Skimpy showers suit me…

Sometimes it’s better not to get what you want.

A few months ago, I penned the blog titled, “Don’t skimp on the showers…” It had sprung from a day in which I emerged from the swimming pool at the health club to find myself 10th in line for the showers. The women’s locker room expansion was still being constructed, and every single woman in that line knew that more showers were a priority — but a priority behind additional mirrors and counters for applying makeup and doing hair, apparently.

With the opening of the glorious, expanded locker room, we got the mirrors and counter space — but no additional showers. And so we continued to stand in line, fretting, complaining, getting angry at our fellow females who lingered a bit too long in the shower stalls, and otherwise not appreciating the efforts the health club had made in crafting a spa-like experience in which to submerse ourselves while we frantically readied for a day’s work.

(Definitely first world problems.)

Joe the owner apparently didn’t read my blog post or didn’t allow it to spur him into adding some showers, and so my friend Connie took it upon herself to express the need. Since most of the classes offered at the 6 o’clock hour end at 6:45, many women converge on the locker rooms — and the showers — at about the same time. Some days are worse than others, but most days involve a wait for a shower.

Connie was frustrated enough to express our discontent (nicely, of course) to the health club via a survey response on behalf of us all.

We didn’t like the staff member’s response, which included:

…I’m sorry about the experiences you’ve had with our shower area. I completely understand where you’re coming from, and would be frustrated having a long wait, too. Since some of the morning aqua classes are popular, the showers do tend to get crowded between 6:45AM and 7:00AM. We recommend avoiding the shower area at this time due to the high volume, but just a little bit before that time, or about 15 minutes after, you should have no problem finding an available shower…

Duh, Connie said.

Double duh, I concurred.

Connie and I already had realized the same thing. In fact, for years, I had left classes five minutes early to avoid that locker room rush. But neither of us thought the club’s response made for a good business model or for healthy public relations. However, we made it good and healthy for us.

We started working out longer.

At first, it was accidental. We had taken to doing a line of weight machines and requesting extra exercises in between each machine. Well, one day a personal trainer came and joined us, giving us challenging exercises, checking our form, explaining the exercise purpose and benefits, etc. We were not going to look a gift horse in the mouth — free personal training! — and quibble about time. We kept exercising — until it was nearly 7:10.

We thanked the trainer — and then I panicked. I ran to the locker room, grabbed my shower supplies, hit the shower (hey! no line!), streamlined my routine and managed to get out of the health club and into my car before 7:30 (albeit with wet hair and no makeup).

The trainer showed up a number of other times, not only working with me and Connie but also with the floor instructors, sharing his knowledge and expertise so that they could continue where he left off. Because he did leave, moving away to start a new YMCA in another city.

By this time, the floor instructors assumed Connie and I were working out until 7 am, and that became my new cut-off time — a full 20 intensive minutes more than I once did.

Because of the longer workouts, we no longer wait for showers. Because of the shorter time in the locker room, I’ve learned to streamline what I do to get ready for work. Part of that streamlining included coaxing curls from wet hair instead of blow drying and straightening my locks. Not fighting my natural curl means the Florida humidity enhances my hairstyle instead of ruins it. Happy hair, happy me. I’m getting more fit, stressing less, and still getting to work sufficiently early.

So about those extra showers? I’m sure I would still appreciate them, but for now I’m actually thankful that Joe skimped on the showers. It does a body good. 🙂

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