A while ago I decided to sign up for Seattle’s Resolution Run 5K, which was scheduled for New Year’s Day and featured the option to run straight into Lake Washington right before the finish line. Because in the last year or so entire chunks of my brain have morphed into adrenaline-addicted packing foam material, leaving me incapable of rational thought, I looked at the picture on the front of that website and thought, what a great way to usher in the new year! Then I picked up a nearby salad fork and drove it directly into my right eye socket, just to get ready.

Race day brought chilly, wet weather, since, you know, it’s fucking January and all, and I wasn’t even remotely into it, especially when I was at the park waiting in a giant line for the bathrooms and the wind started blowing sideways and the water entrance was right there and looked like this:

4236191694_19c9ebbc53-1

The race announcer kept getting on the loudspeaker and chiding those of us waiting in line by reminding us there were more bathrooms to the north and why didn’t some of us go over there instead and I was like great except which way is north? I’m serious, motherfucker, I have absolutely no sense of direction and I’ve already committed ten minutes to this stupid line and shut UP about the mythical bathrooms to the NORTH you may as well be telling me what LONGITUDE they’re at because I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE THEY ARE.

When it was finally my turn I instantly committed the cardinal Porta-Potty sin by glancing into the toilet, at which point the contents—the many, many contents, which had formed a little fetid Mountain of Horror, including a fresh decoration on the summit that appeared to be the byproduct of an enormous grizzly bear suffering from Ex-Lax poisoning (and all I can say about that is better out than in, I suppose, but perhaps if that came out of your body on race day you’d be more comfortable lying down? Hooked up to a hospital IV, say?)—seared themselves into my brain, probably permanently. In fact, I can see it all again right now. Yes indeed, when I’m on my deathbed and revisiting some of the most stirring images of my life, it’ll probably go like this: childhood Christmas, wedding day, birth of my own children, GIANT PORTA-POTTY TURDSPLAT.

Minutes later, as I was waiting in line to store my bag, trying to refocus and let the Unpleasant Moment Go, I felt something wet plop onto my head. I reached up and touched my hat, and my fingers came away white and dripping.

Goddamn. Fucking. Seagull.

I hoped it was just a passing splash, but when I took off my hat I realized that I’d been bombed by the bird version of whatever had visited the Porta-Potty before me. There was . . . stuff, all over my hat. White stuff, brown stuff, lumpy stuff, runny stuff. It was also on my jacket, down my collar, and on my race shirt. Oh, and on my neck, collarbone, and somehow, my chin.

I had to laugh, because what else was there to do? I wiped up what I could, which wasn’t much. I met lovely Noemi at the starting line later, who was very understanding and didn’t seem visibly repulsed by the fact that I was COVERED IN POOP, and even helped me get a glob off my neck.

After all that, the run was cake. It was crowded and muddy and we plowed through giant puddles and at the end, the lake didn’t feel too bad. It was a shock to hit the water but I told myself, at least you’re washing away the fecal remnants. Which, I’m sorry to say, isn’t an entirely unfamiliar self-pep talk in my life.

So, my 2010 has officially been ushered in, and while I had been hoping for a physical metaphor of seizing the day and taking on new challenges, I think instead that the message for me here is this: into everyone’s life, a little shit must fall. Shake it off and keep going.

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
67 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
kirida
12 years ago

Oh god Linda, I’m sorry about the poop. Why can’t people get a break? We get pooped on by kids and now the animal kingdom?

Abdpbt
Abdpbt
12 years ago

I thought this post was going to be about an emergency situation during the race — but no, it’s even better! Thanks for the laugh.

warcrygirl
12 years ago

into everyone’s life, a little shit must fall. Shake it off and keep going.

Wise words, they sound even wiser when you say them like Yoda. I celebrated the new year by getting laid, then eating greasy breakfast meats and biscuits for breakfast. I have no wise words for my new year.

Danell
Danell
12 years ago

You are 100% totally awesome. I wish I could compose the right words to adequately convey how much I love reading what you write.

Leigh
Leigh
12 years ago

I think it’s good luck to get pooped on, and on New Year’s Day I bet it’s even better!

So glad you got out and did it. I did my own personal slog of a 5k around my house. I lost my ability to run well in 2009 and I am determined to get it back in 2910!

Penny
Penny
12 years ago

Just added a new reason why my fat lazy ass won’t be running any marathons short of a flesh eating zombie girl coming out of my closet.

Donna
Donna
12 years ago

Getting pooped on by a bird is very good luck, and on the first day of a new decade of a new year that started with a blue moon, and a lunar eclipse (in some parts of the world), you are going to have the best year ever!!!!

Christina
12 years ago

Ohh I so wanted to do some kind of new years run – there were none that I knew of in our area.

Also, I was laughing so hard reading this that my four year asked me what I was laughing at. When I told him I was reading something funny he said “well read it to me.” hmm probably NOT going to do that.

Good job on the run :)

beach
beach
12 years ago

OMG. Thanks for the belly laugh!

bouncy
bouncy
12 years ago

It’s going to be a great year for you.

michelle
12 years ago

Oh, I laughed so hard while reading this that my son asked me if I was ok. I was once told that being pooped on by a bird is good luck. This is your year! Go buy a lotto ticket.

Bachelor Girl
12 years ago

What a great way to start 2010. Congratulations, Linda! I’m so proud of you!

Scatteredmom
12 years ago

I was laughing so hard about the fact that you have no sense of direction and those mythical bathrooms to the north.

I am TOTALLY the same. Are we related? Although you are just way more awesome because I’d never run anywhere, especially in January.

We’ve witnessed the bird poop thing (what is it with seagulls? Have THEY been into the exlax?), but have never had it happen ourselves. On our last vacation to the USA we were at a Washington rest stop and a little kid was chasing the sea gulls. She invited Jake to join her and he sternly replied, “It’s all fun and games until one poops on your head.”

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
12 years ago

OMG, one of my biggest fears is being pooped on by seagull. You took it like a champ!

“Into everyone’s life, a little shit must fall. Shake it off and keep going.” Words to live by.

Brenda
12 years ago

into everyone’s life, a little shit must fall. Shake it off and keep going.

Love it! These are words to live by!

Marie Green
12 years ago

Awesome, awesome way to look at the New Year, Sundry! I love it!

Also, it begs to be added that I also have been shat upon by some sort of seagull like creature. The twins were, like, 18 months or so, and I’d gone through the HERCULEAN task of loading them up for a trip to WALfuckingMart (nothing at all enjoyable about ANY aspect of that- the loading the crabby children, the florescent lights, the cheap plastic, the boring job of buying DIAPERS. BLECK).

Anyway, I was walking through the (HA-uge) parking lot, carrying TWO toddlers and a bird SHIT ON MY HEAD. There was so, so much poop. I couldn’t believe the amounts! It was soaking my scalp, running down my neck, between my shoulder blades. *Shutter*.

So, I reloaded the toddlers, went home, re-showered, re-loaded the toddlers AGAIN, and drove back to Walmart where I proceeded to dash through the parking lot, carrying (yep) TWO toddlers, and dodging those stupid birds whom were STILL circling overhead.

Well, everyone needs a good poop story, right?

Anyway, as I said, I love how you summed it up a the end. Perfect.

Happy New Year!

SJ
SJ
12 years ago

They do say that being shit on by a bird is crazy good luck – so uh – I think that says something about the year ahead of you!

And you jumped in that crazy ass cold water!? That’s awesome.

Happy New Year Sundry, I think it’ll be an excellent one for you.

Jenn Bo
Jenn Bo
12 years ago

So, I can’t imagine this is my first comment, but it might me. I am definitely a long time lurker.

But, I’m breaking my silence to tell Linda, Thank You! You make me laugh out loud in so many of your posts and today was no different. Thank you for your honesty, your wit, and sharing bits of your life.

Happy New Year!

Jenn Bo
Jenn Bo
12 years ago

And I’m prone to typos. It might BE my first comment. =0

lindsay
lindsay
12 years ago

Hilarious. A bird shit on you. I mean say it loud. I just keep laughing, sorry. Didn’t JB yell Happy Fucking Fourth of July to some bird in the summer, disrupting the beautiful silence of the forest? Maybe the birds are pissed and wanted to wish your fam a Happy Fucking New Year!

Omaha Mama
12 years ago

Have you seen Under the Tuscan Sun?! It’s a good sign, really. Means good luck. So yay you for getting pooped on!

Kim
Kim
12 years ago

I’ve always admired you, but I have to say by literally getting shit on while trying to accomplish a goal and then laughing about it? Cements you solidly in my hero worship book.

oregoncoastgirl
oregoncoastgirl
12 years ago

excellent. Happy new year!

sarah
12 years ago

Brilliant! Love the metaphor. I may write it down and post it on my nightstand, since I need a little reminding once in a while.

kate
12 years ago

I’ve got to tell you that you inspire me so much – not only with your continued devotion to running and challenging yourself physically, but also in the way you write and your humor. Thanks!

Kami Lewis Levin
12 years ago

Awesome post. I suffer from no sense of direction as well and if someone were to get it pooped, had I been there, it would’ve been me. Happy New Year!

jonniker
12 years ago

God, why do they DO that? I get so frustrated with the whole, “Oh, just go NORTH!” thing that so many people do. Like, unless the sun is SPECIFICALLY SETTING at that exact moment, cluing me in to where west is, I am a fucking USELESS SACK. Google Maps does this relatively often, and I’ve been left screaming to no one in the car, “I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO GO NORTH ON MERRITT PARKWAY. WHICH WAY IS NORTH OH MY GOD.”

So I have to know, as I’ve always wanted to know after these plunge-type wintry things. Did you have, like, a heated robe waiting for you afterward? Was JB standing by on towel duty or something? How did you make it to the car without getting hypothermia?

Martha
Martha
12 years ago

Thank you for the belly laugh. I will take that shit story with me into 2010.

Belle
Belle
12 years ago

Funny stuff! When it is an absolute must to visit a portapotty, I always take a wet wipe and cover my nose. Only way I can actually manage without throwing up. Ugh.

Congrats on the run…and the cold water swim? Yikes, but that’s awesome!

Baking Mad Mama
12 years ago

Happy new year to you! Terribly sorry that the day was marred by unfortunate toilety issues. I live in fear of being crapped on from a great height (physically, not metaphorically). The closest I’ve come is a pigeon shitting extensively in my shoes when I had the audacity to take them off in the park last summer. That’ll learn me. Well done on the 5K!

Lesley
Lesley
12 years ago

All I can think after reading the 4th paragraph is thank God humans don’t fly!

(I’ll take seagull poop over the human variety any day.)

Kari Callin
Kari Callin
12 years ago

Well, I did the polar bear dive at Lake Washington last year, my first ever, and decided to make it a tradition. Then found out it was canceled for this year! Sooooo….I upped the ante and went and jumped into the Sound at Alki! I think it’s a great way to start the New Year and a lot of fun! :)

Lucrezia
12 years ago

Ok, I’m both inspired to maybe (no promises) try to start running myself and greatly amused at the poop imagery. I guess 1st grade is never really over. By the way, bird poop is supposed to be lucky, according to Italians! Just one more way to turn a crappy (see how I did that?) incident into an uplifting one.

Andrea
12 years ago

Too funny! But the last time I was shit on by a bird (unfortunately this has happened to me more than once) was in Seattle. What do people in Washington feed the birds out there?? I’ve never been pooped on by a bird here in Michigan, so maybe it’s the ocean diet as opposed to the Great Lakes diet. I dunno, but I still duck and cover when a bird flies overhead.

*firegirl*
12 years ago

That last sentence I just may have stitched into a lovely pillow for our couch.

(:-D

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

funny!

Noemi
12 years ago

I had exactly the same bathroom problem, with the WHO FUCKING KNOWS WHERE NORTH IS, and the announcer not really saying HOW FAR north either, if you were lucky enough to figure out where north was. So, I… errr, squatted by the shore in an area I hoped was semi-private. It kinda wasn’t, what with the shore being all exposed, and the path running RIGHT BY IT, but whatever. I peed, and not on myself.

It was equally lovely meeting you- well done on the 5K, and a very happy new year to you!

Jen
Jen
12 years ago

“Into everyone’s life, a little shit must fall. Shake it off and keep going.” Amen. Thank you for the laugh and the reminder — and thank you for a Great Blog.

shriek house
12 years ago

Weren’t you just attacked by a goose? I think the birds have it in for you. Watch your back.

susan
12 years ago

Funny stuff. Great post! I don’t know you, but now feel compelled to share a few stories about excretment and races.

a) i once saw a lady who’d shat her pants while running in a race. she just kept running. and there were loads of us around running near her. who would do that? maybe if you’re gonna win? but, come on, you don’t shit your pants.

b) i “know someone” who peed herself while on the bike portion of a triathlon. she was dying to go, was really nervous, was wet anyways from just getting out of the lake, not a soul was around. so just went ahead and peed.

mnerva
mnerva
12 years ago

Oh Sundry, you are simply the best! Way to make it through the sh*t, woman. Love you and your writing.

SuSu
SuSu
12 years ago

Your poop story made me laugh and cry and then just cry. I so need to be reminded to shake it off right now. Thank you.

ginger
ginger
12 years ago

I did that run a couple years back (when I was still running) but lacked the guts to do the splashdown. And, apparently, the sky-supplied incentive.

Hulda
Hulda
12 years ago

That story was just too funny, it had me snorting. Isn’t bird poop supposed to be lucky? Anyway, have you heard of the burpees challenge, it’s where you do the burpees for a 100 days, one burpee on day one, two burpees on day two and so on. It totally made me think of you and all the stuff you tackle.

AndrewENZ
12 years ago

into everyone’s life, a little shit must fall. Shake it off and keep going.

That should be on a motivational poster somewhere!

Brenda
12 years ago

I must not read your stories while eating yoguart and having Chemo in my system. But I did survive and glad you did. poop and all.

Mama Kat
12 years ago

Might I encourage you to repeat the following phrase before any future races:

Birdy birdy in the sky, please don’t dookie in my eye.

It’s THAT east.

joaaanna
joaaanna
12 years ago

I’m very happy for you that you are committing to your dream of having a career in the health/fitness area, but can I put my two cents in and say that I hope you are still considering writing a book, because, wow, you got it. I had to stop reading this several different times because I’m at work and laughing so hard. Fan-freaking-tastic!

Emma
Emma
12 years ago

Oh so thankful that I’m not the only one that this happens too (both the inevitable peek into the depths below and the “gift” from above)…

Andrea (@shutterbitch)
12 years ago

Bwaahahahaha! Sounds like a good picture for a demotivator. My mom got shit on by a bird at a wedding once in the early 90s. She was wearing a navy blue blazer. I told her it was her punishment for hanging onto shoulder pads well past the 80s.

Congrats on the run. And the start to a new year!