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No One Told Me People Walked Around Naked In Locker Rooms: a Lesson on Gym Cultural Norms

June 3, 2012

Lesson #1: Never do this after a night out.

Despite the fact that I have been neglecting the blog, I have not been neglecting my other obligations in life. That is, finding a job….and joining a gym. I am now convinced That the first gym membership should probably boast the same kind of importance than that of other notable milestones such as a graduation or a birthday. Simply because being a member of a gym comes new cultural norms that you need to adjust to, and inevitably in my case, a slew of blog worthy situations that I have run into during my time as a member of I.D Gym at Lincoln and Diversey.

I give you: Lessons learned at the gym.

1. Perhaps the most important lesson I have learned is that despite your determination to work out Saturday morning after a “long night” , 11 am will always be too early. Additionally, signing up to take the Fly Yoga class as a potential hangover cure will not in fact cure your hangover.  As it turns out, fly yoga is yoga suspended in mid air, and the teacher will ask you to hang upside down and swing for an indeterminate amount of time. You might puke…and that is a direct violation of gym code of conduct.

2. Kickboxing implies a class with mostly women. I was eager to take an intense class and really rail on a punching bag with a pair of boxing gloves. As it turned out. I listened to eighties music, talked animatedly about weddings and sparred lightly while taking breaks to jump rope.

3. Kettlebells is the opposite of kickboxing. I walked into the wrong class two weeks ago. It was a kettlebell class. I know what you are thinking…because I was thinking the same thing two weeks ago. Kettlebells is way more than I bargained for. First, because it feels like you have been hired out as a deckhand on a pirate ship in that, you toss around cannonball shaped weights for an hour. Second, because I am in a class with (if I am lucky) two other people and there is nowhere to hide. Third because the instructor is this ex navy seal who is devastatingly handsome and likes to stand over me the whole time and crack subversive jokes that, frankly, even if I wasn’t out of breath would be too tongue tied to reply with anything particularly witty.

4. Hot instructors are motivating, but overall a distraction to my concentration and therefore I should not take classes from hot instructors. This is good advice that I, all cards on the table, will probably not follow.

5. People have no qualms about being naked in locker rooms. It is just a thing. Sometimes it feels like a nudist colony…word on the street is that some people saw Obama naked before he was president at the East Bank Club- I’m just saying that sometimes, in this case, nudity catches up with you.

Gym shenanigans aside, I have spent the other half of my summer hanging with my parents.  I thought my maturity level was increasing at a rapid rate because of all the chummy time I was spending with them…mixing old fashioneds and going on long walks in the fresh Chicago air, but then I realized that this could only ever be temporary. Because for a 21 year old to act like an adult all the time, well that would imply that you have already made the mistakes an adult has already made to make them an adult.

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