By Brittany Corrigan
Okay people, it’s time to cover the question with the most obvious answer. Now that I think about it, it’s not really even a question. It’s more like a statement of fact…with an answer. In my opinion, the answer (or response, if you will) is completely unnecessary. Actually, the statement is completely unnecessary. So grab a plastic bag because this super fly FAQ segment with yours truly might just make your stomach turn – since that’s what it’s about.
It happens to the best of us. Unexpected nausea can strike at any time, but usually chooses the most inconvenient and embarrassing moment (don’t I know it). Fatigue? Anxiety? Stress? Low blood sugar? Bad clams (that is seriously disgusting, when will people learn to quit eating clams?)? It can be triggered by anything.
Maybe you thought it would be fun to eat everything in your house that’s not nailed down before coming to class for an intense 60 minute training session (you will not enjoy that chili dog the second time around, trust me). Or maybe you’re just a little under the weather (if you are, shame on you for coming to class). Regardless, the moment has arrived. A moment you will always remember as one of the most embarrassing times of your life. A moment you will probably never look back on and laugh (you’re not alone; I can assure you I won’t ever laugh about it either). I’m talking about the moment when you tossed your cookies (or chili dog) on the mat/walkway/another student/(gasp) the instructor.
So when that happens, what do you do? What is the best course of action? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s simple really. So simple that, in order to make this a complete paragraph, I have to keep rambling about the simplicity of the solution, but here it is (finally): run.
I’m serious…run. Run. Run!!! Such a simple, unassuming word but very effective in practice. Now, I have to warn you, it’s not 100% effective. It is possible that you’ll know (I was gonna finish that with ‘you’re about to blow’ but I thought that would be inappropriate), that you’ll cover your mouth and run, but that elusive bathroom door will stay just out of your reach and you just won’t make it (dude, I’m sorry for you ‘cause that’s way embarrassing.)
If this happens; if you just can’t make it, please, don’t sweat it. This kind of thing happens sometimes, and it’s awful, and gross, and (for the hundredth time) it really is embarrassing. But we would all feel the same way in that situation. Take comfort in that (and the fact that you are not the first person, nor the last this will happen to).
But please, PLEASE, please for the love of toast, try to make it off the mat. Don’t ask questions. Don’t walk. Just make a break for it. Countless times (and I really do mean countless, because I’ve never actually tallied it up, math is not my fave subject), I’ve heard this occur on the mat:
Student: SiFu…I think I’m going to go throw up? (just like that, with a question mark and everything)
Student: SiFu…I’m going to be sick? (Seriously, I wanna be like, Yo, that’s not proper grammar. You didn’t ask a question. But neither is ‘wanna’ so I let it slide.)
Or seen this (cue the pretend harp music as you float away into this daydream sequence with me):
A student stops in the middle of a rambunctious class (how odd, I think to myself). I find him staring aimlessly at some unforeseen spot on the wall or floor (what is it? A spider? A Band-Aid? A giant, man eating dust bunny?). Then, he grabs his stomach as if in anticipation (the suspense, it’s killing me). And before I know it, he’s covered his mouth with both hands as if trying to hold something in (but what it could be, I don’t know). And then, it hits me (Not literally, that would be too gross for words. I would be too scarred to write about that. Come on people.)! My eyes glance at the restroom, judging the distance (Did it move? How did it come to be such a tiny speck on the horizon?). I move forward as if to help (to do what, I don’t yet know. Knock an unsuspecting student out of the way? Take cover behind a wavemaster?). But it’s too late…(I’ll let you finish this with your own imagination).
Seriously, this kind of thing happens all the time. So, let’s review PMA’s emergency mat evacuation policy:
1) If you feel a little icky, don’t stand around until you’re sicky. Hit the walkway at a sprint, run for the restroom – don’t relent. (That was a crime of a rhyme. It was lame and I feel shame.)
2) In this situation, you don’t need to ask for permission to leave the mat. Please, I’m begging you, SiFu is begging you, the whole class is begging you, just go. Just run for it. You can explain later. I promise you SiFu won’t mind. What he will mind is if you approach him to tell him that you’re about to yak, and then you give a big technicolor yawn in his face. So once again, don’t ask for permission, just run. Which brings us to our last one.
3) Run hard. If it were me, I would be running like a giant wave of peanut butter (the crunchy kind) is about to crash down on me (not scary I know, but I try to keep this PG for our younger readers). You want to make it to that bathroom; it will be much less embarrassing if you do. I want you to make it to the bathroom; it will be much less messy if you do (Ever seen the episode of Glee where they all have a “special” drink right before they go on stage under the hot lights to perform? No? Only watch it if you have a strong stomach. I’ve got 2 words for you: chain re-action.) So run like you’re Sonja Richards-Ross and your Nike endorsement depends on you reaching that restroom.
Final note, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to run off of the mat. In these situations, it’s every man for himself, and I guarantee you, if I think you’re about to leggo your eggo, I will run, duck, roll, hide, dodge, pirouette (you get the picture)…whatever I have to do to avoid the line of fire. Bottom line, if you need to make a call on the big white telephone, it’s toll free. You don’t need to speak with an operator first. Go right ahead.