Chasing Calm

To kegel or not to kegel. The pressure’s on.

To kegel or not to kegel. The pressure’s on.

Warning ladies ~ it’s about to get personal. And if you’re a guy. Well just click off.

Now.

You’ve been warned.

As a woman over 50 who gave birth to 4 children, I’ve held the fear that a simple sneeze or cough can unleash an unattractive bodily response for some time now. It sort of comes with the everything’s been stretched out and gone south reality in the second half of life.

So when I feel a sudden sneeze coming on, I intuitively do the death grip with whatever pelvic floor muscles I can contract at the time and pray for the best. Sound familiar?

Now picture this, I’m in a pretty cute little outfit, at my sort of cool marketing job, walking by a taut 20-something year old when, without warning, a little whistle sneaks through my back side. Like what the hell. I’m 50, not 100.

Seriously. What. The. Hell.

I keep walking. Faking a little cough that we both know is too late and not at all related to what just happened. It’s such an obvious failure to deflect both of us from the “unfortunate incident” but it’s an instinctive go-to tactic because I’ve got nothing else. I quickly run to the bath room, make sure nothing else is coming and do a quick kegel for good measure.

Once the initial shock wears off, I go from embarrassment to quietly pondering what’s to become of me and my bodily restraint in 10 years? 20 years? Do I literally need to walk around clenching a tight ass? Or come to terms that I shouldn’t be among the 20-somethings work force any longer and start looking at job opportunities interacting with the elderly where toots aren’t only a commonplace but a welcome sign that your bowels are still highly functioning?

Before I go any further, let me assure you that I workout regularly, drink enough water, eat the right veggies and am at a slender, healthy weight for my body type. But two of my children had really big heads and no amount of physical discipline is going to reverse that damage!

With all those things in check, I do what any desperate girl does, I bring it up to a group of girlfriends over cocktails. Laughter ensues until they realize I’m seriously asking what do I do?!

One of my besties, a pilates instructor, spent some time making a solid argument for trampoline, rebound jumping. It is an amazing, highly-effective workout that engages and tightens your entire core and pelvic floor area. It’s challenging not only from a physical standpoint but also requires coordination and concentration to avoid awkwardly catapaulting backwards. A little more intense than I was thinking and I’m one of the least coordinated people I know but my eighty-year-old, destined for Depends future self is in the back of my mind pleading with me to consider all solutions… so I nod appreciatively.

As the conversation unfolded, someone mentioned Ben Wa balls. Now that got my attention. For you 50 Shades of Grey closet readers {I know you’re out there} they’re not just for your personal pleasure but have a shall-we-call-it “medicinal” purpose as well. The size, shape and slight weight to them cause internal muscles to contract and strengthen, making bladder control a real side benefit. They’re readily available on Amazon {because everything is available on Amazon!} in a variety of different names and materials.

Mine is actually by EverZana, not Ben Wa. Not expensive. Sleek silicone so it’s more comfortable than you’d think. Simple to use. I’ve had no concerns that they’ll just “fall out”. But it’s a good idea to test them out at home first to determine your tolerance and comfort level. Personally I feel a slight “tightening” like I’m doing pelvic exercises {but I’m not} and take it out when I start to feel any discomfort.

Is it working? Hard to tell.

Can I sneeze with confidence yet? No.

Will that ever happen? Can’t say for sure.

But I have to try something and I hate kegels. Hate. Them. Capital letters.
If there’s a shortcut available, you’d better believe that’s the path I’ll take!
Or as we working girls like to sell it, it’s a smart, efficient and time saving approach.
A multi-taskers dream. Set it and forget it. Like a Crock Pot.

File it under my current “main squeeze.”



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