You saw her in a magazine, smiling angelically while gracing the pages: the abs; the tight glutes; the tiny waist. And you declared, “I can do this, I must do this, I have found my calling: I will make the journey to the stage”.
Not one to procrastinate, you got on the online the very next day and started researching. You discovered and contacted the most amazing trainer in your area. You began your grind, your dance to the stage. You hoisted iron, squatted until your vision blurred, and downed enough chicken breasts to bring our feathered brethren to the brink of extinction. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t glamorous. But you persisted. You had something to show the world.
And then, the day arrived. You took to the stage precisely as you had always seen it in your mind’s eye. You showed off your own angelic smile, your own ripped abs, your own tight glutes and waspish waist. You did it. You arrived. And they cheered and cheered and cheered.
You walked out of the auditorium loaded down with trophies, physical reminders of your amazingness that will forever grace your bookshelves at home, that your grand kids can ask you about someday when the body is falling apart and the smile is slightly less gleaming.
But none of that matters. Not now. Not ever. You did the impossible—you trained your ass off, dieted your ass off, got on stage, and competed. And did a great job, to boot.
And of course, what follows any good physique competitor’s run to the stage? Why, a delicious cheat meal—or two—or three—or perhaps more—after the show. And the next morning…. And then, a few hours later….
You woke up Monday morning, abs perhaps less chiseled, perhaps still there, but with a more convex shape, like faint reminders drawn onto a 9-month-prego belly. The smile is still angelic, put now pushes a few chin folds down when you call upon it.
Crap. All that hard work, fading so quickly. What to do, what to do… Don’t just sit there and let that ass expand to its previous greatness. Get up. Do something about it. Like what? Well, go for a run! Catch this train before it speeds off the tracks!
The running shoes are strapped to your feet. Despite the sloshy stomach, you’re still in amazing cardiovascular shape, and lighter than you’ve been in years, so running comes easy right now—not hard on the knees or the back, not hard on the lungs, just grace and elegance as you stride over the earth.
But, you forgot to consult the butthole. The butthole doesn’t always agree with the best of intentions.
See, before you hit the streets, you failed to realize that your body hadn’t touched processed junk food in months, and your system isn’t primed to handle it that well. And when you enjoyed those several cheats after the show, well, you set off a cascade of events in your digestive system that you are about to face head-on, so to speak.
The first few blocks are easy. The road is disappearing under your feet with every stride. Nothing can stop you…
..not even those rumbles and gurgles and bubbles that are frothing up and slowly edging towards your sphincter…
In this world, we all make choices. Some of us choose to lay down and roll over when the going gets tough. Some of us power through every obstacle in front of us.
Some of us… well, some of us shit ourselves mid-stride on our first post-competition run.
Yes, my precious child, that is the end state of the angelic smile you saw on stage a few days ago—now wallowing in your own feces as it drips down into your Nikes.
But you never broke stride. You are a warrior, through and through, both best of times and worst of times. Even when treading through your own shit.
Can’t stop. Won’t stop.
(Dedicated to the amazing TWW client Samantha Diggs; you will always hold a special place in our hearts!)
-David A. Johnston