Every New Year, when a wave of eager and out-of-shape newcomers hit the gym, a crowd of gym elitists take to social media to complain. The gym ?regulars? feel a sense of ownership of each piece of equipment and square foot in their iron jungles, and scoff at anyone who wishes to share the space. I find this silly. If people want to join a gym and better themselves in the New Year, I have no problem sharing equipment with a few new faces.
I currently have a membership at Equinox on the Upper East Side ? not because I?m rich, but because it?s convenient and they have full-size basketball courts, a Manhattan novelty. Equinox provides every service and amenity imaginable with their memberships, and one of the selling points is the lovely locker room. Stocked with Kiehl?s products, blow-drying stations, and daily lockers, I almost prefer showering here to my own apartment.
Naturally, with new members this January, the gym ? and subsequently the locker room ? has been more crowded. And while I?ve been very tolerant of newcomers on the gym floor, there has been some troubling behavior in the locker room that I?d like to stop. I have condensed my issues down to 3 simple actions to avoid:
1: Below the Belt Bend Downs
The lockers in the locker room are about three and a half feet in height and stacked two high throughout. The locker room attendants (oh yes, it?s that type of gym) try to stagger the keys they give out so people aren?t near each other, but occasionally the person at the top locker and the person at the bottom locker are there at the same time. There?s one particular situation here I?d like to avoid. If someone is standing at the top locker, and you need to access the bottom locker, just give them a minute to finish up. In general, when someone is standing naked at their locker, they do not want someone to bend down and try and access something beneath them. Avoiding a below the belt bend down dramatically decreases the likelihood of accidental teabags and incidents of that nature.
2: Blow Drying Your Balls
As I mentioned, there are several stations with blow dryers in the locker room. There?s no shame in male hair-drying, a pompadour is nearly impossible to achieve without it. And while I take no issue with the use of the blow dryers for your hair, I am increasingly concerned with the testicular use I?ve seen in recent weeks. One of the many amenities of this gym is a seemingly infinite supply of fresh towels, so there is no shortage of tools to get the job done. There is simply no reason for the blow dryer to ever drop below shoulder height, and it certainly should never go below the waist. Additionally, to the man who keeps using the hand dryers by the sink to dry his armpits, please stop.
3: Butt-Flossing Down Broadway
To understand this one, you need to have a slight understanding of how this locker room is set up. There are 4 coves of lockers to both the right and left, and a middle aisle where all the mirrors and hair drying stations are ? it?s pretty simple. Now to the critical part. Butt-flossing? Yeah, you know exactly what I mean. There?s one particular area that?s especially difficult to dry unless you have the towel leveraged between your legs and are in the straddle position. We all do it ? I can?t pretend to have a problem with it. But it?s an act that?s meant to be done in secrecy ? no one should feel especially proud doing it. Some of the gents in the locker room recently have been performing this sacred maneuver right down the main aisle of the locker room for all to see. There?s simply no way for it to look appealing, and I hope to never see it happen again (but I will keep doing it myself obviously).
By avoiding these simple steps this January, the gym and locker room will be a better place for all.
P.S. To anyone at my Equinox who happens to be reading this, I?d avoid the fourth blow dryer ? it has been in some dark places recently.