Tuesday, July 16, 2013

In Need of a Change

Everyone now goes to the gym. Everyone. Including many people that in years past would have never even heard of a gym let alone go into one. This means many people do not understand some of the most fundamental rules. It is time that basic gym etiquette be detailed.

Many gyms will have rules posted on and around machines regarding wiping down sweat, amount of time on any one machine, drink bottles etc. My concern is what happens before and after the exercise in the change rooms.

From here I am going to concentrate on the men’s change rooms as my experience inside women’s facilities despite best intentions and desires ended at the age of 6 when I was taken to the ladies toilets at a drive-in in metropolitan Adelaide by my mother.

Some basics.

Mobile phones, leave them in your pocket/locker. Phones now have as much if not more capacity than many computers, with built in still and video cameras. Besides the loud talking is just obnoxious. If you absolutely have to, must, take the call then put some pants on and leave the change rooms to take it.

Lockers, if they were real estate, the boundary of your lot would include the interior of the locker itself and the length of bench directly in front of the same locker to a length equal to the width of said locker. Everyone understands that clothing and equipment may occasionally spread beyond the agreed boundary, but if it is in someone else’s way move it and apologise…no issue. Don’t move it or make a fuss when you do…issue. Leave things in your locker. I might also suggest you are bringing too much baggage to the gym experience. Alternatively you are still needing to lay all of your clothes out prior to dressing, just like mother did for your when you were young. If this is the case ask mother to install a home gym in your room.

Nudity, yes there will be some, everyone expects to witness some incidental nudity in the shower, at the lockers whilst people dry and change. The key to nudity being considered incidental it should be discreet and minimal in duration. All nuded up is not the time to check your messages on your phone (see above) blow dry your hair, clip your toe nails, start an in depth conversation about the state of Australian cricket.

Talking of blow drying hair, the hair driers were installed for the purpose of drying the hair on your head! Head, not arms, legs, armpits or backs and definitely not genitals or buttocks. That is why you bought a towel.

I know it can be confusing for some it is for drying hair and has the word “blow” in its name. That sort of blowing should also never happen in a gym change room. Blow-drying your genitals is unseemly and the contortions you need to perform to achieve the desired results are unsightly for everyone else.

It is time to address the elephant trunk in the change room. Erections happen! There I said it. As we all discovered at high school erections can occur at the most inappropriate time with the least provocation. Again the word discretion comes to mind. Turn away or cover it with your hand, clothing or towel.  It is DEFINITELY not the time to start parading around nude.

There is also no need to encourage them. Everyone understands that the under carriage needs cleaning and exercise can generate excessive sweating in the area. It is also understood that with all of the adrenalin flowing from the exercise and the soap in your hand that it might feel more enjoyable than normal. If you are cleaning that one area exclusively for extended periods of time...for example if when I get into the showers to rinse off the day prior to swimming laps you are there cleaning your bits and you are still there cleaning those same bits when I finish my laps 45 minutes later…then can I also suggest installing a home gym.

I also want to say no to eating in the change rooms. I get it after a lot of exercise people need to replenish. But there are many reasons that in modern homes the kitchen/dining room is separate from the bathroom/toilet.

The same goes for people who feel the need to exercise in the change room. It is a gym, the rest of the facilities are design for the single purpose of accommodating exercise. All of the equipment, mats, mirrors, weights pools they are for exercising.

If you are exercising naked whilst texting a friend then I am afraid that’s three strikes, you’re out.

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