I know how weird that might sound to most people but if you’re a runner you’ll know what I mean.
Before I started running, roughly 8 years ago, I didn’t have very many encounters where I would need or want to use one. They usually aren’t very clean and obviously don’t smell all that good so I would avoid them at all costs. It wasn’t until I started running and especially after I started racing that my outlook on them completely changed. I am sure most runners have experienced, at least once, the joy of having to wait in huge lines before a race to use one. Not something to be proud of, but when the weather is bad before a race who hasn’t camped out inside one just to keep warm. Lock that door and you’ve instantly got your own personal stinky hideout. And who hasn’t gotten at least a little excited to be the first to unwrap a fresh roll of toilet paper knowing that there was a pretty good chance that nobody else has used it yet. During the race they are an absolute savor. Their location is almost as important to know as where the next aid station is.
Outside of racing knowing their location is equally important. I have found myself driving around in areas of my local neighborhoods, where a public restroom isn’t available and making a mental note of them. Maybe at a spot where road work is being done or a house is being built. You never know when you might find yourself in a pinch and trust me when that time comes and you’re too far away from home to make it back, the sight of a porta potty will be like a pot of gold.
Running hasn’t been the only place my exposure to the “blue box” has occurred. Being a truck driver for the past four years I’ve had my fair share of their use. Truck stops, customer locations and the railroad yards are all common stops for me throughout my week. The biggest difference between the running porta potties and the truck driving ones is the colorful writing and pictures added to the inside walls. Not to mention runners seem to make a whole heck of a lot less mess!!
Love them or hate them, your best bet is to just hold your breath and get in and out as quickly as possible. And please make sure to lock that door while you’re in there 😀
By Jake Jackson
Dirt Unit Elite BEAST