The following is one of the most embarassing things that has ever happened to me, maybe even more embarassing than the time I accidentally tucked the lower back hem of my skirt into the top of my underwear and walked around the university’s administration building with my butt showing.
Everything was going so well – really great, in fact. I was enjoying a fantastic Sunday morning run, complete with golden sunshine, chirping birds, and a refreshing spring breeze. My route was an old, country road sprinkled with farms, fields, and a canopy of green all around me. Then, out of nowhere, my bliss was interrupted by that terrible, demanding, call of nature. I was in the middle of nowhere, so I figured I’d just tough it out, finish my run, and “answer the call” when I got back home.
Nature didn’t like that idea. My plan was backfiring: I was already two miles from home and feeling sicker every second. Finally, when I was about to puke, I realized I wasn’t going to make it. I climbed over a fence on the side of the road and through some thick shrubbery and trees until I knew I was invisible to passersby, and, ya know, found relief. The field next to me was full of horses staring at me shamelessly, seemingly shocked and offended by my intrusion, so I humbly asked their forgiveness, climbed back over the fence, and enjoyed the rest of my Sunday run.
The horror of my detour became apparent two days later when I became very, very itchy in…uh…places. Apparently poison ivy was my toilet paper of choice. A few days later it had spread up my stomach and down my thighs, then managed to make its way down to my feet.
Because I grew up playing outside all day, I thought I was capable of identifying poison ivy. Evidently not. Runners: heads up! Go to the bathroom before you run, or carry a piece of toilet paper in your pocket, or, at the very least, know what poisonous leaves look like before you rub them on your bum, and avoid yourself weeks of suffering and misery.
Here’s a picture of the culprit, for future reference. Don’t be fooled by it’s innocent appearance!
~Becky, an itchy, skinnyfatgirl