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Pre-WOD-Nerves-Poos-and-Wees OR Fight or Flight response

November 11, 2010

Had a little blog post up on CrossFit New Zealand‘s page this week on Motivation and workout nerves.

You can read it here

It’s all about Katy Perry, really. These are the songs I sing in my head that have been getting me through this weeks WOD’s. One of my non-CrossFitting guy mates had an alternative distraction theory: thinking of Katy Perry’s boobies. Something for everyone, really…?

And following that, a word on toilet habits.  Delightful. I can have gone to the bathroom 87 times before I arrive at the box, and another 300 times when I arrive, but why is it always the second I step up to the bar that I feel like I need to “go pottty”.

I know it’s not just me, as you can guarantee that there is a line-up for the loo right before a workout is due to start.

Someone mused the other day about nervous wees/poos and I thought I would kindly offer up my understanding of the scientific explanation, so that we all know it’s a normal part of being a CrossFitter ;-P.

It’s also kinda cool to understand the crazy, extreme reaction that some of us have to the impending doom of a CrossFit WOD. It elicits a “fight or flight” response in our bods.  The sympathetic nervous system takes over, and the physiological reaction is just the same as the one our Caveman counterparts experienced the moment they were faced with a Sabre Toothed Tiger. Since the muscles that run your waterworks aren’t essential to survival, they relax. And you might need to pee as a result. Also, since digestion is not a necessity, it slows or stops all together, and often you need to poop (this was apparently so Grok could run faster).

Aside from those kinda uncomfortable feelings, some other awesome stuff happens to help us push our bodies through the workout. Our heart and lungs are kicked into high gear, essential nutrients like fat and glucose are liberated so our muscles can work, our reflexes speed up, we become incapable of rational thought, and our primal instincts take over.

A great pic from a blog on Fitness and Pee. I’m not the only one!

We’re also less sensitive to pain (hence the fact that you often don’t notice your hands are torn to sh*t until you see the blood on the bar….) and our hearing shuts down. The people that say they can’t hear the music during their WOD aren’t lying; they’re truly in survival mode. And have you ever tripped right over your barbell, or ran right into someone trying to sprint to the pull-up station? Tunnel vision is also another response.

So there you go. Fight or Flight for Dummies.

For me it just illustrates how what we do every day as CrossFitters is what our bodies were built to do.

Anyone ever feel like a nervous pee before a Zumba class or a bicep curl?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2010 5:48 pm

    I just don’t consider myself ready to throwdown on a workout until I’ve had my pre-wod poo. It’s a critical part of my preparation…….

  2. November 14, 2010 7:44 am

    My Nan used to say ‘Better to have a vacant house than a rowdy tenant.’Or something like that!

  3. Julie permalink
    January 20, 2011 11:45 pm

    New to your blog and loving it! Got here via Primal Joe. Totally identify with the pre-WOD poo. Every workout, I have to go before I leave the house and then somehow between house and box, I create another one. It gets a little embarrassing, because somehow during the time I work out, I’m the only one running for the bathroom! I keep thinking I’ll eventually chill out, but nearly a year into CF and my powers of elimination are still stellar.

    Looking forward to trying the strawberry cream pie, BTW.

  4. January 21, 2011 6:56 pm

    Hey, thanks Julie 🙂
    I know the feeling! It’s nuts…sometimes I wonder where it all comes from?!!? 😀
    (ps love how you put it : “powers of elimination”. Hilarious!)
    Good luck with the pie.

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