Urinary incontinence, or the loss of bladder control, is not a laughing matter. When one uncontrollably pees while running, it is often referred to as “runner’s bladder.”
Despite the embarrassing nature of such a condition–of peeing oneself while running–I find nothing wrong with this quite natural phenomenon. In fact, I find it to be admirable.
Those affected by runner’s bladder do not choose to bear such a burden; it is a curse inflicted without reason. Nobody wants to pee themselves, but some people just have no choice.
An anonymous member of the women’s cross country team said, “I pee myself every race…I can’t help it, but if I want to race my best it just happens. I’m not ashamed though; it may seem unattractive, but dedication to bettering my performance trumps selfish vanities.”
I could not agree more. What a selfless individual–sacrificing her dignity to ensure the team’s victory.
If anything, those with runner’s bladder should not be ridiculed, but celebrated. Any runner realizes the difficulty of a competitive race, and those with runner’s bladder face an additional obstacle–uncontrollably peeing while racing can’t be comfortable, but some brave souls fight to overcome it.
What foreigners to the condition must realize is that those with runner’s bladder do not actively decide to pee themselves–they’re not giving up on holding their pee–their bladder is just not able to do its job properly. No matter how much those with runner’s bladder want to hold their pee, they just can’t–and they should not be punished for such a malfunction.
Another anonymous cross country runner said, “Sometimes people make fun of me because I pee my pants during races. I do not appreciate such unjust torment. I try my hardest not to, but usually I am unsuccessful. If I want to have any chance at running a personal record, I can’t worry about silly things like not peeing–I have to focus on racing.”
Well said. Well said.
In my opinion, those with runner’s bladder should not be discriminated against. Those afflicted are human beings too–just like those fortunate runners who can hold their pee. Runner’s bladder victims should not be treated any differently than other more urinary competent runners. They are heroes to the sport–showing endless dedication and risking mockery in order to prove that even if they do pee, they can still run dang fast. It does not matter if their shorts look like they sat in a puddle–that is beside the point.
If one wishes to try and fix runner’s bladder, one can practice Kegel exercises. The exercises strengthen the pelvic muscles that contribute to bladder control and decrease the likelihood of urinary incontinence.
However, if Kegel exercises fail–and the menace of runner’s bladder proves inconquerable–that’s okay too. Runner’s bladder is the affliction of champions, and such martyrs should not be ashamed. Head up, peepants, head up!