• David Sales

Put Your Balls Away

There have been some things that I haven't enjoyed about the gym in the past and they go beyond the obvious ones.  Perhaps if I share them, I can get past these little mental blocks, and tomorrow I will find the true joy in working out.

One of my problems, perhaps it's a man thing, is that I don't like to ask for guidance.  Somewhere in my brain, I think I should know everything and if I don't I should be able to figure it out on my own.  Some time ago, I was going regularly and my sole machine was the treadmill.  It was my go to machine.  I mean really, it is just walking and I could handle that.  I discovered something new today, thanks to an elderly lady who looked very much like she was training for the fast walking event in the next Olympics, striding like hell on the machine beside me.

Something had bothered me in the past and especially today as it was more painful than I remember it being before.  I noticed that the heart monitor clip that I had put on my finger was really cutting into my skin and while I struggled to keep pace with the speed, I was constantly trying to reposition it and each time it seemed to dig into a new piece of skin.  It seemed overly sharp.

As we were walking side by side, she is speed walking through the Swiss Alps and me trudging through "Little Valley" or whatever random program I picked, I made eye contact with her and kind of showed her my finger and winced.

"They sure make these heart rate monitor clips sharp don't they," I said, still wondering how the hell she could go so fast.

She smiled, turned back to look straight ahead, and never missed a beat.

"You hook that to your clothes so if you fall down or something happens it stops the machine.  The pulse monitor is on the handles."

Well shit.  I looked at it again, noticing for the first time that in fact the damned thing is just connected with a piece of string.  Well, at least now I know.  As she finished her walk, probably heading to the bench press to throw up 300 lbs 50 times or something, she smiled and told me nicely that it gets better.  Thank you.  I will watch for you on the podium.

However, even the big dudes that grunt and stare into the mirror while pumping bars that seem to have all the weights in the entire gym on them aside, my biggest issue has always been with the open locker room concept.  It shouldn't be, having played sports and been in showers and dressing rooms with teammates for many years, but I think I'm okay with that because at least I know them.  And there seems to be more etiquette in sports dressing rooms.

Public locker rooms are different.  There is just something uncomfortable about having a stranger stand within feet of your face, choosing to use his towel to dry his hair, for what seems like a really long time while the rest of him remains uncovered, bouncing and shaking like an upside down bobble head doll.  I really think there should be a rule against that.

Why would you not take care of the areas below first?  Get them safely stowed away, and then worry about your hair.  I don't know you and I certainly don't want to know that much about you.  I just want to sit here and tie my shoes without any testicular turbulence occurring in close proximity to my head.

I will end with this as it was perfect.  As I walked out of the locker room to head home, I noticed a sign on the door of the gymnasium that read:


I think they should put the same one in the locker room.


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