Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Kingdom of the Locker Room

The locker room in my gym is a place of utilitarian necessity to me. I go there to change, to store my purse and other accessories, and sometimes catch a startled glance at myself in the vast array of mirrors placed at every possible vantage point. I have learned some things about the citizens of the locker room. Allow me to introduce them to you.

Queen Selfie: Her royal courts are the locker room. She is found, wearing impossibly cute workout gear, hair perfectly pulled back under a thick, multi-colored headbands, in full makeup, ready to workout. Her warm-ups begin in the locker room and include raising and lowering her arms, smart phone in hand and clicking away, for the first round of the pre-workout selfies she will publish to social media before stepping out of the locker room. 

She continues her warm ups by moving from mirror to mirror and taking more pictures, mooshing her mouth into duck lips in one, smiling brilliantly in another, then finishes with a sad faced little girl pout in the last.  Once in the gym, she sits on the recumbent bike, motionless except for the zealous movement of those fingers, tagging herself in her pictures and captioning them that she is a "gym beast". Her workout is over once she’s received the tribute of responses from her followers and she heads back to the locker room, wearied but with a sense of accomplishment, to add a few more post exercise selfies to her albums.

Houdini: She is so modest she prefers to change in one of the few restroom stalls or showers. If those are occupied, though, she accomplishes a feat of agility so extreme it is praiseworthy. It unfolds like this. She sits on a bench in her professional attire that includes skirt, blouse, and jacket. Then she swathes several towels around herself so that only her head and her legs below the knees are visible. After a few mysteriously furious movements under her towels, she throws them off and emerges completely clad in her gym wear, without having exposed one additional centimeter of skin.

 Eve: The polar opposite of Houdini, she dries herself in the shower and steps out, sans towel, sans everything, to style her hair and put on her makeup in the buff. She takes her time, so comfortable in her middle aged skin that surely everyone else must be comfortable with it, too. She eschews personal space boundaries and gregariously approaches people seated on the bench to share a joke or professional observation, her pendulous private bits in close proximity to the faces of those ensnared in her conversations.

Oversharer: She is always accompanied by a twin oversharer. They loudly recount their escapades of the night or weekend before with each other. The twins amplify their voices to such a level that no one has to resort to eavesdropping.  Their vivid descriptions are replete with names, details, and bodily embarrassments. Once outside the locker room, though, they mumble their names so unintelligibly to the workers at the desk they have to be asked to repeat themselves.

Regular, Everyday Sweaters: This would include myself and most of the other citizens of the gym. We're a motley crew, indeed, but anyone who is willing to inflict pain and discomfort upon themselves and drip sweat in the process has to have some good things going on.

32 comments:

  1. I imagine this type of behavior begins in high school gym classes. I remember one kid who always showered with his underwear on. There's a ring of truth to your descriptions, even though, unfortunately, I've never been in a lady's locker room in a gym.

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    1. High school gym classes are the worst!

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  2. If I ever darkened the doors of a change-room again, I would definitely be Houdini. Except for the bit about emerging from the towels. I can get tangled up just getting out of my winter scarf! You do have 911 on speed dial, don't you?!

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    1. jenny_o: The pictures you put in my head are sitcom worthy!

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  3. Hi, Shelly! It's amazing how many people use a gym for anything and everything except an honest workout. My advice to you is to do your best to ignore those other types and stick with the regular, everyday sweaters. That's the peer group that will help you attain your fitness goals.

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    1. Shady: Regular, everyday sweaters are the best!

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  4. I am definitely a Houdini. But I can sweat with the regular, everyday sweaters. (I never could understand Queen Selfies though. What's the point?)

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    1. Sherry: Exactly- what is their point? I'm sure everyone else gets tired of it and quits looking!

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  5. I am very impressed with Houdini and we have an Eve, aged about 60 but with a killer body shape, in the changing rooms of the pool I go to. Queen Selfies are everywhere, aren't they?
    I'm definitely a sweater too, or at least I was when I could go to the gym!
    Great post... lovely to meet your fellow 'gym bunnies' ;-)

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    1. jazzygal: I think there is an Eve in almost every gym- that would never be me!

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  6. As a guy, I am wondering if I was supposed to stop reading at the title, such an intimate glimpse into the women's locker room. Oh, well; I had fun with it anyway.

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    1. vanilla: It's a rather mundane place with some interesting characters~

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  7. You sure nailed this one! Had to laugh at some of these, as I have seen and heard it all in the locker room.

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    1. Linda: The circle of life, all represented in the locker room.

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  8. Thanks for a refreshing post. LOL It has been a long time since I have been in a gym.

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  9. I don't think I fit in any of those categories. Before I depart, I might be in the area called At Death's Door.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Janie: I literally spewed my water laughing at this! You are so funny, my friend~

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    1. I am certainly more Houdini than Eve!!!

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  11. This brought back many a locker room memory...many of them terrifying LOL

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    1. I agree- most locker room memories are not good!

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  12. As a regular ol' sweater, I'm with you here. All of these people are at my yoga studio, except perhaps the gal with the selfie-addiction.

    And Eve? :-) Brilliant. Eve and Houdini need to get together, swap a bit of ego. Poor Houdini! So painful to observe. And poor Eve! Convinced of her own beauty, despite its impermanence!

    Pearl

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    1. The Eve down here is actually a professor and well respected conference speaker in education. I wouldn't be able to look at her with a straight face, ever.

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  13. Now this was funny because of course it is so spot on

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    1. Jo-Anne: These types of folks seem to be everywhere, don't they?

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  14. Love this, Shelly! Like you, I'm just a regular sweater, too. But we've got the full array of your locker room creatures here in Sun City, only maybe more alarming in the case of Eve! My personal favorite is the #1 Mean Girl. Tightly bound in her spandex body shapers with short-shorts and ballerina flats, she cruises into the locker room to adore herself in the mirror and to look appraisingly, with more than a little disapproval, on the other denizens of the room before going out onto the gym floor and taking her place at an exercycle made for disabled people. She will sit on it for ten minutes, with minimal motion, never coming close to breaking a sweat, before saying to any around her: "Working out is so refreshing!" And then drifting out and back home. In the summers, she takes up residence on the steps of our resort pool, making rude comments about how the rest of us look in our bathing suits! Mean Girls don't mellow with age. They just get meaner! And the woman taking selfies! OMG! This is such a great time for narcissists, isn't it?

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    1. What a great story! You told it so well it makes me shake my head, thinking about her and the others of her tribe. And what a spot on observation: This is the best era in history for narcissists!

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  15. I'm a sweater but I'd like to try being a Queen Selfie for a day.

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    1. Chicken: If you ever get inside her head, please give me some insight on what makes her tick. And you're too nice to ever really inhabit her.

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