One of the hardest things about a regularly scheduled work out regime is deciding when to shower.
My work site has a fully loaded gym, locker room and showers included. But for the many years I worked in a for real office I never took advantage of it. Although I have little to no problem with nudity (even my own lumpy variety), I couldn’t risk a full on glance or even imagining my bosses and peers closer to naked. My eyes have the tendency to wander to the area of a mans’ package (much like boys do with cleavage) and catching a swinging bat and ball sack in light weight gym shorts steals the innocence of the more wrapped up version brought to staff meetings. TMGI – Too Much Genital Information. Same with the diameter and color of areoles and choice of pubic pattern for lady co-workers.
Now that I work from home my days are less structured, and with the gym minutes down the road I pick and choose times, classes and manner in which to get my sweat on. But since I perspire often and from the top down, an hour of cardio leaves me squeaky damp stem to stern, pits to crotch. And therein lies the shower conundrum.
A shower in the morning is best – welcoming a new day fresh, hair smelling of almond cookies, blown out with serums and smoothed flat with an iron. Body slathered in lovely flowery lotions and just a touch of natural makeup. Out of my pajamas, tucked and nipped into clothes I can actually wear to fetch the mail or run to the grocery store (I’ve had many days and many outfits that embarrass the UPS man). Starting the day with ritual pumps me full of energy and anticipation of work ahead. The other option is to roll out of bed, perhaps wash face and teeth (or not) and lumber to the laptop in the t-shirt I slept in, sometimes stopping to put on pants (I have written for hours in my underwear - see UPS horror above). I prefer to start the day with the shower scenario, but add a lunchtime or after work workout and another shower must come at days end. Otherwise I stink up the sheets.
Physical fitness is really all about timing. A few other gems of gym wisdom:
Keep your work out clothes separate and in view. Dedication comes easier when gearing up is as mindless as pulling out tops or tanks and pants in a complimentary color palette to mix-and-match, like Garanimals.
Maintain a proper gym bag because anytime you have to hunt or dig to find clean socks and the iPod the apathy clock begins ticking down to a King Of Queens rerun and cold adult beverage (with a side of, “I’ll go tomorrow.”)
Find a class, instructor or method that works for you and don’t be manhandled (née shamed) by the personal training staff. When I first joined the gym I’ve now gone to for years, my new membership offered two free sessions. I wasn’t a fitness “novice” per see, having done cardio aerobics for years. The trainer kicked my every loving ass, many sets of step-ups to 24” high bench, full on sit-ups with legs extended while catching a heavy weight ball. When I woke the next morning I thought I’d caught the polio; my core remained stingy sore for a week after. Protect your physical tools and modify when needed. I rarely to never complete power squats (in fear of another hip fracture) or moves that require extreme weight and pressure on my hands or wrists. Those are my tools, they make my bank, and I call it good with a few sets of push ups or lingering down dogs.
Take advantage of the steam and sauna rooms. Massage and sweating out the lactic acid from your muscles afterwards helps alleviate the sore. Plus you get to be naked and sweaty. And hands can wander in heavy steam.
Last, even on your fattest days, go. Find yourself yelling more often at the kid or the cat? Go. Don't want to go? Go.