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Bodily Functions & Fitness 101: Blood, Tears, Vomit, Saliva & Poop

Posted May 31 2009 10:51pm
Pee. Sweat. All kinds of gaseous emissions. We've covered a lot of embarrassing stuff on here the past week. We giggled, we shared our worst moments and I unwittingly earned the privilege of having everyone in Turbokick ask me if I've had any soy that day before they'll stand next to me - every single class (answer: no, I learned my lesson thankyouverymuch). But there are a few odds and ends we haven't talked about yet, bodily functions that while still potentially humiliating in a fitness setting aren't common enough to warrant their own post. So, enjoy one last ride on the gross-out-mobile.

Blood
There are really only two ways to bleed out while working out (okay, there's three if you watch a lot of C.S.I. but you only have to worry about that way if you have a chimera twin, an enemy in the mafia or are Marg Helgenberger's asexually produced spawn.) Basically you've got an accident of some type like a ripped-off fingernail in a basketball game, a scraped knee from stepping into a pothole or a bloody nose from punching yourself in the face during kickboxing class (done all three!) Or you're a menstruating woman. The former is easier to fix, both your skin and your ego, than the latter.

If you've had an accident of some sort, take a time out and bandage yourself up. Don't try to gut through it; none of us want to see your blood on the court, the pavement or the gym floor. Band-aids are cheap, awesome and can even add to your street cred on the weight floor if you buy the cool camo kind. For the love of little green apples, cover your open wounds people.

Aunt Flo accidents are a bit harder to contain. In an ideal world every woman of a certain age would be prepared at all times with appropriate surfing gear to ride the crismson tide. And yet all of us have been caught by unawares by Mother Nature's gift at least once. So, how to best avoid become a walking Rorshach test? I used to carry a tampon in my gym purse all the time until my children decided it was candy. That I wasn't sharing with them. Thereby necessitating them to pull it out and whine loudly that I open it at least 7 times a day. Now - when I'm not gestating, that is - instead of riding the cotton pony, I use a Diva Cup. Seriously girls, this thing is the best invention for athletic women since sliced bread (what bread has to do with menstruating, not even I can come up with). I love it so much t hat let's just say I'm always walking along the beach in soft focus.

Tears
Have you ever cried at the gym? I totally have. I did last Thursday, in fact. A friend of mine (hey-o Sarah!) lent me a book about dealing with the death of a loved one - it's a long story - and forgot to mention it had kids dying in it. A fact I discovered whilst stretching out my middle splits after a particularly relaxing yoga class. I cried so hard that I had to pull my hoodie up over my face to stop the two teenaged boys also occupying the stretching mats from staring at me. I made quite the picture spread-eagled on my face with my hood up sobbing uncontrollably. Anyhow. My point is, whether you're hurt, embarrassed or just have a soft spot for your favorite weight rack, tears happen.

What to do? If you're asking me, obviously I'm for letting 'em out. The harder I try and stifle my tears the more come out my nose as snot. Other options include excusing yourself to the bathroom, breathing heavily into your sweat towel ('cause of course you're using one, right?), and finding a non-sweaty shoulder to lean on. Like sweat, if you get tears on equipment, wipe it up (preferrably with sanitizing spray). It's not that we don't feel your pain - we just don't want your pinkeye.

Vomit
Having just spent the past few months repeatedly vomiting in public places, I have to tell you that there's really not much you can do about this one except look appropriately horrified when you're finished. On a good day, you make it to the bathroom or at least a garbage can before letting the chunks fly but all the rest of the times it's puke in a pool. That's why they make that crazy-cool-why-can't-I-buy-it-for-home-use vomit absorbing powder.

Saliva
Once during bootcamp, an old man hawked a loogie over the balcony where he was walking on the elevated track. That loogie landed on the floor right next to my left arm while I was holding plank for three minutes. There was splatter. On me. This should go without saying but I'm gonna say it: Don't ever hawk a loogie indoors. Not on an indoor track. Not even into the drinking fountain. It's your spit/boogers, you swallow it. The end.

Poop
Ah, I finally got to poop! And why does it not get it's own post here at GFE when there is obviously so many fitness-related things to say about it? Because tons of people have covered it so much better than I could. Strangely, I have never had problems with "runner's tummy" nor any other incarnation of poop and exercise (I'm as surpised as you are, frankly.) So I give you the experts: You've got pooping while running (warning: picture not for the faint of heart). Pooping while weight lifting. Pooping in a Karate tournament. You've also got the helpful folks who tell you what the color of your poo means, what your poop says about your health, and what exercises to do to help you poo. And, just for fun, an article about Suri Cruise's poop.

I don't know about you all but I certainly learned a lot during this little bodily functions course. Interesting factoid #1: no matter what combination of poo, exercise and fitness I typed into google The Great Fitness Experiment came in the top 5 hits - take THAT search engine optimization! Interesting factoid #2: you all have led some pretty embarrassing lives. One of these days, I'm going to put together a post of all the best comments on these posts because you guys shared some hilarious stories!

So, one last time in case we missed any gold star stories, anyone else had any experiences with blood, tears, vomit or poo while exercising? Did I miss any crucial bodily functions? Anyone else come up with a great euphemism for menstruating that I missed??
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