When I was in high school, I was a part of the varsity basketball team. I was a fairly decent player and took the game and my play pretty seriously. As such, I had a certain ritual I made a priority each and every game. Running through this ritual calmed me down and allowed me to get my thoughts in order before the start of each contest.
A part of this ritual was heading to our locker room right before halftime of the varsity girls’ game (they played right before us) to begin to get dressed and become centered. The most vital section of my little ritual was “shedding weight” after I had gotten my uniform and shoes on. Basically, I made sure to poop before every game. This settled my stomach and gave me the necessary “fresh” feeling I required (I know…).
One night, we were playing in a school that had a limited amount of space to house all of our different teams. As such, we were forced to occupy a small locker room that barely contained our fifteen players. It wasn’t an assigned dressing room. They pretty much just threw us in a room somewhere and called it a “locker room”.
Well, right before halftime of the girls’ varsity game, I headed to our locker room to begin my normal ritual. I remember feeling good that night and as if a certain electricity was running through my veins. Having this feeling usually meant I was going to have a good game, so I had a pretty jovial step to my gait as I wandered off to get dressed.
Once I had my uniform and shoes on, I headed for the next part of my ritual—using the restroom. Only, there was no door on the stall and even worse, the stall was so small that my bare knees poked out from where I was sitting. This made for an uncomfortable experience, but I was determined to power through. I had a ritual to keep.
The only saving grace was that the stall faced a wall, so that I was mostly caught off from view from the rest of the room, even though my knees were hanging out from the stall. I was so distracted that I didn’t hear the buzzer go off to signal that it was now halftime.
As I sat there “doing my business”, I was surprised to hear someone open the locker room door and a voice I didn’t recognize call out, “Is anyone in here?” I was so taken aback that I forgot to answer the voice. The next thing I heard terrified me to my very core.
“Okay, girls. Let’s all go in here…”
My eyes widened in terror as the other school’s VARSITY GIRLS TEAM all filed into the room where I was sitting so very vulnerable and exposed. Quickly, I balled myself into the smallest position possible, drawing my knees to my chest and pressing my feet against the toilet. I pulled my jersey down over my knees and began to pray. There I was, sitting half naked on a toilet while fifteen fairly attractive females sat no more than ten feet away from me. I could barely breathe as I imagined all of the horrible things that could happen if I was discovered. Surely, their screams of terror and my blushing in embarrassment would combine to signal the end of the world. Surely…
As I balanced there on the toilet seat, I prayed harder than I ever had, hoping and begging for nothing to “drop out of me” (I am so sorry if this is too gross for some of you. #CoryAfterDark?). As their coach went over the game plan for the second half, I was mortified to hear someone begin to walk over to the area where the sink and stall were. I closed my eyes and prayed even harder. Luckily, she only wanted to use the sink and not the toilet (she hocked a loogie. It was disgusting). I was safe…for now.
After what felt like an eternity but was really probably only ten minutes, the team gathered, prayed, and left the locker room. I was so relieved I could’ve cried. I was safe. I hadn’t been found out. There was a God. All was well. Hallelujah.
As the team was leaving, one of my teammates came in. I stuck my head out from the stall and gave him a look that said, “SWEET BABY JESUS YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I JUST WENT THROUGH”. Slowly, realization settled over his face and he immediately fell to the floor laughing. I couldn’t help but chuckle as well. It was a pretty funny situation. I couldn’t deny that.
Well it was funny until he gathered himself up off the floor and went and told everyone in the gymnasium what had just happened. Then, it wasn’t funny at all.
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