The Obvious

locker-room drama

Posted in exercise by theobvious on February 26, 2008

I’m sorry for the longish absence. I can explain! I was busy! Doing things! Seriously.

One of the things I’ve been doing is exercising. Now that my first month of being a Gym Member is well underway, I can say that it all seems to be going really well. ‘We can see some definition, girls!’ Of course, the real challenge was never the workout itself. It was always about my overwhelming social anxiety. You could have guessed, right?

So the first day was like the admission exam to Hell. I went alone, and I had to be nice to the reception lady, to manage not to fuss or fumble with my stuff, and not to drop the locker key. Next came the changing room, which was full of booby traps (oops) such as narrow passages, shared benches, just one bathroom, and lots of NAKED LADIES.

I have a problem with nakedness. People seem to think if you’re a girl there’s nothing you haven’t seen before, so it’s okay to prance around in the nude as long as everyone around is of the female persuasion. But for me it’s SO NOT OKAY OMG GET AWAY FROM ME AAARGH!!! The presence of body parts that do not belong to me is distressing.

And when you think you’re done with the horror for the day, there’s the actual workout. It’s a roomful of strangers, all lean and graceful, they are certainly calling you a fat cow under their breath, and by Jove there are tiny butts, flat bellies and unsaggy breasts galore! This when I haven’t even ironed my t-shirt, and my pants are all baggy-looking.

Oof, I just hope those pounds melt away soon so I have something to show for all the embarrassment. Meanwhile, I’m perfecting my Earnest Smile ™, trying to take up as little space as possible, wrapping my shy ass in a towel, and muttering ‘sorry’ every fifteen seconds just in case. At least I’m not alone anymore, thank God for friends.

ETA: This may not be clear from the above, but I’m not bashing anyone here! Everyone is entitled to be naked whenever and wherever they like. All I’m saying is I don’t feel comfortable being naked around strangers and seeing them naked, even if they are of the same sex as me. This is my problem, and I am trying to work it out.

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9 Responses

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  1. Katie said, on February 26, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    I want to be clear that I am in no way defending women who lounge around naked, prance about naked, dry hair naked, talk on cell phones naked. That said, I work out at the gym alot, and I find it difficult to shower with my clothes on, or change into a swimsuit without flashing some boobies. At the end of the day, it is a LOCKER room….and if we cant be comfortable with same-sex bodies, what does that say about our insecurities in relation to society? I actually think having to shower at the gym has helped me realize that no women actually look like Scarlett Johanson. Anyway, just my two cents.

  2. ollka said, on February 26, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Hello Katie! :)
    As long as we’re trying to be clear, I’d like to say that I am in no way accusing women who do things naked! The problem might be in my flawed writing. I fully admit though (even in this post) that I have insecurities.

    All I’m saying is that I’m shy and/or embarrassed around naked people regardless of their gender, and I’m working on it. Still, if ever we’re at the gym together (how likely is that?) I promise I won’t scowl at you, but I can’t promise I won’t try and avoid looking at you until you get dressed.

  3. Katie said, on February 26, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    Im SO sorry, I thought I was in trouble for getting naked. Now I feel like a real jerk. Apologies abounding.

  4. ollka said, on February 27, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Hey, no offense taken:) It’s sometimes hard to communicate exactly what you think, especially on a topic that has to do with emotions. So it was actually very nice of you to show me that my words could be perceived as hurtful.
    Nice to meet you, and enjoy your next workout!

  5. Mom101 said, on February 27, 2008 at 12:29 am

    “The presence of body parts that do not belong to me is distressing.” = Hilarious. You go on with your bad neurotic self.

    Thanks so much for the nice comment (and correction) at my place today. And the blogroll mention – such fine company!

  6. ollka said, on February 27, 2008 at 12:36 am

    I got a comment from Mom101. Time to get drunk! Thank you very much:)

  7. Sarah M said, on February 27, 2008 at 3:43 am

    Thank you for the comment–its amazing this blogger world, eh?

  8. Anna said, on February 27, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Hi, I’m the annoying chirpy optimist, and I think being shy about naked people or about getting naked in front of strangers has a bright side – we shy people don’t get the temptation of casual sex and stuff like that which can actually make things quite complicated.

  9. ollka said, on February 27, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Sarah – so it is indeed.
    Anna – I never thought of it this way, thank you! :)


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