The Joy Of Gym Showers

So I have a whole new respect for those people who work out at a gym, shower and then head to work. I recently had the displeasure of experiencing this life altering encounter when I started swimming for the triathlon that I am participating in- in a few weeks. My painstaking preparation the night before should have been a harbinger of things to come.  After packing four bags for the gym, I was physically and mentally exhausted.

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My regular gym bag was filled with my work clothes, work shoes and assorted gym paraphernalia. Being a very low maintenance girl, I packed minimal clothing to get me through the work day- no jewelry, no accessories. My swim bag was stuffed with two towels, one for after the pool and one for after the shower. That bag also contained various Ziploc bags so that I would be super organized after my swim; one bag for my goggles and swim cap; one bag for my make-up; one bag for my face moisturizer and deodorant and one bag clearly marked, “shower flip-flops.” Another small bag contained a shirt and shorts to wear after the shower and plastic bags to put my wet towels and bathing suit. I also had my pocketbook. Low maintenance still requires a great deal of work.

Stuffing my bags into a narrow locker, I broke a fingernail and scraped two knuckles. I don’t need a locker- I need a cabana. Why don’t they have cabanas here? How about at least a double locker for all my crap? I can’t be the only one who feels this way. What’s going to happen in the winter. How the heck will I get my winter coat and snow boots into this puny locker?

The one mile swim went well and once out of the pool, I felt relieved and confident. Other then the chlorine stinging my bloody knuckles, I felt elated. Until the shower…..

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I’m very laid back when it comes to most things. I love camping. Okay, I’ve only been camping once…….on the grounds of a mansion……for one night. It was a fundraiser. But that’s beside the point. I would go camping again. I just haven’t had the opportunity. Really.

Low monthly fee should not mean low standards. A reasonably priced gym does not mean that I should be subjected to sub-humane showering facilities. When I say that the shower curtain was moldy, I am being kind. When I say that the cracked tile was prevalent, I am not exaggerating. When I say that it was one of the filthiest places I’ve ever showered, I am being generous.

Hesitantly, I hang my towel on the hook outside the shower curtain but still inside my shower stall. I line up my all-in-one body wash/shampoo bottle and my conditioner on the slanted bench underneath my hanging towel. I quickly turn on the water. After I say a thankful prayer that the water is hot, I lather up like I’m anticipating a fire drill. I hurriedly take the rubber band out of my hair and there it goes. The hair band springs out of my hand, onto the dirty, cracked tile floor. I can’t help but stare as it circles the drain. Oh well, I rationalize that there is a reason that hair bands are sold 10 in a pack at the Dollar Store.

As I put the body wash/shampoo bottle down on the slanted shelf, by accident, my right arm swipes the moldy shower curtain. I let out a shrill as if giant cockroaches have just been let loose on me.  With one eye watching the sliding conditioner bottle, I quickly rewash the part of my arm that graced the shower curtain.  I thanked the powers that be that I was wearing my shower flip flops.  As I grab the conditioner bottle, the body wash/shampoo bottle falls on the putrid floor and yes, my knee brushed against the shower curtain.  I shrieked again, quickly washed off my knee and the body wash/shampoo bottle and seriously thought about throwing away these shower flip flops after this experience. After all, they were a bargain at the Dollar Store.  No, I can’t buy new shower flip flops every time I shower at the gym. They’re not disposable. Now there’s an idea. Disposable shower flip flops- 10 in a pack. I may be onto something. Thank goodness I made sure to label the shower flip flop bag.

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As I quickly conditioned my hair, I realized that if they sell shower curtains at the Dollar Store, I’ll buy one and bring my own shower curtain tomorrow.  The amount of time I am spending trying to evade the shower curtain is ridiculous. I’m like a contortionist, trying to catch the sliding body wash/shampoo and conditioner bottles while playing keep away with the moldy shower curtain. It’s a very special dance that I’m doing here.

With the shower experience taking much longer than anticipated, I had little time to blow dry my hair, put-on minimal makeup and get dressed.  In my shorts, shirt and shower flip flops, I quickly blew dry my hair. In my haste, the little clip in my hair, flew into the air and bounced along the bathroom floor. In slow motion, I watched the hair clip roll into a puddle of water that originated from a nondescript brown stain on the ceiling, just slightly above me. Ugh- back to the Dollar Store.

All dressed, I changed into my work shoes and stuffed my shower flip flops into their plastic bag. I then tossed my hair brush, body wash/shampoo and conditioner into the last plastic bag. I sealed the bag shut and as I turned it over to put into my gym bag, I saw it. In clearly marked letters were the words I wrote last night, “shower flip flops.” Back to the Dollar Store….