Why I Now Know to Listen to My Body When It Tries to Tell Me Something

May 2008

When my former band, Sarah’s Redemption, had finally gotten what would be the most prominent lineup it would ever know together and began the recording process for “The Dreamer’s Gene” in Purchase, I started to become very hell-bent on getting myself back into shape again, knowing that we would be performing a lot more often. At the time, I had pretty much never idolized anyone as much as I did 2002-2003 era Adam Lazarra, in the days when he was actually young, in shape, and didn’t look and sound like a total tool on stage. I strived to mimic that portion of his career, which meant working off the 40-or-so pounds of beer and french fries I’d acquired being out of the music scene throughout the previous winter, so I started doing some serious running.

I’ve always been very self-conscious about how I look when I run, and always hated going to the track when it was heavily inhabited, so I usually would wait until about 11PM to do my dirty work as to fix both of those problems, and I’d usually only end up bumping into the local high school kids drinking on the bleachers, which I could deal with. I’d generally run from my apartment on Main Street in Dobbs Ferry, up the steep hill to Broadway, about a mile and a half down Broadway to Hastings, to the Hastings track, do about ten miles on the track, and then run back, all without stopping. This, combined with a fairly healthy diet and a “cold turkey” approach to all beer and alcohol, led to me losing a lot of that extra weight relatively quickly.

It didn’t take long for me to become somewhat of a ghost in the town where I’d spent the bulk of the last year out at the local bars every night eating horribly unhealthy food and drinking nine pints of Coors Light. Of course my sister, barmaid at one the local pubs, began to become upset with me that I never came to visit anymore. After all, I’d literally gone from being there about 30 hours each week to just suddenly disappearing, the only sign of my existence being a dark figure running up Main Street late at night on my way back. So, one day, I decided I’d go visit her after work.

After housing the medium rare burger I ordered for dinner alongside every last french fry on the plate, I retired back to my apartment at about 9PM and relaxed for a short while until getting ready for my nightly run. At about 11PM, I headed out, clad in my gym shorts and a t-shirt, as per my usual routine, and ran up the steep side street to Broadway, where I started on my path toward Hastings. Though, this time, something much different was inhibiting both my speed and my endurance.

Somewhere around a quarter-mile into the trip, my stomach began feeling very heavy and somewhat gassy. I ignored it for a short while, determined and stubborn to not miss a step in my tradition and eager to prove to myself that I could meet my goals, but I should’ve listened to my body’s requests for my attention.

Evidently, the spirit of the cow I had just spent the bulk of my evening defiling wanted to make sure its vengeance was powerful and well-placed, because shortly after reaching the border of Hastings and Dobbs Ferry, I felt the most horrifying sensation a person can feel while being over a quarter-mile from their house without a wallet, phone, or any sort of means to gain access to a public place: I sharted.

I would still, to this day, give anything to have been a person in a car driving down Broadway as I felt the pressure of the entire contents of my stomach rushing toward any exit it could find and I went from being practically determined to tow a bus with my teeth, running at a fast pace, to instead screeching violently to a halt as I clenched my ass cheeks together with the force of a bear trap in a desperate attempt to put a stop to the terror and horror that would surely ensue if I allowed this madness to continue. That sight must’ve been hysterical and confusing simultaneously.

I did my best to compose myself, but that was physically impossible at that particular moment. I continued to clench every muscle in my body as I turned around, slowly, and began to do a crab walk at a snail’s pace back to my apartment, nervously inching along as I maintained one pose, trying with every bit of strength I could muster not to unclench myself and release human sewage all over my shorts, legs, and the sidewalk beneath me. Coming from a guy who has had my nose broken and fallen face-first off of a moving garbage truck, trust me when I say that I have never felt this kind of pain.

This excruciatingly painful and absolutely humiliating walk took well over an hour, and involved many stops for self-salvation and composure. When I finally got to my apartment, there was literally no containing it anymore. My body had reached the absolute pinnacle of exhaustion and I knew it as I crawled up the hallway stairs to my apartment, ran for the bathroom with more intensity than an NFL Linebacker, grabbing towels on the way as I prepped for the worst, and dropped anchor in my bathroom, unleashing the demonic fecal terrorist that had tortured me for the last two hours.

When I was finally finished, I came out of the bathroom and dropped, face-first, onto my bed, defeated by my dinner. The ironic thing is, I’d probably gotten more exercise trying not to crap everywhere than I would’ve by running for 14 miles.

It’s funny now.

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