Tag Archives: hygiene

A Period in Time

17 Aug

kiran-ghandi-1-435There’s this thing that happens when you run. It’s called sweating. Those of us with overactive glands tend to look like we’ve just gotten out of the pool or some demented wet T-shirt contest.

For people like myself, we sweat everywhere. Think of every nook, cranny and crevice on your body. Think of the skin behind your knees. Think of the roll on your back. Think of that area on your neck that your earlobe tends to graze. Now think of your body temperature the last time you had the flu. That’s where I sweat. And many of my fellow pavement pounders do the same.

Now, think of women. Think of those of us who say, “Screw you, Mother Nature! You sent your monthly visitor to mess up my routine and to that I say, kick rocks.” But your period can’t kick rocks. It’s a thing that has to happen. So you can choose to wallow in the pain with a tub of Talenti, or you can run though it. I usually choose to run through it. (No judgement if you choose not to, though. Those cramps can be debilitating.)

Here’s the thing when fighting Mother Nature: she can be an ornery bitch. She will find ways to continue to make you uncomfortable. Sanitary items will move and jostle. Your breasts will ache more than usual just because today’s the day your sports bra decided to act a donkey. You’re so bloated you feel like running 10 more feet will make you explode. But you do it anyway because most times the aches and pains are just mental. Or they subside after your body has a chance to focus on new challenges.

We are all warriors in this battle of the bulge. And that’s why I can’t be too mad at our fellow road warrior Kiran Ghandi who decided to run a marathon without any sanitary aid. I’m a little mad, but not too mad.

If you haven’t read Ghandi’s story, she completed the London Marathon sans tampon, pad, cup, sponge, hell even a balled up piece of toilet tissue (trust me, it works in a pinch). She completed 26.2 miles with blood running down her thighs. This coupled with the body sweat couldn’t have made for a comfortable run.

Some of you may be thinking, “Well, wouldn’t a tampon or pad have been more uncomfortable for such a long run?” The answer is a resounding no. NO, no, no, no, no! Runners who’ve been doing this for a while know just what kind of sanitary aids to use so they don’t impede their time or comfort levels on a long run.

No, Ghandi chose to have the lining of her fallopian tubes shed down her running pants to show solidarity for women and girls around the world who don’t have simple access to feminine hygiene products. She chose to be unhygienic to raise awareness about hygiene.

“You see, culture is happy to speak about and objectify the parts of the body that can be sexually consumed by others,” she told People. “But the moment we talk about something that is not for the enjoyment of others, like a period, everyone becomes deeply uncomfortable.”

And she’s right. There’s an organization called Days for Girls that is dedicated to educating and getting girls access to free feminine hygiene products. Girls can miss sometimes up to two months of school because they need to stay home. This creates a long list of problems in the long run. So kudos to Ghandi for helping to shed light on this issue.

Could I have done it myself? Probably not. I don’t like the feeling of being without a tampon. I’d be concentrating moreso on my discomfort levels than on my breathing and pace. But now that this issue is in the spotlight, hopefully more people will pay attention to the simple needs of others.

The Hygienic Gym Rat

14 Jan

Glee star (and Big Sean’s former boo) Naya Rivera went on “The View” Tuesday and let the world in on her hygiene habits.

Once every two to three days? Really? A “bird bath” can’t take care of the things I need taken care of.

As someone who sweats so bad her dog won’t come near her, I have to a) question her logic and b) question what she does during the day that makes her think she’s above a good daily scrubbing.

I know in some cultures it’s acceptable to shower infrequently. Hell, in some cultures a ho bath is a treat. We don’t live in that type of culture. In these United States, especially in this denizen of uncleanliness that I call home (New York), I will give you the most epic of side-eyes coupled with the people’s eyebrow if you say you shower maybe twice a week.

the_rock

Courtesy of Tumblr

This goes triple for those of you in the midst of your weight-loss journey. The weight-loss journey is full of dirt, sweat, tears and public bathrooms. You will have to endure public pools, dog poo on the running path and gnats in your hair. Understand that the gym equipment you’re using at 3 p.m. has been man handled at least a dozen times that day with an 80% change that one of those users had snotty hands.

Suffice to say, working out makes you icky. Please for the love that is holy, wash your sweaty, nasty behind.

I shouldn’t have to say this, but good hygiene isn’t just for you. It’s for your cubemate at work. It’s for your fellow passengers on the subway. It’s for your Winter Boo when he comes over that night. No one wants to be around Smelly Mellie.

smelly_mellie

Courtesy of Tumblr

I’ve been around my fair share of smelly gym rats. Occasionally I am one. But my hygienic missteps have come from re-wearing gym clothes. There’s a bit of a gray area in this. On one hand, no one expects you to smell like a field of lilies when you’re working out. A bit of musk can be a badge of honor. However, the problem comes when you can smell yourself. If you open your gym bag and the odor knocks you out, it’s time to wash your clothes and pick out a new gym outfit.

Another thing that happens is stewing in your gym clothes. I understand you’ve got errands to run and appointments to make. Sometimes there’s no time for a shower. Well, there are 24 hours in a day. Somewhere in those 24 hours, you should find time to douse yourself in soap and hot water. You are creating some funked out bacteria in all kinds of soggy cracks and crevices by not doing your due diligence with a bar of Dial soap. Say no to funky bacteria and yes to freshness.

With brings me to my last point: a clean body is just plain satisfying. My gym clothes make me feel like I’m suiting up for war. I’ve got on my breastplate (sports bra), shin guards (running capris) and army boots (sneakers). When I’m wearing those clothes especially after a good sweat, I feel like I’ve just done battle. That’s good in that it’s evidenced in my attire how hard I’m working. But nothing beats a nice, hot shower after a workout. It soothes my muscles. It clears my airway. Washing the dirt and funk off of my body feels like the final step in the day’s workout goal.

So don’t be like Naya Rivera. Wash yourself and feel good about it. Don’t let others relive your workout by smelling you.

What did you think of Naya Rivera’s comments?