Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Gym Shower Etiquette 101

I’ve been hitting the gym pretty hard for about 2 years now, and I can honestly say that I’ve learned a lot. Not just about my body and the way it works, how far I can push if and where I have to respect my limitations, but I’ve also learned a great deal about the way I interact with people and the way that they interact with me, in a small, sweaty, “exposed” environment. My Body Talk (energy healing) practitioner told me once that she only goes to the gym when she’s absolutely forced to (if bad weather won’t allow her to train in her own pool at home), otherwise she does her very best to avoid the negative, aggressive energies firing around the gym, from all the time-poor/cash-rich, stressed, overweight fuckers trying in vain to fight genetics, the ravages of time and the bulging stress-vein in their temples. Me personally? I feel the angry energy too… But that’s not what this blog post is about.
This post is about how you should behave in a gym locker room / shower environment, - a “how to” of sorts to help you navigate your way through the potentially embarrassing and painfully uncomfortable world of non-sexual group nudity.

1. Don’t touch my stuff with your stuff!
In my house, I have some rules. One of them is, don’t EVER touch my towel. You touch my towel, you die. It’s as simple as that. This is a rule that I enforce with the very people that I know and love. Strangers at the gym don’t get the same courtesies as the ones I know and love. I’m way more brutal with strangers. If we are sharing a bench in the locker room, please do not let any part of your stuff touch any part of mine. That’s disgusting. A few weeks ago some woman tossed her towel ON TOP OF MINE on the bench while we were changing. Once I’d recovered from the nausea and revulsion I SHOOK my towel out from under hers, making sure her towel ended up on the athlete’s foot infested tiled floor, before giving her a shrug and a “Oops! Did I do that?” eyebrow raise… Next time she won’t be so lucky.

2. Please, for the love of God: If I don’t know you, don’t talk to me when I’m naked.
Nudity makes people uncomfortable, - we all know that. I have found that in order to break the tension, people feel that they need to fill the uncomfortable silence with verbal diarrhoea. They try to fight their discomfort for as long as they possibly can, but by the time you’re both completely naked, they can’t TAKE it anymore, so that’s the time they choose to ask you where you bought your gym bag, or what you think of the new treadmills, or how much you paid for your running shoes, etc etc etc. I find it difficult to make conversation with strangers when I can see their genitalia. And in my mind’s eye, all I can see is my own nakedness, - a mental picture of what they must be seeing. Sigh. Just don’t do it.
(Also, especially don’t try to sell me something when I’m naked. I’ve had women approach me about insurance, herbal weight loss teas and business “networking” opportunities all while I was kaal-gat.)

3. Don’t have half hour long conversations on your cell phone, while you’re completely naked, lying spread-eagled on a bench.

It’s fucking disgusting. I don’t need to see what you had for lunch. And NO conversation is EVER so important that it can’t wait until after you’ve pulled your clothes on. I can hear you laughing and joking, therefore it CANNOT be a serious pressing issue that you’re trying to sort out. Bloody hell…

4. Only The Jackson Five should ever have afros that big.
Ladies, bikini grooming is everything. If you’re not going to wax because you’re a big sissy for pain, then get yourself a trimmer and TRIM for Pete’s sake! I’m not saying that you have to go as extreme as I do. (I’m currently sporting a look that the guys at work call “The Bald Eagle”. I get many a double take in the change room…) But a landing strip would be far less vomit-inducing. Hell, even a George Micheal designer stubble trim would be easier on the eye. I’ve often wondered if some women would actually drop a pants size through a simple hedge trim. I’d be very interested to find out…

5. No gawkers please.
If you’re bringing your children with you to the gym, please keep them on a leash and please keep the little perverts away from me! You may have squeezed them out of your privates and therefore don’t care if they see you naked, but I do mind when I’m trying to get dressed and I’ve got some little boy staring at me with his mouth open, while his mother is quite happy to pretend that she can’t see what he’s doing just so that she can dress in peace for once. Don’t make your problems (mistakes?) my problems. I have no issues with hitting children, and I might just start with yours if you are too prozac’ed up to do it yourself.

6. Be prepared.

I make an effort to sit down at my desk, think about everything that I could possibly need to get showered/dressed, buy little travel pack versions of everything and pack them in my little gym bag for when I need them. I like being prepared. (Okay… It’s not a “little” gym bag. I could actually leave home for 2 weeks and have enough stuff to keep me beautiful. What? I’m anal that way.) I therefore have no patience for lonely bitches who try to start a conversation or make new friends by borrowing my stuff. I once had a lady walk up to me and say, “You look like you have a nice big bag with lots of stuff in? I don’t suppose you have any talcum powder for me?” The only reason I didn’t punch her in the face, is because I’m a lady. The size and contents of my bag have nothing to do with you, so stay the frack out.

I have a couple of other pet peeves / rules that don’t just involve the shower, like…
- If you’re ahead of me on the super circuit, when the super-circuit beeper beeps, get the fuck off the machine and out of my way. (While you’re dragging your fat ass off the machine, I’m losing MY full time on it! Fuck.)
- Wipe your sweat off the machine before I have to use it. ALL of it!
- Don’t “book” a machine by throwing your towel over it, only to have a conversation with your friends or try to chat up a personal trainer when I’m QUEUING for the same fekking machine. GEEZ!!
- Don’t try to chat me up when I’m sweating. Especially if you’re an old geezer. Just fuck off.

I think I really hate the gym. I LOVE working out. But I hate the gym. No… I actually like the gym it’s the people that work on my goddam nerves.
I think I just don’t like people.

Shit. Writing this piece has made me angry. Now I want to climb up to a watch tower and shoot somebody. Anybody.


Willem Smit said...

hahaha you should post this at virgin..stick it on the wall, be bold . I never shower afterwards, i go home and get clean no fuss no freaks looking at me and trust me we have loads of them in the mens locker room. Hmmm you should have a sticker on your bag that says "fuck-off dont mess with me when i am Kaalgat".:P
Huge price to stay fit!! hmmm

noodle said...

I don't like people either. They bring out the worst in me.

Carmen Gabriel said...

Hey Willem!!! HA HA HA!!!
So you enjoyed that one, hey?
I actually had such fun writing it, even though it made me feel very violent by the end of the whole thing... LOL!
And my guy friend read it this morning and said that he thinks I'm very VERY mean... HA HA HA!
He just doesn't know what chicks have to deal with at the gym..

And Noodz...
I think if people were cats, I'd be happier... LOL!

Gail Streak said...

With u babe!

cher said...

a list of things I enjoy doing while at gym:

1. touching your stuff (boobs more speciffically)
2. talking to you when you're naked
3. gawking at you when you're naked
4. gawking at you while you're naked and having a convo with you while still busy on my cell
5. borrowing your towel
6. and your brush.. haha
7. going afro... and using your deo.

yeah I think thats it! hahahaha

Carmen Gabriel said...

I wouldn't put ANY of that past you!
But maybe I should be happy that at least SOMEONE wants to look at me naked... while they are also naked... talking on their phone... wiping their sweaty bum on my towel... scratching their 'fro (with my toothbrush)... and lathering their body down with generous lashings of my Clinique facewash (at R200 a bottle)!
Ooh... Wait a minute. I think I'm getting a little turned on.

Willem Smit said...

Phew its gettiing hot in here...hahah. Well she gotta be superhot to use your expensive various creams & lotions. Well done Cher you made Carmen change her mind ahha. Two naked , slippery wet sexy girls all alone...all lotioned up. OMG...cold shower plz!!!

cher said...

Carmen I've seen you naked... staff party 03? hello! 'ibiza ladies room' ring a bell...? well it does for me! haha

cher said...

ps: my bum doesn't sweat! cool people don't sweat! You can apologise later... with a super mac meal coke and poke... ! haha

Carmen Gabriel said...


I can honestly say... I'm speechless.

You two are CRAZY beyotches!
Fuck. You make me laugh...