Thursday, January 22, 2015

Periods and sport for women

Periods, menstruation, time of the month - all words that male trainers mostly cringe at. But it is something we have to deal with, and yes it does happen every month. 

Heather Watson PIC Carlos Barria via Guardian
I read a fascinating article last night about this, and the different ways sportswomen deal with their periods. Titled 'Menstruation, the last sporting taboo'  it starts with Heather Watson. You may have heard the tennis player interviewed this week when she partially blamed her period for being knocked out of the Australian Open.

Initially my reaction was 'oh no, don't be that honest' and then I laughed at myself. If women like Watson never talk about this, we'll never be able find a way to balance all this out.

And it does affect us. I finally worked out through a painful trial and error process that sparring in my sport of MuayThai was just not a good idea for the first two days of bleeding. Bag-work and extra long runs were no problem but nothing complicated thank you. 

Just once I had to fight on those days, and it was, well let's just say it was not pretty. I wasn't tired but absolutely zero coordination, and my pain tolerance was way way too low for getting hit that hard.The kindest thing you could say about that fight was that I didn't get knocked-out! 

Who knows how much of this is mental? I'd like to think I was up for it, there was nothing to do  about the date, it was a big show and could not be turned down without a raft of explanations. Or so I thought. 

In the article, they talk about hockey players taking the pill as a team so they coordinate their periods. Maybe someday we can just say - hey, that week is not good for me. 

How do you deal with your periods and your sport?

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