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Warm Up for the Real Competition

I decided yesterday I’m not ready for the Ironman of the locker room. I thought I might be because it had gone so well the previous day. I told myself I was up for the deep knee bends, strip tease and the oversized washcloths that the gym refers to as towels, all wrapped into one big event.

I’ve already discussed my disdain for scratchy-bleach-infused towels. Last week I thought the problem might be more of a square footage of drying power rather than the fact my ass probably hung out the bottom of it. The dilemma proved to be more than an absorbency issue so I went back to my two-towel grab this week. I keep one for back up, dry off with one, and then stand on it after I kick off my wet flip flops, but not before I put on my socks or hose, which is a story for another day. Even though the locker room is modern, clean and as inviting as a locker room can be to a woman who has had body image issues from the moment she popped out of her own private incubator (thanks, Mom), I also don’t want my feet sharing personal space with countless others. That idea makes shutter almost as much as boobs and hoochy hoochies darting around the room.

The other day I removed my bra in front of all to see (or ignore) when I donned the yoga shirt so I felt confident that it probably wouldn’t be much different to drop trow before heading into the shower, even though I usually still have my bra and under wear on when I rush in. I also generally take my grunders into the shower stall with me so I can return the same way.

I felt strong, emblazoned. Shirt off. Check. Shorts, socks, underwear, bra. Check, check, check, check. Towel. Sorta check. People coming. Squirmy, hurry. I wanted to change my mind and throw my clothes back on and get the hell out of there, but I had just completed a Zumba class and was dripping sweat from every gland of my body.

Everyone has a body. Mine has done a wonderful job taking me places I want to go. No one is counting the dimples on my ass or the bumps on my thighs, nor are they running away from me screaming and trying to gouge out their eyes to erase the memory of what they just saw. Repeat.

Once I made it to the shower stall, I decided I wasn’t quite ready for that much of a stretch. Thankfully, I’d taken my grunders in with me just in case. While there is something a bit empowering walking out of the shower room with a bra on and a towel wrapped around my waist, I have a feeling that has more to do with Victoria’s Secret.

So, I’m going to take just one step back. I’m not planning to hide out in a hole or retreat altogether, and I am going to embrace the fact that I at least tried it and survived. I guess my workout with the locker room is no different than one of the group fitness classes. I can’t jump into a full blown routine before adequate stretching and a good warm up. I think I may have pushed myself a bit further than I was ready to go, kinda like all those January gym inductees that will be gone by March. This is the long haul, baby and I gotta get prepared.

Even though I can’t claim complete success, it’s still early and I feel as though I’ve reached a point in my life that I’m ready to really pursue this body image thing. Keep sending me good vibes.


2 Responses

  1. good vibes coming your way! This is an epic journey. Epic’s take time.
    You’re doing great!

  2. Epics take time – I like that!


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