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Inside the Ladies Locker Room

I don't like working out. There, I've said it. I hate everything about it. I don't get a rush when I'm running on the treadmill (instead I get shooting pains in my side), I don't like waiting for the elliptical machine for more than 5 minutes at a time and I hate, I repeat, hate taking workout classes with women who mark their territory like they're a pack of rabid coyotes.

But there's more to my tale of workout woe. You see, last year I decided to give up my fancy gym membership so that I could save some money and join a less expensive gym about one block away. Sure at my fancy gym I never waited for a machine, the snooty women there never gave me the time of day and I never accidentally inhaled cleaning solution while I tried to faux run on the treadmill at 4 mph, but in the interests of frugality, I bit the bullet and left the comforts and perks of my top notch fitness center.

The problem with my new gym is simple. It's way too crowded and there are too many yentas. Okay - if you do not live in New York and if you are not Jewish, a yenta is someone who likes to gossip. A lot. And I've decided, they should rename my gym, the Yenta Center. Everywhere I turn, there are women chatting with each other about everything from health issues, to the guy someone caught cheating on his wife (now, I have to admit, that was a juicy story), to a loud woman engaging in a very loud conversation with her girlfriend while admiring herself in the mirror as sweat, mascara and foundation trickle down her cheeks.

As uncomfortable as I get when I have to ask a towel less woman to move over so that I can open my gym lock that I still have from junior high school, what bugs me the most when I try to place my coat and knapsack in one of the few lockers are the people who just shove their stuff inside without investing in a lock or the staffers who utilize an entire row of lockers for their cleaning supplies and towels. Isn't that what a utility closet is for?

Wait! Now that I'm in full tirade mode, the cleaning methods of this gym is what gets me absolutely batty. No matter the time of day, the cleaning crew are always vacuuming right under equipment while you are actually on the machine. And they even spray cleaning solution and wipe down machines without caring whether any of the members are inhaling their toxic fumes. But that's not all. One day, when I got incredibly annoyed over the whole lack of cleaning etiquette, I was about to hop on an elliptical machine when a woman, who I mistook for a staff member, took the cleaning spray, spritzed several times and wiped down the machine adjacent to mine. At first, I shot her a dirty look and told her she was rude because the excess spray from the cleaner nearly burned my corneas (I know I'm a bit dramatic) and rather than apologize she brusquely replied that she'd rather inhale fumes than germs. I guess I failed to mention that not only are the women at this club chatty, they also like to engage in arguments with other female members.

And today, after an incredibly uncomfortable locker room experience, in which I had ask at least five naked women to move their buns so that I could make a break for my locker, I decided that it might be time to get back to basics and start working out at home again. My Wii Fit is looking quite attractive these days - especially since I won't have anyone spritzing cleaning solution in my face or pouring their heart out in their birthday suit.

Posted in: Blog, The Girdle Chronicles on 02/01/2010

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