I Left my Fig Leaf in my Other Gym Bag

I would like to make an announcement.  I have been to the gym five times since Saturday.  I want a medal.  No.  I want a fucking parade.  And because this involved getting up at zero dark thirty, there should be streamers.  And cupcakes.  With bacon.

This is a major lifestyle change.  The surprising thing is, it’s not the exercise itself that is the biggest adjustment.  It’s the juggling of shoes and towels and hair accessories without losing anything that is the challenge.  So far, I have misplaced (and recovered) my bra, my water bottle, my phone, and a banana.

The YMCA is pretty nice.  It fits my budget and it’s on my way to work.  There is free coffee and a hot tub, and if the water pressure is a little low, at least the showers are hot.  As far as locker rooms go, it is lacking in a few amenities of some of your higher end clubs.  I especially miss the swim suit spinning thing.  There is no sauna or towel service.  But for $32 a month, I can’t complain.

My love/hate relationship with exercise is a few decades old now, and unfortunately, there has been more hate than love. Still this isn’t my first trip to the locker room, so I figured I had the etiquette down, most of which involves not sweating or dripping in other people’s personal space.  I notice this particular locker room is designed to give you lots of private places to change.  Each individual shower has a little alcove with a curtain (in addition to the shower curtain) for example, should you wish to change there.  The bathroom stalls are big enough to change in, too, and there is a portable privacy curtain you could move about if you like.  How nice, I think.  Choices.  Personally, I think the most convenient (and driest) place to change is directly in front of my locker.  And as I am not 12, I have long passed worrying about what other girls in the locker room think about my naked body.  Largely because I figured out shortly after puberty that other girls in the locker room mostly have no opinion about my naked body.

Sometimes I am a particularly astute person, and sometimes, well, sometimes particularly before 8 am, I am not.  Perhaps you might have not needed 5 whole days to notice this, but this morning as I was toweling myself off in my chosen dressing location, I suddenly realized I had not seen one naked woman in there all week.  Not one.  Oh God.  I am the only naked person in here. I suddenly was desperate to find a fig leaf or something.  No one had said anything.  Were they looking at me funny? Were they whispering about my cellulite in 8am Yoga?  I suddenly realized the very minimum of public dress here is bras, panties, and a towel.  They should really tell you this when you sign up.

Oh sure, there is a part of me that wants to fling my towel to the wind and just let everybody deal with my naked flab.  I am not ashamed.  And body positivity is something I think is pretty important.  But I am a newbie here, a guest.  I am comfortable being naked in the locker room. I am not comfortable being the only naked person in the locker room.  I’m really not sure what to do here.  Should I take a stand?  Learn to put pantyhose on standing on wet tile? Is it that important that I air dry my boobs? Should I acquiesce to the notion that the normal female body is somehow unacceptable?  What are the consequences of being nude here?  Are there actual rules somewhere?  Will I be reported to the management?  Or will I encourage others to reject this ridiculous standard of female purity?

A FB survey of my friends revealed a similar experience at another Y, as well as confirmation of my suspicion that the men’s room featured no such culture of modesty.  With graphic descriptions.  Thanks, guys.  I love my friends.

We all have to learn to choose our battles, and I don’t know that this is one I am willing to fight.  At least not until the first time I drop my underwear onto the wet floor next to the shower.  Then all bets are off.





10 thoughts on “I Left my Fig Leaf in my Other Gym Bag

  1. I have noticed this at my fitness place too, which is at my workplace, and hence brings a whole other set of worries to the surface. Will she take me seriously if she’s seen me struggle to put my bra on a not so dry body. Can I chair a meeting if most of the people in the room have seen my tattered underwear. Did anyone notice that the deodorant I used was the only extra in the house and it was Intended for my 13 yr old son (old spice). I really hate getting dressed wet. Thus far my solution has been to use the handicap shower so there is some space/air… I put on my bottoms and come out with a towel wrapped around my top.


  2. Update: Due to my stunning powers of observation, today I noticed actual signage requesting you change in the bathroom. Assuming there is no such sign in the men’s room, I find that pretty offensive.


  3. Now the question is were the signs there before and you did not see them? Or are the signs there because of the rogue naked woman? LOL I’m stunned that you’re wearing pantyhose at all much less in June in Mississippi!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I may never know for sure. But there is part of me that is somewhat delighted by being the rogue naked women. I have not historically been known for interesting risk taking behavior. If only my high school classmates could see me now! Not naked preferably. And no I don’t really wear pantyhose. But if I did, I wouldn’t put it on in the shower.


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