* * *
A couple of weeks ago, I joined a boxing gym. I joined for several reasons: 1) I thought it would be a good stress-reliever after work; 2) hitting things sounded like fun; 3) I wanted to get fit and overall be a healthier person; and 4) I also needed/wanted to lose weight and see results, like, immediately (patience is not my strong suit) and this seemed like the best way to do it. I participate in a class Monday through Wednesday after work every week, where I cheerfully get my ass handed to me by the friendly staff at Punch Boxing for Fitness.
Now sometimes when I participate in an intense workout, my stomach tends to cramp. I asked a girlfriend of mine who teaches spin class if this ever happened to her, which it had, and her advice was to just power through. The last few times I felt my stomach cramp during a workout, I did just that and didn't dwell on it too much, and it went away almost immediately. So when it started cramping during rounds on the heavy bag earlier tonight, I tried not to think too much about it and just power through.
Before I go any further, I should back up to earlier in the day, when I had lunch. My lunch was comprised of a Subway sandwich and an Italian salad a co-worker of mine brought in from her Thanksgiving leftovers. Both were delicious, but the salad didn't sit too well with me, and I was making trips to the bathroom for the rest of the day to, ahem, pass it. As I was getting ready to go to the gym after work, I once again felt the need to, um, go, but I shrugged it off; the urge wasn't that strong, and I figured it could wait until I got home, as I didn't want to be late for class.
Now flash forward to the class, to Round 2 on the heavy bag. My stomach starts to cramp, but I try to ignore it and continue punching, jabbing and concentrating on my footwork. After three minutes, Round 2 is over, and we have a one minute break. The pain intensifies--along with the urge to poop. By the time Round 3 is over, I can no longer ignore the pain or the fact that I'm a butt-clench away from taking a massive dump in my pants. I stare longingly at the bathrooms; I just KNOW that if I were able to relieve myself, the stomach cramping would lessen considerably and I would be able to continue with the class more comfortably. But, alas, that is not an option.
Getting ready to box is somewhat of a process; you have to wrap your hands and put on your gloves, all of which takes about five minutes, and it takes about that same amount of time to de-glove and unwrap. Given that and the fact that the class is small, there is absolutely no way on this sweet earth that I would be able to take my shit off, use the facilities and get my shit back on without the trainer noticing and calling me out. And what would I say when I got called out? There's not a chance in hell I'd 'fess up in the middle of class that I had to use the restroom right then and there because I had to drop a deuce; the only thing I would be able to do is act all cryptic and just insist over and over again that I need to go, which would probably lead the trainer (who is a dude) to believe that it was feminine problems, which is even worse. Bottom line: I'm up shit creek without a paddle. Pun intended.
Round 4 starts, and I'm starting to worry that if the stomach cramping doesn't subside, I could very well poop my pants. I'm concocting up all these worst-case scenarios, thinking that if any of them actually happened, I would never be able to return to that gym with my head held high. There's just no way I could come back from that. I'm a 26 year-old woman in full charge of her faculties. There's no excuse for making number two in my drawers. It would be absolutely mortifying.
So there I am, trying my hardest to concentrate on the workout and not on the nightmares playing out in my head, when suddenly, I know what I have to do. I have no choice really. I have to channel Rocky Balboa and just go the distance: get through class and not, under any circumstances, shit my pants. I have to power through. After all, I'm sure Rocky had to crap at some point during his fight with Apollo Creed, but was he worrying about pooping his pants in front of Mick, Adrian and everybody else? Hell no he wasn't. He had a job to do. A fight to finish. Basic human functions like using the restroom could wait just a fucking minute. And if Rocky could do it while getting pounded on by Apollo, surely I could last through a few more rounds on a measly heavy bag.
And that is exactly what I did. I powered through, and the stomach cramping did eventually subside, along with its brother, the urge to crap. I made it through the class sans any embarrassing incidents. I went the distance.