I was 6 years old. Back then I was a shy kid. I kept to myself and stayed quiet unless I was around my close friends or family.

One day I was at Taekwondo practice. I loved team sports like soccer and baseball, but never was the biggest fan of the one-on-one sparring we did in Taekwondo. I did love the idea of advancing to new levels, breaking thicker boards each time and progressively collecting upgraded belts.

It was a small studio located in a strip mall. The room had white walls and blue soft mats lining the floor. We were lined up on the mats, all facing the instructor who led us through a sequence of moves. We followed along, pose by pose, rehearsing the steps as a group.

I had to pee. But I decided to hold it in out of fear of interrupting the lesson. I thought that if I broke out of line right in the middle of a group sequence, it would be a huge inconvenience to the class. Moreover, I felt like I needed permission form the instructor in order to do so, and I didn’t want to bother him while he was busy leading the entire class. So I resolved to stay quiet and hold it in which was taking most of my effort and awareness.

Suddenly, the instructor stopped what he was doing and looked straight at me. “Simon, do you need to go to the bathroom?”

I looked around. The other students were looking at me. I looked down and saw that I was standing in a small, growing puddle of warm urine. At the early age of 6, I was apparently mostly unfamiliar with the limits and restrictions of my bodily processes. The class was silent. I don’t remember the details of what happened next, but my parents came and picked me up early that day.

From then on, I stuck to team sports.

P.S. This is a totally unrelated photo, but it sort of symbolizes what happened in that Taekwondo studio.

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