The Locker Room Commandments

Posted: December 15, 2011 in Gym, Lifestyle
Tags: ,

Eons ago, I eluded to some principle Gym Commandments to observe while working out indoors during the post/pre-season.  Those commandments were intended to allow you have an effective yet enjoyable workout, while allowing others around you to do the same.  And here we are again, at the start of another long pre-race conditioning period which – you guessed it – means lots of indoor activities such as spinning, weights, plyometrics, yoga, swimming, and perhaps the treadmill if you’re still too sissy stubborn to take your runs outdoors.  And where these tips to successfully survive the gym experience are every bit as applicable as they were last season, there is another lesser regarded frontier that is also worthy of mention.

If you are a member of any health club, gym, or just your local YMCA such as myself, you’re inevitably exposed at some point to having to deal with the weird and often ugly aspects of the Locker Room; that veritable den of naked inequity. If you have spent any time at all before and/or after your workout in these places getting showered, changed, or what have you, then you have probably already worked out that most men do not understand basic locker room etiquette any more than they do about advanced astrophysics.  This post then hits on those major missed upon men’s locker room etiquette points to observe in order to make sure that we’re all cohabiting together safely, peacefully and, hopefully, without too much immediate contact of exposed genitalia.

1.  Thou shalt not take up more space than necessary 

Seriously, despite being addressed in the aforementioned Gym Commandments, this is significant enough to be discussed again. It’s a locker room, not your personal rumpus room. You wouldn’t leave your sweaty socks and cycle shorts lying out on somebody’s coffee table would you?  So why leave them out on a stool in the common area of the locker room while you’re off showering? I don’t care to smell your musky ball juice, thanks…that’s what lockers are for, to store that shit away so I don’t have to expose my sensitive olfactory receptors to your bodily funk.

Likewise, I appreciate that you’ve been using the same locker day in and day out for the past decade or so, but given that I’m immediately located directly next to it and there are, like, a thousand other free lockers available elsewhere, how about granting me some personal space and choosing another locker instead?  Consider it “living on the edge”.

2.  Thou shalt keep thine nakedness to a minimum. 

I don’t know what it is with old guys and nudity, but it seems that the less flattering their body frame is, the more they want to show it off to the world.  Why is this?  I’ve seen more surgical scars in discreet places than most trauma nurses. I am a firm advocate of no walking around nude. If you must walk somewhere, like to the bathroom, shower, steam room, whatever, at least throw a towel around you or put on your underwear and, preferably, pants.

Furthermore, for the love of God, walk with a purpose through the changing area. Don’t linger around chit-chatting or strolling around absentmindedly naked while the rest of us are getting dressed and ready for our workouts.  The last thing that’s going to ever get me psyched up for my tough 90 minute Brick class is being greeted by another man’s schlong swinging in my face at eye level while I’m putting on my spin shoes.

3. Thou shalt not trim thy pubes in the common area.

Don’t laugh – I have personally witnessed this.  There he was: some Asian guy, all spread-eagled open with razor in hand, going through the process of gingerly pruning his pubic hair from the underside of his nutsack…and on the leather couch no less!  You’ve…got to be…kidding…me.  This is wrong on so many different levels that it staggers the mind just to dwell on it.  It’s bad enough that we have to put up with the significant quota of shriveled old man dick in the locker room as it is, but when somebody feels the need to start carving out pubic hair topiaries in full view of God and everybody in the lounge area to boot – well, that’s just going too damn far!  Perhaps shaving your balls in a public place is commonplace on streets of Hong Kong, but at the local YMCA – not so much. Thanks to this random encounter, the couches and chairs of the locker room common area are now considered as an off limits ‘No Mans Land’ in my mind.

4.  Thou shalt respect the blow dryer. 

Similar to Commandment #3, I once observed somebody using the blow dryer to dry his pubic hair.  He was actually holding a leg up on the counter and everything.  This is disgusting.  Don’t ever do this!  The blow dryer is for the hair on your head – period.  Not your pits…not your butt…and certainly not your crotch.

5.  Thou shalt cover thine seat and/or stool at all times. 

While changing, it is preferred that you cover your seat or stool with a towel before plopping your bare ass on it.  The same can be said while visiting the steam room or sauna. It’s just polite, not to mention hygienic.  I don’t wish to unwittingly subject my stuff (or me for that matter) to your lingering sweat and butt sauce, thanks.

6.  Thou shalt treat ones provided towel with respect. 

This commandment applies only if you are a ‘Plus’ member of any club or gym that happens to supply clean towels for you. If you don’t and you need to bring your own, do whatever you wish and disregard this commandment altogether.  But I once watched a guy while he toweled off his ass for, like, twenty minutes. This guy didn’t so much as dry himself off with his towel as he made love to it.  He worked his towel into crevices that would make any proctologist shudder.  Here was a grown man literally violating himself with a linen gym towel that I might otherwise have to use on myself another day.  How much moisture did he think he absorbed in the steam room anyway?  Was he a sea sponge or something?

Likewise, the towel is provided to remove excess moisture from your body or for sitting on – that’s it.  They are certainly not for shining your shoes, wiping your ass, blowing your nose, etc. I don’t care how efficient or thorough the over all cleaning process is for those towels, I still try to avoid as much contact with other dudes fecal matter as much as possible so have a little respect.  And, while I’m at it, please, please, PUH-LEASE…put your towel in the bin when you’re done.  It’s not my job to clean up after you and risk catching something from handling your nasty used towel.

7.  Thou shalt not pee in the shower.

While this made for a very entertaining episode on Seinfeld, I totally agree that this is a practice that deserves to be punishable by being gang-wedgied in the parking lot.  D-i-s-g-u-s-t-i-n-g!  I do not care to bath myself in the near vicinity of your bodily excretions thank you ever so much.  The showers are to clean in, not to relieve yourself…that’s why we have urinals.

8.  Thou shalt not talk incessantly on the cell phone. 

It’s true, I just have a ‘hate-on’ for cell phones in general, but locker rooms are not the place to schedule your next colonic, and we’re not impressed hearing you make deals with your stock broker. You are a legend in your own mind and you’re probably not impressing anyone.  In fact, it demonstrates that you are an idiot.  At the very least, please don’t talk on your phone while you’re standing next to me at the urinal or sitting in the stall next to me.  I mean, who are you talking to?!  Would they even want  to talk to you if they knew what was going on at the other end of the line?  Unless you’re trying to talk someone through how to diffuse an atomic bomb, it can wait.  Okay, rock star?

9.  Thou shalt not attempt to make new friends whilst changing.

The workout area is a great place to make friends – the locker room isn’t.  If you don’t know me, don’t talk to me there, unless (and only under these conditions) we are both more or less fully dressed and I am not in some compromising position. I’m not against conversation in the locker room – don’t get me wrong – but I’m also not looking to meet any new friends either. I have no problems casually discussing what a killer workout our last spin class was, or the best new way to work your abs, but discussing weekend plans with a complete stranger – not so much.  Here’s some hints: if I’m avoiding eye contact, giving short answers, moving away from you, putting chairs or other furniture between me and you, or calling for security, it’s probably because I’m not dressed yet and I’m not quite ready to make friends just yet.  Nothing personal!

10.  Thou shalt mind your sprays. 

I can’t count the number of times I’ve almost been either blinded or asphyxiated while someone is giving themselves the once over with hair spray, deordorant, body cologne, or whatever. I understand you want to look and smell pretty, but be mindful of where you’re aiming that thing, Tex.  The same can be said for all your powders and whatnot. I get it – you want to have baby smooth skin, but I don’t want to walk into a white plume of talcum powder either, or get it all over my clothes.  Seriously, what are you…a baker, or a geisha or something?

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Comments
  1. Doreen says:

    you make me laugh Terry -you missed your calling as a comedic writer!

  2. Jeff says:

    on.the.couch. (!) Are you f’ing kidding me?

    “Your honour, he was trimming his balls on the couch, I had no choice but to electrocute him by sticking the hair dryer I was holding up his ass. It was self defence!” ….” You’re absolutely right sir, in fact it is the opinion of this court that he should have been de-balled on the spot and left to bleed out in a pool of his own blood and pubes. Case dismissed!!”

  3. Ellen Eastwood says:

    Nicely written, Terry, but this makes me want to vomit! ee

  4. Lori Pajtasz says:

    Oh my God, I just spit my drink out laughing so hard!!! # 3 – 6 -7 especially!!! Thanks Terry, I really needed a belly laugh 🙂

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