The only way to convey the true mortification I experienced at the gym is to give you too much information. TMI, as they call it on the internet, or #tmi. However you want to frame it, I prefer to avoid situations that put me in this “TMI” category. I’ve learned that some things are out of my control.
Maybe I’m willing to expose my embarrassment because I want another person to know that they are not alone. Or perhaps, honestly, I don’t want to feel alone. I hope I’m not alone in my need to be “cool” at the gym. I especially like to appear like I know what I’m doing and I have my shit together. That I’m not the only one who puts on a facade like I’m doing just fine, when I’m really not. I lift weights and exercise because I feel fucking crazy if I don’t.
It was a Monday morning. I was tired and starting to feel a cold coming on. My head ached and my throat felt scratchy, which made me pretty grumpy. I didn’t want anything to infringe on my gym time, especially a measly cold. I chose to move on, mostly because I couldn’t stay home and” rest “with my three year old, so I proceeded with my routine. It was a chaotic morning with kids fighting, cereal milk spilling and plenty of crying. I didn’t feel well and I knew a good lift was the only hope I had left to raise my spirits.
I dropped River, my 3 year old, off at the daycare and did my usual. I locked my locker, grabbed my weight belt and started with squats. I’m currently training for a power lifting competition, so my routine is very specific. I follow a plan with heavy weight and low reps. Mind you, I’ve birthed three children so I never leave home without a panty liner, and I must be armed because you never know. But, because I was feeling worn out that day, I assumed I wouldn’t lift heavy, so I was unarmed. That was my first mistake .
I always feel better after I lift weights, its like my mental medicine. Consequently, I started to feel better, so I moved up in weight. The cold was no longer creeping up on me.
My friend Zach came in, and we said hello to each other. He saw that I was squatting, ” Hey Stacie, ” He said, ” Are you going to go heavy today?” “Yep,” I said. “Im going to go heavy.” He usually spots me, so he nodded and said “Ok, I’ll be over in a minute.” I started to prep my 155 pound squat, which is the heaviest I’ve ever gone, and with respect to reps, it was a challenge.
I was ready. Zach stood behind me and gave me that secure feeling, knowing if I fell on my ass with weight on my back, I wouldn’t die. There is something about a heavy squat that is exciting and scary, accomplishment mixed with slight danger . ” You got this, ” he said. “I got this” I said in my mind as I dropped down and came up. I did one rep. I was focused and determined as I dropped down again. It was heavy but I had it. I felt strong for a third, that fire burning in my stomach pushed me deep into a 3rd squat. I hit down low and it felt heavy but I was getting back up no matter what. So I started to push up , I felt my glutes click and suddenly a stream of pee splattered to the gym floor. Not just a drop, A STREAM OF PEE, like I was peeing with pants on and it looked like it. Zach was still behind me, I’m pretty sure I splattered pee on him too. I was fucking mortified. I wanted to run but I had a 155 pound bar on my back. He helped me rack the bar. I was out of breath from the squat and the possible near panic attack from embarrassment. In that small lapse of a second I had an impulse to cover it up, so I started rubbing my Converse over the pee to cover it. Nope that wasn’t going to work, I couldn’t exactly grind wet pee into the floor.
He commended me, ” You did it!” I was so distracted by my pee I wanted to DIE. Another lapse of a thought said ,”Fuck it Stacie, just own it, there is nothing you can do to cover this up, you moron.” I laughed a little,and Im pretty sure my eyes were popping out of my head and I said,”ummm, yeah I did it but I peed my pants.” “It happens,” He said. He made nothing out of it, it was as if nothing happened. I was waiting for him to start pointing and laughing at me, announcing to the entire gym. “Stacie peed all over the floor!!!!!!!!!!” ” LOOK everyone, introducing Stacie The Pee Pants Davis!” But no, he did none of the above. He just sort of chuckled with an accepting look in his eyes.
I wanted to roll myself like a ball of yarn, and jump into the garbage of used paper towels by the StairMaster. But no, life went on. And the pee didn’t clean itself up. That may have been the worst fucking part. I grabbed a few paper towels while feeling horrified about being human. Much less putting my bodily functions on display at the ONE place where I had an possibility of looking cool. Seeing as I’m married to a man who sounds like he shits his pants in public, I saw the irony.
It wasn’t over. Zach helped me clean up the pee continuing a conversation about squatting and handed me the simple green spray. Gone went the pee, and seconds later it was as it nothing happened. The humility I felt could have ripped my skin off as I stood there with wet pants. Thank God the pants were dark. I thought to myself, FUCK, the ONE day I didn’t wear a panty liner. THE ONE DAY!!!! But isn’t that life’s way of keeping us alive? Just when you think you’re cool, you pee your pants mid-squat.
I’m still waiting to walk in the gym tomorrow and hear, “Here comes Pee Pants Stacie !” And everyone is throwing pads at me like Carrie, ” You need a pad, Pee Pants?!!???” As laughter erupts, “Look, it’s Pee Pants I Can Squat 155 And Piss Myself Davis!!!”
It hasn’t happened yet, but I can assure you I will never leave home without my Poise Pad again.