The Wednesday morning Ladies’ Taekwon-do class is always a good craic. There is just something about getting a group of women together that generates a good laugh. Nuns must have a cracking time, although the lack of sex may be a deal-breaker.
Today, we got into the subject of pelvic floors. Partner, as the only male in the room, looked queasy. This only served to fuel our fun. If there’s one thing women are good at, it’s telling a ‘one time…’ story: one time my friend pissed herself during an exercise class, one time I pissed myself during an exercise class…can that be topped by anyone…one time…yes it can – when I was working at a leisure centre, the manager told me that after the over 60’s Aqua aerobics class they have to double the chlorine levels. There is very little content of ‘one time’ stories that is too graphic for a group of women. I discovered this when I ran a toddler group with my sister. There is nothing I now don’t know about a traumatic birth. I wasn’t squeamish until I ran that toddler group. The NCT classes had me believe that birth happened in soft focus and a huff and a puff and you blow your baby out. Nothing prepared me for what I was to learn in that church hall: horror upon horror was regaled to me with graphic imagery, with no consideration whatsoever of what level of detail would be publicly acceptable. No, these conversations were woman to woman and I very quickly realised that anything goes.
Back in the class this morning, I asked the ladies to make a block: your reaction hand must be in front of your chest, I told them. Harassed mum’s arm was a little low: you’re not 80, I said with a grin. That set us off: arm up too high, you are obviously wearing a wonder bra, arm in the correct position you are obviously wearing a good sports bra, arm too low, you’ve bought your bra at Primark. Partner is shaking his head: give me the three year olds to teach any day, he groans.