OVERCOMING THE FEAR OF GYM SHOWER

(c) Ryan McGuire

I truly believe that there are two types of people in the gym world. The ones who use the gym shower, and the ones who feel like it’s an exhibitionist’s show off and prefer cleaning their sweaty bodies in their beloved and private bathrooms at home. Indeed, I am one of those people who put their regular clothes in the backpack and rushes through the door wearing with the sportswear. Not so long ago one human told me that it’s a horrible habit (but not as horrible as putting on your regular clothes without taking a shower first), and I should take a shower in the gym. But I need to bring with me slippers, shower gel, shampoo, body lotion, towel, etc. It’s so much stuff to carry on! Besides, I have to show my naked butt to the strange girls and women. Nope. I am not doing that.

However, life always loves to test us and make us do things we have no intentions to do. For instance, you have a bathroom renovation, and you have to find a place where you could take a shower. Of course, there’s always a possibility to use wet wipes and dry shampoo for a week or two… Nope, that’s not an option, actually. Of course, friends’ showers are always available, but sometimes they are not at home when you need their bathrooms. Meanwhile, the shower in the gym is waiting for you…

Brace yourself. You will have to show your naked butt to the strange women.

Last Sunday I had to pack all my stuff and talk myself into taking a shower in that scary place. After a workout, I was sitting on the bench in the dressing room. I was slowly taking out things from my backpack. I was waiting for everyone to leave. Or at least the majority of them. That day no one was interested in that place where lots of bacteria and fungus might be waiting for a new victim. I went there. I found the key. I locked the bathroom and started wondering. What if the hot water starts pouring and I wouldn’t be able to stop it and unlock the door? What if I boil there? What if someone would want to join me? Is it possible to get fungus if I am with slippers, but touch a ground with my toe? What if I slip? Can I break my leg? Hand? What about fungus?! How fast should I stand up?! Should I wash my hair too, or should I keep this task for tomorrow? Maybe dry shampoo…

However, I decided to go big and go home with freshly washed hair. Honestly, that felt amazing. I was proud of myself for doing the impossible. I was relieved that I haven’t slipped and fallen. I was happy that no one had disturbed my privacy. The whole week I was taking a risk to fall on the wet floor or meet someone in the gym bathroom. Well, I have to admit that it was not as scary as I thought at first.  What is more, I have to confess that I am having second thoughts about taking showers in the gym. Damn, it’s convenient, and I am not talking about decrease water bill at home. I am saying that you can go wherever you want and do whatever you want after a workout. For instance, you can go to eat in the public place, meet your friends or go shopping. Well… I always believed that being smelly helps to avoid people in the queue who are breathing just to the back of your head. The smell of sweat is not very nice. I’ll have to think about this issue more.

Our bathroom renovation is far away from the end. I am a little bit afraid that I might get used to this exhibitionist’s behaviour. What if I become one of those rare types of women in our gym who does not rush through the door with the sweaty clothes, but uses the pleasures of free water in a public shower? There’s no doubt that I stepped out of my comfort zone. Thus, I have no idea what might happen next. I cannot stop surprising myself with strange discoveries and mysteries of life. Who am I?!

If you are just like me, who struggles with public shows and do not feel comfortable with showing your abs, curves, and cellulite to strange people, I have advice for you. Wait until everyone leaves. Go to the shower only when you are 100% sure that no one will join you. Prepare all the necessary stuff before entering that scary place. Move fast. If you are going to wash your hair, do not use conditioner or switch to the sprayed one. Thus, once you leave the bathroom and get dressed, you can take a proper care of the hair. Lastly, if you find the key, lock the shower. Protect your nudity from other’s eyes. I have no idea how to behave if someone would try to open the locked door, but I have a plan B if it ever happens. Just say once I leave the shower: “Oh, I haven’t realised that I locked the door, I am sorry. It’s just a reflex like when I go to the toilet. Hahahaha.” And leave the dressing room as fast as I can.

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