This week I can't ignore the tragic loss of the late, great Prince. I was lucky enough to see him live only 2 years ago, and in a very intimate setting.
I was offered a last minute ticket to the launch of a brand new charity for Autism. It was a school night, and it was offered on the day of the gig, which would take place in a club from my debauched and slightly trashy youth; Cafe De Paris. At £400+ for said ticket, I felt it a little steep. And dodgy. There was no information available about the event online, only whispers about the world famous guest performing, rumoured to be Prince. It was either a huge scam, or a fabulously exclusive opportunity. Because I tend to do, then think later (see earlier blog on 'impulse control'), I threw some money at the problem and convinced myself I was being selfless in the name of autistic children everywhere.
Upon arrival, we were made to queue a lot and follow very strict instructions. So far, so Prince. We were given the orientation of the silent auction on entry to the venue, which I swiftly skipped in favour of some Moët flavoured refreshments. It was 8pm. He's coming on at 9. Then 10. Then 11. At which point I'm drunk and rather sceptical. I've also gotten bored and made the guy I'm with bid for the Lamborghini race in the silent auction. In Poland. I told him £2,000 was a low bid and we definitely wouldn't win and it was just for fun.
Finally, at 11.30pm, the man himself arrives on stage. I don't need to say more. He was every inch a star, and a prolific performer. He did a solid 2 hour set and the creative connection he had with his band was awe inspiring. He improvised and the band responded seamlessly. He spoke articulately about the charity he was performing for and gave all 300 of us one of the best nights of our lives.
What no-one anticipated, at 1.30am when he finished his encore, and we were aching from dancing like lunatics, was that the club was on lock down until he had left the building. We weren't even allowed to go to the toilet. And I was drunkety drunk drunk. Women everywhere will appreciate when I say after a solid champagne session and a lot of dancing, nature calls. We know this by the queue length in women's loos everywhere.
I panicked. I can't pee? Or leave? And it's 1.30am and I have to act sensible and realign a client's body at 7am tomorrow? What the...?
Like always, I used my negotiating (flirting) skills with the bouncers. I was unsuccessful and desperately confused. No-one had ever told me 'no' before. Perhaps they had, but who am I to obey rules? Wandering around in a state and with a very obvious belly in my skin tight outfit, a female member of staff saw my distress and immediately tended to me. Assuming I was pregnant. Now, at the risk of offending women forever, I'm sorry to admit I didn't argue otherwise. I was immediately escorted out of the building and set free to uber may way home to my bathroom and my bed.
Now, no matter what your gender, control of your pelvis (and therefore urinary tract) comes from your transverse abdominus (the deepest set muscle of the abdomen and a pelvic stabiliser), and your pelvic floor (yes boys, you have one too). These muscles, when strong, give ultimate control of your urination frequency and also stabilise the base of the spine via the pelvis.
Anyone who has given birth, or ever had pain in their lumbar spine (whether it be discal or muscular), needs to strengthen this area. The TA and pelvic floor work in tandem; when one fires, so does the other; creating a stable pelvis, controlling the calls of nature and offloading the pressure on the lower back muscles.
Most of us lack this stability due to our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and we need to retrain aforementioned muscles with focus so they learn to activate involuntarily. Perhaps we wouldn't even need to leave Prince concerts prematurely.
Lying on your back with both legs in the air, knees bent at right angles. Ensure your knees are directly over your hip joints. Exhale strongly and draw your navel deep towards your spine. Your low back should imprint to the floor. Continue exhaling as you slowly place one foot close to the floor, then float the leg up again as you inhale. Repeat on the other leg. Only take the leg as low as you can maintain the stability of the spine. Repeat over, ensuring the pattern of 1) exhale, 2) draw the navel in feeling your low back on the floor, 3) then move the leg. You can do this as much as you like as long as you maintain that stability in the pelvis. As you fatigue, stop. Start again and keep at it until those muscles become second nature.
Prince will never know the awful secret I've been harbouring for nearly 2 years; but now it's out in the open I hope the rest of the world can forgive me for appearing with child, when in fact, I just needed to pee.
The guy I was with will never forgive me for bidding on a Lamborghini race, because it was by far the highest offer and he won. I wasn't invited along. I'm not sure Poland was the right setting for racing supercars anyway. Flights weren't included.
If you look pregnant and aren't, or simply need to resolve some low back pain, you can contact me here.
Autism Rocks is still thriving and continues to throw mega fundraising events for an amazing cause.