Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gym Thoughts

Some Things I Just Have To Say

I joined a gym, a 24 Hour Fitness about 10 minutes away. It is a really nice gym, I think, with lots of good classes, a spin room, and a pool. "Ah! A pool!" you say. This is significant information pertaining to the rest of my post. I like to shower at the gym for several reasons, the biggest one being I can shower in peace and quiet there without Jude opening and closing my shower curtain repeatedly. He goes to the Kids' Klub while I exercise and take a shower. Also, I have overactive sweat glands, and I think showers are the most cleansing when you still have wet sweat on your body. Also, free shampoo and soap and it saves Robin and Briton from having to pay for my shower water.

Here's the thing. . . I think there is a generational disconnect about nudity in the locker room. I would NEVER NEVER EVER be seen nude in the open in front of a bunch of strangers. I have noticed that other younger women are also careful about their modesty in the locker room. Then there are the water aerobics ladies. . . SHAMELESS!! These are women, all over 55 years old walking all over the locker room, not just in the shower, as naked as the day they were born! Varicose veins and cellulite and everything! I am amazed that they seem completely unaware of how large they are. And they will sit, bare-bottomed on the locker room benches with their panises (a medical term for large flap of abdominal fat) hanging down between their legs, leaving some nice hepatitis A there for the next person. And they just sit around and talk to each other that way, without a hurry or care in the world! It is somewhat unsettling when I'm getting my stuff out of my locker, pretending not to notice the 250 pound naked lady standing next to me, and suddenly her clothed bosom buddy walks in from outside with her gym bag, also planning to attend the water aerobics class.

"Oh hi Melba!" She says, making perfect eye contact and touching the shoulder of her naked friend.
"Oh hi Ethel, I'm glad you're here. I brought you that recipe you asked for. Let's see. I've just got it in my bag here. . . " *bends over to rifle through the clothes in her bag--me averting my gaze, trying not to notice that the person standing next to me is completely flesh colored* "Oh! here it is!"
Ethel: Thank you. I'm just dying to try your hot buns recipe. Mine always come out dough-y.
Melba: No trouble at all! Say, have you heard how Maureen's surgery went? *Ethel begins disrobing*
Ethel: No, but if it was anything like mine *points to 5-inch scar on bare abdomen* she has quite a recovery ahead of her!

Then they waddle off chattering all the way to the pool in their swimsuits with the single ruffle that is intended to cover much more than it actually does. It is a strange phenomenon how these women can throw off any social pressure to wear clothes while conversing with another human being. I mean, I even feel a little on-edge if I'm just talking on the phone in my underwear, or while taking a dookie.

Here is another weird thing that happened at my gym just today. I was diddling around the house getting a job application together this morning, and missed the spin class I was planning on attending. So, I went into the empty spin room to ride by myself. I had been on the bike for about 10 minutes when this girl, probably my age or a little younger, walked in wearing a LOW-cut tank top and SHORT shorts. I just kind of noticed it, and kept going with my intervals. Then she pushed a couple bikes out of the way to clear a space on the floor, took out these chain things with weighted pom-poms on the ends (one in each hand) and started twirling them so the pom-poms were making circles in the air at her sides. Thinking this was some sort of new sport, I started watching a little more intently, trying to grasp the physical benefits of such an exercise. I quickly realized this was not an exercise routine, but more of an exotic dance routine. She would dip down low swinging those chains and stare at her cleavage in the mirror, making sure it was all showing. There were also several moves involving the inner thighs. Needless to say, I started getting really uncomfortable. But she seemed very comfortable, and my workout was just starting to get effective, so I tucked my chin and stayed put for an entire hour, getting little glimpses of her dance every now and again when I had to look up at the clock.

I found myself wondering who she really was. Why was she choosing to get good at this skill? I feel pretty confident that she works at a club or something, because she seemed very intent on keeping those spinning chains moving like clockwork and not getting tangled up while undulating her body. She couldn't make any mistakes. There was this one move, in particular that almost made me cry. She would put the chains together and hold her hands right up to her throat and then whip her head and shoulders so the chains wrapped around her neck in kind of a violent motion. I think something happened to her in her childhood, and she has become a slave to sex. I saw those chains choking her, and I just felt so bad for her. I wanted to yell, "There's another way!! You don't have to dance for men!" I saw her in the locker room later, and she had changed into jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt. Then I saw her again in line when she went to pick up her son at the Kids' Klub. How hard for that little boy, to one day find out what his mama does for a living, and perhaps on another day find out why she does it.

Am I being dramatic? Sometimes I'm that way. I also go to a Zumba class every once in a while. I love Zumba! I am SO uncoordinated and I feel so pathetic, but the cool thing about this particular class is that most of the women are just as uncoordinated as I am, but we are all just smiling and having fun. It makes me feel so connected to the people in our class. It's just a place where progress, not perfection, is the goal.

In closing, I would like to leave a remark made by my dear cousin Robin tonight:
"Naked people have little or no influence in society"

And here is a really cool picture I found on Google


  1. Ahh Hilary, ya seen one, ya seen em all. Wait until I show you the tire tracks on my butt!

  2. LOL! I am still traumatized from the first time I saw a naked lady in the locker room. I may have PTSD - we're looking into it. ;)

  3. Your story about the naked ladies makes me laugh SO hard. In the 8 years I worked as a lifeguard and swimming instructor I can't tell you HOW MANY naked, mostly older, women I saw in the locker room, and it is EXACTLY how you describe it. Not a care in the world at being naked and spreading their bum germs to everyone!

  4. Hah! HaHaHaha! Robin is great! Ha!

  5. that is a good picture! Hilary, you are not dramatic, you are honest. I love it! Thanks for a good laugh!!

  6. in all honesty, i wish i were as comfortable being naked as those old women.

  7. Ah, Chase would be proud to hear you quoting Mark Twain, "Naked people have little to no influence on society." I hope to one day be proud of my naked body, regardless of what it looks like. I haven't got there yet, but if I ever do it will be a proud day.