Going on a Long Walk? Plan Your Potty Breaks Ahead of Time!
My Walking Program for 2013
% of Days Walked
% Towards Goal
Weight on 01/01/13
Weight on 06/01/13
% of Weight Loss
The urge to pee is surpassed only by the relief of having done so.
Four miles into a nine-mile walk one morning, that very thought came to mind. Because I'm a big fan of visualization, I did everything I could to censor an idea that I did not want to see into existence.
Looking ahead, I estimated that I was only five hundred yards away from my designated watering hole, a spot on the creek bank with adequate foliage for privacy just a few yards off the country road. That was it...only five hundred yards. A mere pittance for a long distance walker.
But you know how it goes--this universal scenario. The more you try not to think about it, the more energized your mind gets anticipating the tremendous relief.
There is the need to compromise with one's body. To buy time. To dam the natural flow of things. To frantically look around for alternative measures. To shuffle one's feet as if to wiggle away the persistent urge.
Oh, yeah, I forgot! I'm already shuffling my feet!
Then, there is the internal debate. Do I walk faster and risk a leak in the Zuider Zee dam? Or do I walk slower and risk the Nile overflowing? STOP thinking about bodies of water, for crying out loud!
Funny, how your mind thinks about the strangest things during a time like this. I saw Scrabble tiles and began arranging the letters to make words. I emulated my father crafting his own Sudoku puzzles. I empathized with the drivers of vehicles passing by, seeing my agonized face and thinking, Oh, check the old dude out! He bit off more than he could chew! Looks like he's about ready to pass out! Better swerve before he collapses right in front of my wheels!
Eventually, though, I made it--in time--to the improvised outdoor latrine.
And it was in a moment of ecstatic relief that my very playful muse planted the seed in my brain for today's hub.
84 million Boy Scouts can't be wrong.
The secret to having an enjoyable and accident-free (nature-wise, anyway) long distance walk is to be prepared.
Here are some tried and true methods you can employ:
- Hydrate Well
- Plot specific areas along your walk for potty breaks
- Use the restroom one last time before your walk
One of My 10-Mile Walking Routes to and from the Washington/Oregon Border
Hydration Ahead of Time
The majority of my walks occur in the early morning. For me, this is the time of day when I have the optimal amount of energy AND motivation. If I linger, each passing hour just gives me more reasons to talk myself out of walking.
A half hour to an hour before my walk, I will drink two glasses of water. Out of habit more than nutritional or health-conscious savvy, I'll more often than not drink a cup of coffee as well.
I'll read my Bible, scan the newspaper, or--as I'm doing this first June morning--work on my first of 30 Hubs in 30 Days, a current writing challenge I'm invested in, along with a handful of other enthusiastic writers.
At some point, like the arrival of a Pearl Harbor sneak attack tsunami, I experience a dire urgency to use the restroom. Like right now! Excuse me for a few minutes...
...Okay, I'm back. I've literally lost some weight...which is good...because today's my monthly weigh-in (see table at upper right).
I don't carry a water bottle with me. I know, I know...this goes against the grain of what the health gurus advise. I'm the expert of my body, however, and I know that if I prime the well with a few sips of water, I'll experience the need to go more often during my walk. But this is not the case for most people--especially younger adults--so this is the only part of my article that I advise you to take it or leave it.
That said, the water I've consumed first thing in the morning is enough to sustain me until I return from my long walk.
Check out this delightful walking hub written by Kathryn Stratford!
- Walking Along South Boston's Harborwalk To Castle Island
Come with me as I stroll along the Harborwalk in South Boston, ending up on Castle Island. With photos and thoughts, I hope to show you my experience
Plotting Potty Breaks Along the Route
A walk two miles or shorter should not pose any significant challenge if you've first taken care of business prior to your outing.
Walks of greater distances, however, will require special planning. Here's the part where I address each gender separately for reasons that will become evident as you read.
Familiarize yourself with your walking route.
Drive the entire distance of your route. If possible, try to do this at the actual time of day you will be walking.
If your route passes through town, note the locations of the following:
- Gas stations
- Convenience stores
- Grocery stores
- Coffee shops
- Parks with bathroom facilities
Take the time to enter these sites to assess the bathroom situation. Review the hours of operation.
If your route consists of country roads, pastures, and agricultural fields, note the locations of the following:
- Areas where the road passes over a creek, stream, or river
- Dense foliage
The above areas should provide ample coverage for a man to provide Mother Earth with a urine specimen.
Ladies, for reasons governing your safety, modesty, and privacy, your options for bladder relief are less flexible than those of a man. I recommend that you not walk on country roads. Instead, create routes that go through town so you have access to using bathrooms in the several sites mentioned above.
However, if you feel strongly about going for strolls in the country, choose a route that takes you a relatively short distance--say, a half mile from home--that you can comfortably walk to and from. Your lap returns you back home where you can determine if you need to go or not.
Yet another idea is to walk with other women. Plan the route so that it goes past the homes of at least two group members. In the tradition of women christening a wide spectrum of social events, you could call these women Designated Potty Hostesses. The name of the function? Why, Potty Parties, of course!
The Final Curtain Call
Okay, if you incorporate just one important piece of advice from my article, let it be this:
USE THE RESTROOM ONE LAST TIME BEFORE YOUR WALK!
This would appear to be a definite no-brainer, right? You'd be surprised! Experiencing a low level adrenaline rush just before lengthy exercise distracts a person from listening--really listening--to his or her body.
Do yourself a huge favor: Pay attention to your body!
Starting Your Day with Walking and Writing
Enjoy Your Walk!
You've done the three key things to avoid embarrassing situations.
- Hydrated well
- Plotted several areas along your walk for potty breaks
- Used the restroom one last time before your walk
There's just one final thing to say:
YOU'RE GOOD TO GO!