After a friendly squatting competition spiraled out of control (there’s a sentence I never expected to type), two girls found themselves in intensive care due to pretty severe kidney damage.
How? Trust me, I wanted to know, too.
It began when Xiao Tang, a 19-year-old college sophomore and a friend challenged each other to a squatting competition. The pair are both admittedly competitive, so neither wanted to stop and admit defeat.
They wanted to determine who had the most stamina, said Xiao when she spoke with China Press – and that meant that they each ended up doing over 1,000 squats. Oh yeah, and neither of them are especially athletic.
The competition lasted around 3 hours before they both threw in the towel, and even though they were sore, neither was worried.
At least, not until the following morning.
“Something was wrong…first of all, my leg was not only sore, but I couldn’t bend it. Then I went to the bathroom and my urine was brown,” Xiao recalled.
Luckily, she sought medical treatment. At the hospital, she was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, a serious condition caused by skeletal muscle injury. It occurs when dead muscle fibers are released into the bloodstream, causing the kidneys to struggle and even fail due to an inability to filter waste.
Xiao (and her friend, who had also gone to the hospital that morning with the same symptoms) were treated with large amounts of IV fluids and dialysis. They were both able to recover after some time in intensive care, and their kidneys did not suffer permanent damage.
They were lucky, according to Dr. Bruce Cohen, a medical officer for the FBI, who reminds people to listen to their bodies and not to push beyond reasonable limits.
Especially not just to prove a point.