Hiking is a treacherous business. I haven’t even loaded up with a full pack yet and I’ve just about killed myself…ok, maybe not killed myself, but surely embarrassed myself.
It all started before I even began my hike. I was taking a quick 5 mile hike, which is the pretty standard ‘let me at least get a couple miles in today’ hike. I had to pee. I should have relieved myself before hitting the trail, but I usually finish in 1.5 hours and I figured, “well, I don’t have to pee too badly, I’ll be ok”. I’ve been saying to myself for the past couple hikes that I really need to bring my pStyle with me (it’s a female urinary device so I can pee without pulling my drawers completely down), but even after repeating this to myself a few times, I found myself out there without it again.
I’ve also had an issue with my asshole foot. Yeah, that’s the name I’ve assigned to my left foot. There was some nerve damage in my leg and foot since after my last surgery (I’ve had surgeries on both feet last year in an effort to resolve issues that halted my hiking) and every once in a while my ankle just decides to give out. There’s no rhyme or reason to the strange phenomena, I’ll just be walking and my ankle will just turn..mostly at some inopportune moment. I’ll stumble, but usually I’ll have my trekking poles and I’m able to recover. This happens once in a blue moon when I’m just walking around, but the event is inconsequential and I just usually end up looking like an idiot who can’t handle being conscious and walking at the same time.
So, this time, I’m hiking…sans poles. I’ve decided the past few hikes that I wanted to work on my balance and agility, and I’ve been doing pretty well. I’ve definitely picked up my pace and seem to be able to rock hop with ease. I figured as long as I have less than 20 pounds in my pack, that I should be able to manage just fine. This day, I loaded up my pack with 20 pounds. My husband, who is training with me and will be joining me on an upcoming JMT hike, looked at me skeptically when I said, “no poles today”. He would later say, “I told you so”.
We were hiking a loop trail in the heavily populated Ramapo Valley County Reservation that we’ve hiked probably about a 1,000 times (ok, maybe not that many, but a LOT). It’s a quick loop that offers a couple moderate climbs that can get the blood and lungs pumping if you move at a good pace.
The start of the hike was pretty uneventful, with the exception of dodging some piles of dog crap. Oh yeah, I just love meandering my way along a path just to avoid getting dog shit smashed into the treads of my hiking boots. People, seriously, pick up your dog shit! Why do your dogs have to leave a dump right in the middle of a walking path? And why do you have to be so lazy as not to pick it up…you are in a public recreation area in which this is required. Ugh, don’t get me started on this topic! Anyway…
As the hike went on, my urge to urinate grew. It grew like a steady pang of hunger grows when you try to convince yourself that you can hold out a little while longer before eating. I was regretting my decision to not empty the bladder before I began. Although there’s days hiking this trail when I see not a soul, it always seems to work out that when I do try to find a private location in the middle of the woods to do my business, someone always seems to be lurking around the corner. So, I soldier on. I didn’t want to risk baring my white dimply ass to some innocent hiker just trying to enjoy the beauty of the surroundings. I quickened my pace not just to get this hike over with, but I AM training for hiking the JMT and wanted to try build up my cardiovascular endurance. I practically ran up the last hill to the top where we would no longer climb for the rest of the hike, but would then proceed on a steady descent back to where we started. I waited there a few moments for my husband before we continued on. With each step, my legs felt like rubber bands, almost Jello-like; however, as we continued to walk on that sensation started to subside and I was feeling light on my feet again…or so I thought.
Then it happened! A stick attacked me! It just jumped out from the middle of the trail and grabbed onto my left foot. It wedged itself between my feet, holding on to my left foot, while reaching out and snatching my right. As I twirled in what seemed like a slow-motion pirouette, the weight of my pack added to the grace in which I already was exhibiting and threw me off balance. At that very moment, asshole foot decided to partake in the gyration and my ankle gave out as I pivoted on it. That was the end of my accidentally choreographed pièce de résistance.
I fell like a tree being hacked down, landing with a large thud that made my husband turn and look back. After the realization of what just happened, I was now fully aware of something else that had occurred. Yes, it happened. It happens to the best of us when aging takes it’s hold on our forms and our bodies decide to do strange things in which we have no control over…I peed myself. I guess the force of the impact was more than my bladder could bear. Luckily, it was just a little dribble and not an all-out release of the flood gates.
I got up with the help of my husband. He helped me brush myself off and did a quick inspection to make sure nothing was broken…he then proceeded to burst out laughing hysterically. And yes, he said it, “I told you that you should use your poles!”
My face was red, but I’m not sure if it was out of anger from being laughed at after almost killing myself or just sheer embarrassment for having peed myself.
Well, one thing is for sure..I’ve coined a new catchphrase…I’ve fallen and I have peed myself.