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184 Evolution My Friend 2010-02-04

cush tush

As a runner I have learned a few unique skills to help me with long distance trips. I am not talking about a 5k run or even a marathon with aid stations, I’m talking about being in the the woods on a trail by yourself running for the shear joy. In the isolated backwoods with mental and physical fatigue, simple body functions become difficult. Eating and drinking are vitally important, but so is eliminating cleanly!

Have you ever had the infamous butt chafe? Basically caused by not wiping thoroughly enough, if left unchecked the chafing soon will debilitate a runner. Strong runners have been brought to their knees by the crippling infliction. If you try to continue to run it will not be for long until you have positioned both hands on your buns pushing outward - hoping for a little separation. The problem is that out in the woods they generally do not have restrooms with running water to help with the clean up efforts. You have to therefore prepare or be very resourceful. Personally I carry a few wet wipes in a plastic bag just for such an occasion (oh, also a dog poop bag for used storage). Experience has taught me to never take the chafing lightly.

If the chafing is such an issue to runners today what was it like before toilet paper and wet wipes were invented? I realize you can use a rock, smooth stick, or vegetation; but they would not do as good of a job as toilet paper for cleansing much less wet wipes. The Poop Report does thorough coverage of the issues of wiping (pg rated I am assuming - http://www.poopreport.com/Techniques/Content/Wiping/
), but it’s a bit over the edge. Maybe the runners of the past were just able to deal with the pain or possibly the chafing was not even a problem to them.

When man used to squat to relieve himself was he possibly cleaner? Squatting does seem to be a more natural position than sitting on a toilet and exposes less cheek to the discharge. Whereas sitting on a toilet seems to be lazier and might even weaken our muscles in our rump allowing for our cheeks not to separate as widely. I am not sure of the answer, but the folks at Nature’s Platform give convincing arguments that squatting probably cures many diseases and ailments (http://www.naturesplatform.com/index.html). Modern man’s advances toward comfort and sanitation have led to possibly weaker Gluteus Maximus muscles and illnesses caused by the awkward sitting on a toilet position.

My advice for outdoorsmen is to not forget the Charmin and wet wipes on any isolated venture and by all means if a chafe begins, address the problem immediately. If Darwin was right, then we are evolving into a breed of cush tushes. So buy stock in a wet wipes company or invent a better corn cob, because the problem is not going away and it’s hard to get anyone to apply ointment there, except doctors and that’s why they get paid the big bucks.


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