maybe it’s one of the pitfalls of having evolved to an upright posture?
Anyway, I won’t go into details, but let’s just say one of problems with the “Ultimate Direction” water bottles is that the spray force is way too high, when the water finally comes out, which makes drinking from them a bit irritating. Now, this might not always be a downside. Maybe you want to squirt the dog when she’s being bad? Or, hypothetically speaking, maybe someone might need a high powered jet of water to clean their butthole.
I made it to the 3 km mark, turned back, and headed back for the truck. I felt much better (certainly lighter!) and although it was getting super dark, and I nearly took a wrong turn (thank you, powerlines, for leading the way!) I made it back to the truck around 9 PM. I had done only 6 km, about half of the way up the hill, but it was a good learning experience. Nothing like running a trail in pitch blackness to help learn it!
Today, as I write this, the oatmeal sits uneaten on the counter. I just don’t know if I can bring myself to experience that gastro-intestinal ordeal all over again, no matter how delicious and gluten-free those cinnamony oats may be.