And that’s how I wound up naked in a building in the middle of Manhattan.
Hmm? What’s that? You find my Tarantino-start-at-the-end-and-work-your-way-back-to-the-beginning-style of writing alarming?
Well, DEAL WITH IT. It’s called a hook. Consider yourself hooked.
Anyway. Though it ends with me in the buff, this is a story that starts with trying to get buff.
As I may have mentioned, I recently joined a gym near my office. It’s a bit pricier than any other gym I’ve ever paid for (in my life), but it’s actually moderately priced for the area thanks to an employee discount I get through work, and it’s so dang convenient that I can’t even get home without passing it. Which, as we learned from my Brooklyn Y experience, help ensure I actually go on a regular basis.
For the last couple of years, I have been a staunch evening exerciser. While I would prefer to start my day with a trip to the gym, my crazy-long commute prevented that from being a viable possibility. (Unless I wanted to get up before 5 a.m. Or die at the hands of a (possibly) homicidal homeless man.)
Thanks to our recent move, however, my commute is much, much shorter, meaning I don’t have to wake up as early unless I want to work out.
I think you can imagine where this is going.
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been telling myself that it would be a good idea to wake up earlier, go to the gym before work, shower there, and then walk the four blocks to my office. I’ve been telling myself this, but had yet to actually act on it.
UNTIL THE FATEFUL MORNING I DID. Also known as…this morning.
For the record, it had always been part of the plan that I would shower at the gym. And this is not the first time I’ve showered at a gym. It had just been a really long time, and I had completely forgotten how unbelievable awkward it is.
To be perfectly honest, I rarely even change at the gym. I’ll usually change my clothes at the office, in the privacy of the spacious handicap bathroom stall, before making my merry way to work out.
I mean, on one hand, I know I’m being silly. I know pretty much everyone averts their eyes awkwardly just like I do when I see someone half- to fully naked in the locker room. But I just…I don’t know. Nakedness. In front of people. Ehh.
I’m a prude, is what I’m saying.
Today, though, it just had to be done. Lest I want to become known as the “sweaty girl” in the office. (Not a very clever nickname, but it still stings.)
So after working out, I stripped down only to discover that…
1. …GOOD LORD those towels they provide are tiny. Who are they made for? Toddlers? I normal-sized woman can barely keep her dignity in one of those.
2. …few things make you feel less like a grown-up than showering in flip-flops. Though I was grateful I remembered to pack them.
3. …those hairdryers you’ve been seeing in the locker room for weeks and telling yourself “are so convenient!” because now you don’t have to pack your own? They suck. You still have to pack your own.
4. …showering at the gym is not your favorite thing.
Plus, as we covered in the first sentence, there’s something about being naked in the middle of the city that just makes you feel more…exposed.
So! My fellow morning gym-goers. How do you survive showering at the gym? Do you skip it? Do you bring fancy shampoo to make yourself feel more human? Tell me your secrets!