Category Archives: Gym / Exercise

Shower the People

I noticed from day one, but there is an art to the gym locker room. Mostly the shower. 99% the shower.

I have been in communal locker rooms before, and there probably is an overriding theme to how things work, or should work, in getting in and out without any…………issues.  Nor is there a spoken directive on this.  Someone made it so and others, like lemmings, follow.  Myself included.  Eventually.

For the life of me, I do not remember this being a concern in the dorms. Granted, there were a limited number of people who lived on my side of the hall (it was broken into two wings), and then factor in times of the day guys showered…..blah blah blah. I would say, nine times out of ten I never encountered another Park Hall resident there. Ditto with my fraternity.

Of course, let’s not discount that some note got passed around room to room, that said not to be in the shower with me at the same time. Anything is possible.

Maybe now I am hyper-aware of my surroundings.

The actual locker room proves no difficulty. Technically, neither does the shower, so maybe that is the wrong word to use.

There is a shower area and apparently a drying off area. The two activities, apparently should not mix. Who knew? Not me. Not the first two or three times I was there. Not that anyone said anything to me. One just notices the flow of how things are done.

At home, I dry myself off in the shower. I like it that way….and let’s face it, I have a pattern. I have self-diagnosed OCD. I have to have it my way. But this isn’t home – even if I now shower at the gym more often than I do at my domicile.

The showers at the gym are open, which I guess is fine – as long as you don’t have any privacy issues. And while I don’t, I somewhat worry that others might. There are pseudo-partitions that separate one shower area from the other, but they are all of 12″ deep and hide nothing from the person next to you – and even less if the other showeree (it could be a word!) is across from you.

My dilemma? What to stick out while soaping up? My front or my back? What do people want to, or not want to, see? I thought about taking a survey, but that might just look like I’m coming on to them.

I tend to face in when I shower, but when lathering, mainly the legs, that exposes parts of me some might rather not see, especially when I bend over to do the shin/calf areas. And they are parts I don’t really want to show off and make me feel a bit umm….vulnerable. But then if you turn me around and I show off Blobby Jr., it is something in which others might not want to see (though really – who wouldn’t want to see that!).

Yes folks, this is what I think about four times per week (five this week, if you include this blog post). I guess it keeps me from seeming like I’m a perv to notice how other guys do it. I’m not looking to get kicked out of the gym for lewd behaviour. Just trying to do the right thing here.

Which brings me to other things I find are a no-no, but where the OCD kicks in. I shave in the shower. The face people, the face!

I have yet to see anyone else do this, but I do. I’m not lingering. Just shaving.  I do this at home and in hotels.  I am not an at-the-sink kind of shaver.  I use soap and not shaving cream.  It’s all part of routine.

Last but not least is the drying off. The first days I dried off right there in the shower area. I think somehow knew immediately that I breached protocol. Unknowingly, for sure – but ignorance of the law does not exempt one from breaking it.

However, to get to the drying area, you walk past the door to the locker room which has some kind of blower on it and makes you fuckin’ freeze to death. It is kind of amazing they don’t have a gym full of flu victims.

Now I go grab my towel and do the nelly run past the cold stream of air just to towel off.  Just so I don’t do anything one of the normal guys would consider “fruity”.


They say working-out is just as tough mentally as physically.  I just didn’t think it would be due to all of this stuff.

Song by: James Taylor

Lost

I’ve mentioned here more than once about having self-diagnosed OCD.   It isn’t really as much about washing things over and over as it is about repetition and well….repetition.

Going to the gym is just as ritualistic for me as any other task.  How I pack my bag, as to how I unpack it and put stuff in the locker.  I want it so when I come out of the shower, the clean undies, t-shirt and socks are right there for me.  My keys, wallet, ID and iPhone are in a certain place – as is my tie after I get my suit on.

So maybe it is the change in my morning routine that has me all bamboozled.   I am used to getting up early, but not really doing a thing except reading the paper – and having the same cereal every single morning.  Repetition.

But for the last four weeks, two days a week, I am at the gym by 06:00.  In the last two weeks, I’ve either left my wallet at home, or forgotten a change of underwear.  This is unlike me.

Yesterday was ‘abs day’.  I still do my cardio and upper body stuff, but I’ve been incorporating abdominal routines into the workout.  I am so gonna be a looker.

My gym is right across the street from an entrance to my workplace.  In the side pocket of my gym bag, I keep my wallet and my ring.  I know I shouldn’t take my ring off, but I hate wearing it while using the weights and machines.

In the lobby of the building is one of those big kinetic sculptures – the kind with the like eight balls that drop, spin, go down windy slides and make all kinds of noise.  It sounds like this doesn’t matter, but trust me, it will.

I stop in the cafeteria to pick up a little box of raisin bran and head to my office to eat it.  Up there, I realize I didn’t put on my precious.  I dig into my gym bag and there was nothing there.  I call the gym to have them check the locker room, but they found nothing.

It was then I remember digging into my gym bag to get my wallet for the damned box of raisin bran.  It was then I remember hearing a dinging noise near the kinetic sculpture….a dinging noise that was not from the sculpture.

I flew down seven flights of stairs and over two buildings, but for nothing.   I looked and I looked but it is hard to see silver on a white terrazzo floor.  Oh, and that a few hundred people were coming into work and had a few hundred opportunities to kick it across a lobby.

Frick!

I was sick about it.

I called security, but really did not think anything would come of that.  In these economic hard times, it would not have surprised me that someone found it and would hawk it for a 32 oz bottle of malt liquor…..or rent.  Whichever.

I did try to call Denton to tell him, but the man never picks up his cell.   Ruckiry (not Jon’s boss), an hour later, security called – they had it!   An hour after that, I went down between meetings to get it.

They gave me the name of the guy who turned it in, so now I guess I owe him.   My “friends” had some crass ideas of how I should repay him.  Kris was hoping he’ll be 25 and hot.  I am hoping for 35.

Morty’s idea of Starbucks gift card was the only legitimate one….and a good one at that.  I think I’ll up it 10x more than the $2 Mort suggested.

And it seems I will have a new ritual.  Working out with my ring firmly in place.

Song by: Sarah McLachlan