For the sake of this article, I’m about to humiliate myself (although to most who know me or read my work here, that shouldn’t come as any surprise). Today’s humiliation is brought to you by the letter P. That’s P for “pee.” As in functional fitness makes me pee my pants. Not in a “Ah! That crashing barbell scared me!” stream. Or a “Yes! A WOD full burpees!” wetness.
No, I’m talking about literally peeing my pants thanks to any sort of jarring exercise that makes my bladder bounce.
I know I’m not alone in my plight, as many of my fellow CrossFitting ladies have shared their urine troubles with me. However, stories that take rounds of alcoholic beverages to coax out of them, I’m willing to share completely sober. You’re welcome!
First, it’s important to know that I have no children. If I did, wetting myself wouldn’t be that abnormal considering the havoc giving birth can wreak on the netherland muscles. Moms can be known to tinkle when sneezing, laughing, or running, let alone while doing box jumps and double unders. I’m not there yet. And hoping that I never will, I asked my doctor at my last checkup, “What’s up with the dribble?” Despite thinking it could be fatal – after all, I could die of embarrassment – she told me that it’s likely caused by weak pelvic floor muscles.
“Hmm,” I thought, “So peeing my pants is just another sign of weakness? As if my slow running times didn’t prove this already to enough box members, now I can piss myself to make sure they know I’m the weaker species.” Great.
Seriously, though, all hope is not lost. Just like all muscles, pelvic floor muscles can be strengthened (barring something more medically seriously, of course), and kegels are the exercise to do it. To do a kegel correctly, you first need to know where your pelvic floor really is. Sit on the corner of a hard chair and roll your pelvis forward so that there is nearly no weight on your butt. Squeeze your muscles together as if you’re trying to stop the flow of urine. At the same time, tighten your surrounding core muscles, suck in your belly button, squeeze your buns, etc. Hold this for about 10 seconds. Do about five sets of eight reps a day this way.
Since muscle strengthening doesn’t happen overnight, here are some immediate tips to prevent peeing during workouts.
1. You Pee What You Drink: Cool it on drinking so much before a WOD. Don’t dehydrate yourself, but don’t decide to down the Big Gulp size water or sports drink as your coach is saying “3. 2. 1….”
2. Always Start with a Bathroom Break: Before beginning any WOD, head to the bathroom. After all, you can’t pee from a dry tank.
3. Workout in the Morning: After eight or so hours of taking in no fluids, your body is pretty well tapped. Empty your bladder, then head to the box with your water bottle in tow. If the whiteboard is clear of bouncy exercises, feel free to chug your H2O.
4. Soak It Up: A maxi pad can do the trick when you can’t seem to dam the dribble. Pick an absorbancy that works for your usual wetness, and no one will be the wiser.
5. Wear It Well: Sometimes peeing is inevitable; that doesn’t mean you have to wear your wetness like a proud badge. Instead, dress to disguise any potential accidents. Wear black spandex instead of light gray cotton. Capris are now coming out in lots of bold patterns, too. Find something distracting to the eye, and your pee pants won’t be a problem.
6. Scale Around It: Peeing is natural, but if it’s really become embarrassing for you, don’t be afraid to talk to your coach. CrossFit WODs are scalable not just because your body isn’t ready for some exercises, but also because some exercises aren’t right for your body at this moment.
7. See Your Doc: Springing a leak can be a common thing for many women. If kegels aren’t doing the trick, physical therapy, surgery, and non-medicine devices are available as optional next steps. Just know that you don’t have to deal with it forever.
If peeing is your problem, just know that you’re not the only one with wet pants. I am, too, and likely at least one other girl in your class could join the club. Instead of feeling humiliated, laugh it off and know that a lot worse could happen down yonder… it’s called a “shart.”
See, don’t you feel better now?