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The Warm-up Begins In the Locker Room

So, this week while I’ve been working out at the Y, I’ve been trying to find the lady who was standing naked at the water cooler last week. I wasn’t really contemplating talking with her just yet, but I wanted to see if I could spot her with her clothes on. She either hasn’t been there or I’ve been so in tune with NOT staring, I might have spoken to her already and not even realized it.

My goal this week was to actually undress at my locker before taking a shower. I know that may sound stupid, but when I first started going to the Y, I left all my clothes on, carried a fresh pair of grunders in with me to the shower stall, and then presto-chango, I came out almost fully clothed.

In my first couple weeks at gym, I felt like I was living on the edge by simply using the gym’s measly little towels, all the while wishing my ass and thighs were smaller so it would have provided at least a small chance of towel overlap even if my hoo haa still nearly hung out because the width of the towels was also lacking. One lady bent over right in front of me with her towel that barely reached her bupkus, and whoa, I thought I was going to be the new headliner for the traveling Vagina Monologues. I’m certainly, years away from being that comfortable with my body and definitely anyone else’s.

I considered packing my own towel, which would have provided ample overlap, but this whole process has been about reaching beyond my comfort zone. I have seen a few people scattered here and there who bring their own towels, but I have no way to know whether that is a body image issue or an absorbency factor since the gym’s towels also have the wicking power of a store-brand paper towel.

So, I took off my clothes at my locker, and in my hurry to make it to a private space, I slammed my locker before I grabbed my shower sandals. I also take issue with my feet touching where bare stranger feet have walked in wet places. Maybe I have bigger issues here than just body image? Anyway, then I had to juggle my inadequate towel, an oversized bottle of shampoo and a slippery bar of soap while I maneuvered the combination lock. But the towel didn’t drop. I’m not sure whether I should be happy about that or shake my head at the absurdity. I’m sticking with being simply aware of my discomfort. That has to be enough for right now.

So, what I know today is diddly. I haven’t made a whole lot of progress – just noticing that pretty much from the moment I step into the locker room, the stretch begins. Who knew I would get a work out before I even made it to the Zumba class?


4 Responses

  1. “just noticing” is everything!! It’s staying grounded and in your body even through discomfort, it’s staying conscious and it’s the only way to discover new things and get to the point where you can make choices not based on fears or places that are blocked…
    You’re as brave as any adventurer as far as I’m concerned.
    And you’re a really good writer and it’s so much fun to share your journey.

  2. omg , Melissa … I am so glad you posted this.. I have been struggling with the same thing. I just started going to Premier at Sawmill and I never seen so many naked women .. It makes me rather uncomfortable. Then we have women bringing small children (male children) that is even worse. I also dress in the shower room or bathroom stall. I keep telling myself they are only hooters and everyone knows what they look like but my hooters don’t like the public.. Anyway again thank you I needed a good laugh and to know that I am not alone.

  3. Teresa, You are so kind. I like what you have to say about making choices not based on fears or places that are blocked…hmmm. Good thoughts to cary around.

  4. Kathy – I agree, hooters may just be hooters, but my girls like a little coverage. I can even be ok if I have a bra on, but I don’t want to share the droop. Although, I have to say, seeing all them fly free in the locker room has made me see that mine aren’t really the next in line for a National Geographic spread…mine look about the same as everyone else’s.

    I keep missing you at the meetings since there are so many new members. I hope you are doing ok with all the transitions. You’ve been in my thoughts.

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