Saturday, February 2, 2013

Rolling with the Dot


Ladies, it’s that time of the month again. And if you’re like Shark Girl, you don’t want to let a little blood coming out of your crotch stop you from . . . oh, crap! We’re not drilling triangles tonight, are we?

Of course we are. Because I’ve got my period. And it’s some law of jiu jitsu that when I’ve got my period, we have to drill triangles, so that I can wrap my leaky regions around some guy’s face. It’s like when all that broccoli you ate last night gasses you up, you know it’s going to be “Knee on Belly Night.”

When I started training, I wondered what I was going to do when “That Time of the Month” showed up. I didn’t worry with other sports. I just popped a tampon in, and if I was really worried, added a pad, and was done with it. In jiu jitsu, my problem was three-fold: I only had my gym-issued white gi; I wondered if a pad could be felt; I was worried there might be womanly scents wafting around.

The first thing I decided was that I needed a black gi. Now I don’t worry about stray blood on my gi, because if it’s there, I can’t see it, and neither can my training partner. Problem #1 solved.

The second and third problems, scent and touch, were a bit harder to get over. It was Georgette (and my advanced age) that let me say, “What the fuck? Why am I worrying about that?” It was in a post (I can’t find it now, but maybe someone else remembers . . . this is a job for Slidey!) where Georgette discussed jiu-jitsu pantsing. You know, another thing we ladies worry about. What happens when your pants come down in jiu jitsu? Her reply was “Guys don’t worry their underwear showing, so I’m not going to effin’ freak out if mine peeks out,” or something like that. And I thought, “She’s right. And guys don’t worry about their periods, so I’m not going to worry about mine, either.” I pay good money for my gym membership and I’ll be damned if I’m going to miss out on 25% of it.

I’m pretty sure some of the ladies at my gym take a pass during their periods. They are mysteriously “gone” one week a month. Kind of like the Jiu Jitsu National Guard.

Now, for those triangles. I’ll admit it makes me a bit uncomfortable, but once I start drilling, I’m really focused on the moves and I hope my teammates are, too. I’m a woman of childbearing age, at least for the next few years. So, if the men in my gym can do math, and if they went to that awkward class in 5th grade where they explained puberty with puppets, and they see me at the gym without a break, then they must know I’ve got to have my period sometime. It’s a part of life, it’s a part of the human condition. I’m not going to deny it happens or lock myself away.
 Okay, there actually is a puppet musical about puberty. Just thought you would like to know.

As I was writing this, I found this post over at Bunny JiuJitsu that talks about some ways of stopping the flow from getting in the way of your jiu jitsu habit, like a menstrual cup. I’ve never seen one before and will admit to being a little wigged out. Husband hadn’t seen one, either, until he walked in on me googling “menstrual cup.” I wish I had taken a picture of his face to share with you. Priceless.
Step aside, boys. Now there's a cup for women!
Anyway, if any of you lady athletes have experiences with a menstrual cup, I’d love to hear about them, as I’m considering one.

Oh, one last period caveat. Ladies, remember that your ligaments are looser during your period. I wish I had remembered. This morning I hyper extended my knee without even feeling it. I feel it now, and will be taking some time off.
 Here's Ellen to tell you about another great, new product for women!

14 comments:

  1. Cups are awesome. Definitely take some getting used to (I wouldn't try it out in class until you've 'test-driven' them for a few months before hand), but when you figure out how to get it working right, it works really really really really well. I use a thin back-up pad during the heaviest days to catch any possible leaks. I've had my cup for four years and will never go back to tampons. NEVER!

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    1. That's a glowing review. Did you have trouble finding the right brand?

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  2. Great timing! Just had my first round with the Diva cup.

    Like AJ said, it takes some practice, but when it works, it WORKS. I also just put on a backup pad because, well, it was my first run and getting the folding and unfolding deal down takes some practice. Definitely better than the tampon that let me down one night. (Nothing too horrible resulted thank goodness). I still don't do black gis though, because, well, I'd rather not scream to the gym that my period is on. I guess I could just start alternating them with the white...I do love white gis though.

    Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to do a post on it, but a couple of the guys at the gym read my blog, so I'm still kinda shy. Definitely recommend though.

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    1. It's easy to be brave when you're anonymous!
      My black gi is in the rotation. I just opt for it or make sure it's available on my heaviest day. But I definitely bought it with my period in mind. (Did you read that, lady gi makers?)
      Okay, so in one test run with the Diva cup, you are sold. That's quite impressive, as I think people get comfortable with their period protection and it's a hard sell switching them, even to a different brand of the same thing.
      Any particular reason that you chose Diva?

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  3. I must be lucky. My periods are extremely light and only last two days. Throw me an old school Tampax Super and I'm good to go.

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    1. Okay, I'm officially jealous of the two days.

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    2. I was the same way until I hit 49. At 50, my period is so heavy now that I have to wear a super tampon and a pad. Alas, I have to sit out training about 1 or 2 days a month.

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    3. Sigh--50 is a magic number. huh? I am inching closer every day.

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  4. This was a very interesting post. I was intrigued so I shared it with my 16-year old daughter, who also trains, and we did a little internet research. I must say, I had never heard of the cups before. We are thinking about trying them out for my daughter. Thank you Shark Girl.

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    Replies
    1. Let me know how it goes . . .I'd like to try one, too!

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  5. Cool! Good to see more posts on this topic (couldn't find the Georgette post, though I had a quick look: but yeah, sounds like the kind of thing she would say. ;D).

    I'm a guy, so this isn't exactly something I've got personal experience with, but I read a post about moon cups years ago which may or may not be of use, here. :)

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  6. I just chose Diva 'cause it was the cheapest brand I could find at the time...they don't really wear out so I haven't tried any other brands yet.

    I, too, am jealous of Dagney & her two days.

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  7. I love you for writing this.
    I just wish you were around 2 years ago when I started.

    Had to learn the hard way

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    Replies
    1. Hi Yolanda! Do you have any tricks that work for you? I'm still working out the kinks in mine!!

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