Friday, February 10, 2012

Well, you hold one nostril closed with your index finger, like this...

Ha. Philip Werner has a blogpost here on an inelegant topic. It reminded me of my first day as a high school cross-country coach. The school was just beginning cross-country and none of the boys (just was the olden days) knew anything about it, or about running distance in general. We were jogging slowly in a group and chatting to get to know each other when one of them asked to be excused, and headed off for the school building. He returned quickly, then another boy needed to go in. When the third boy asked, I realized this couldn’t be what I at first thought it was. So I asked, and received their common answer with incredulity. They had needed to blow their noses. So my first lesson as coach was to teach my apparently virus plagued and ultra-fastidious crew how to manage this procedure without benefit of kleenex.

Runners, of course, also drool, froth at the mouth in hot weather, bleed from untaped nipples in cold weather, frequently produce odd noises from one orifice or another, and occasionally fall victim to poorly timed bodily functions. As a senior in high school, I beat a very good runner in very tough two-mile when he, ah, lost control of himself. In college, I ran with a half-miler who threw up after every race. And, of course, we spit a lot (sorry, sweet B), and often use our shirts as washcloths, bandages, or bar towels. We are a fairly disgusting crew taken all in all. Much worse than most walkers or hikers. Climbers? A toss-up.

And that brings us back to Philip’s post. In the winter mountains, I use a two-step process that relies on digital technique followed by handkerchief or tissue for occasional touch-ups. And if it’s something else, just go behind that bush over there.

1 comment:

Philip Werner said...

I went backpacking last weekend with a women who studies mucus at MIT. She approves of the snot-rocket method too! Imagine, we're walking does the trail and I got to ask her, "what is mucus made out of."