The day after last weekend’s blizzard, I went out for my 15 mile run. Five miles in (and therefore with 10 yet to go) I realized that my need for a pee break was becoming urgent and undeniable. I am an outdoorsy sort, and do not flinch at the use of outdoor “facilities” in general, but as I scanned the roadsides in this sleepy New Hampshire town, I realized that I was facing an unusual problem: walls of snow up to eight feet high hemming in the road on both sides. There are no stores or gas stations along my routes here, and the public libraries are not open on Sundays. So it was either brave the snowbanks and risk a cold, damp run, or pee myself and, after the initial warmth dissipated, guarantee one. I located a moderately dense stand of hemlocks offering at least some cover and waded straight into a snowbank. After a successful step or two, I sank to my hips. I had to roll down the backside of the bank and up against a tree. Trying to stand, it became clear that the snow would not support me at all, and I was buried to my thighs in snow which was pressing in and beginning to melt in my shoes. I then did the only reasonable thing. I dropped my running tights, and reached up to grab a pair of branches on either side of the tree. Shimmying my feet up along the hemlock trunk, I hung there like some bare-bottomed macaque while my urine dropped away and excavated a 2 foot deep well in the snow beneath me.
Feeling much better, I composed myself again and attempted to climb back up the snowbank to the road. But I was in a culvert of some kind, and the bank rose more than 4 feet above my head. I wormed my way up on my belly and rolled over the crest, flopping unceremoniously onto the road, standing just as a car rounded the bend. I brushed all the snow off and set out for the remaining 10 miles, relieved in more ways than one. After all, no one had witnessed this spectacle, and no one need ever know it had occurred. Then I decided to blog about it. Why? I’m not sure. The only thing I know for certain is that hanging from a tree to publicly urinate is still nothing in comparison to a long parade of interns and residents who seem to want to recreationally fondle one’s cervix during labor. I guess what I’m saying is, motherhood changes you in more ways than you might expect.