There used to be a running joke in my house: every time I’d laugh too hard or sneeze, I’d have to run upstairs, and my kids would yell, “Mommy peed in her pants again!” Through CrossFit, specifically from doing heavy squats and core work, it’s helped to strengthen my pelvic floor, similarly to how kegels work. My legs, butt, and abs are the strongest they’ve ever been, and apparently so are my inner lady muscles. Now, I can sneeze without having to bee-line it to the bathroom.
But one exercise that I recently started working on has brought back that unexpected, embarrassing little annoyance – double unders. It’s a more intense form of jumping rope that involves letting the rope pass underneath your feet twice in between each jump instead of just once as with regular jumping rope. They’re super fun to work on, not only for the physical challenge to see how many I can nail in a row, but also because they make my heart rate soar, so I know I’m working hard.
The only issue is, once I got eight or more in a row, pee would just leak out of me. The first time it happened in class, I ran to the bathroom. Then I picked up my rope and started jumping again. But even with an empty bladder, I ended up peeing a little. I was like, “Where the heck is this pee coming from?”
After that, feeling flustered and worried about Niagara Falls pouring down my leggings, I avoided double unders for a few weeks, until I talked to some other CrossFit moms about it. Every single one of them nodded their heads up and down, totally relating. Some said it happens when they do box jumps, too, and another woman said it happens every time she does heavy squats. It’s just one of those amazing “gifts” to remind us of motherhood.
Knowing I wasn’t alone made me feel 99 percent better. The other one percent came from wearing a pantyliner and dark pants every time I went to class. It was slightly annoying, but much better than dealing with the fear of my bladder exploding during class and having a rush of pee trickle down my leg into a puddle on the floor.
Now, I always make time to hit the ladies room before a workout involving jumping rope; sometimes I even take a pee break during a workout if I need to. But what’s really helped me come to terms with peeing while exercising is that I changed my whole perspective. I focus on the fact that I’m grateful for being a mom to two healthy, kind kids, that I have the physical ability to take part in CrossFit classes. Compared to other things that could happen, a little pee is nothing!