Yesterday at 5:15 am I stumbled out of my house and to the gym. Before leaving the house, I had to pack my gym bag.
Clothes for work? Check!
Dopp Travel Bag with shampoo/conditioner etc.? Check!
Makeup bag? (blessedly tiny as I only use foundation, powder and lipstick) Check!
Combination lock from high school? Check!
Arriving at the Y, they checked me in (since I don’t have my membership card to swipe yet) and I headed downstairs to the locker rooms. I smiled at the attendant and she handed me a key to a locker, and a towel.
In my sleep addled brain I finally figured out the key she gave me had a number on it – and that number corresponded to a specific locker. (duh) I threw my stuff in the locker and headed for the exercise bike. I punched a million buttons, programmed it for 15 minutes – and started reading the newspaper.
Completing that exercise, without falling off the bike during mounting/dismounting, tangling my feel in the straps, or any other clumsy embarrassing moves (of which I am entirely capable of) I moved onto the ‘circuit’.
Let me tell you – there are more knobs to pull and levers to adjust than I imagined. However, I was doing well. I upped the weight on a few machines, because there was no challenge with the original weight and decreased the weight on two pieces, as there’s no way I can get through two reps of twelve on them.
Nearing the end of the circuit with just 3 more machines to work through, I noticed a woman heading my way. She looked confident and vaguely “official”. Not sure why. Maybe it was the ID card at her waist or the keys stuck in her waist band. As she walked toward me, I experienced a moment of discomfort. I was struggling with a machine that works the upper body, and feeling pretty awkward and incompetent.
“Great! She’s going to walk over here and tell me my posture is wrong, I’m not trying hard enough, or something else, and I am going to die of embarrassment. Maybe I’ll just turn into one big sweat drop and she won’t see me.”
But she stopped short of me and began a conversation with another club member. That’s when I realized she was just another member and not the “workout cop”. For some reason though, my eyes remained fixated on the key at her waist.
“Hmmm. It has a brass tag on it just like the key the …. Oh crap! Just like the key the attendant gave me.”
Now I was in a panic. I still had 4 more reps to go before finishing the second twelve so I told myself to just relax until I completed the set. “You cannot stop to search for a key!”
Finishing the twelve moves, I surreptitiously touched my hand to the pocket of my workout pants. No key.
“Maybe it’s in the stuck towel – on top of your newspaper – and with the progress card," I thought moving on to the next machine. Completing the next set of exercises – I told myself to just relax. It would be there. Only? When I walked over there to record the weight and number of reps? It wasn’t. One more machine to go and I'd be done. It was 6:30. The club was getting crowded.
“Great! Now I’ll have to announce my stupidity to EVERYONE,” I was thinking. “Well, no sense it worrying about it now. Finish up, and then you can figure out what you’re going to do.”
The last machine is an ab cruncher. I hardly noticed my abs. Instead I was crunching scenarios through my brain. “I bet I locked in IN the locker. Surely other people have done this. They’ll have a way to get into the locker.” Quick to follow on this thought was, “Thank goodness no carpool today! I’ll never be back at the house by eight.”
Finishing up the last set of the crunches I gathered up my towel, newspaper. I filed the progress card under “D” for "Dummy" in the filing cabinet, and then slowly walked down the stairs to the locker room. I decided there was no need to declare my new name to the attendant, until I knew the full extent of my predicament.
“Did you have a great workout?” she called as I pushed into the locker room and headed toward my locker.
“Great,” I muttered with sarcasm, knowing that in mere seconds I would be back before her sharing my sleep-walking stupidity.
Entering the locker room I noticed there were two other women in there. One changing to go workout – and the other another attendant doing some cleaning. Both within clear sight of my locker. Head down, unwilling to face my fate, I plodded toward the locker. Glancing up, as I neared it I noticed …
… MY KEY was still hanging in the door of the locker! (Because yes, that IS the safest way to protect your valuables!)
Still feeling stupid, “Hi! I’m the new member! I’m not smart enough to take my key WITH ME while I work out!” I opened the locker. Grabbed my stuff for a shower and headed toward them … WITH THE KEY.
Showering was a fairly smooth operation – although I realized I don’t really need my whole normal Dopp bag with me here at the gym. I only need shampoo, conditioner, and face soap. The rest of the stuff I wag along when I travel is just extra crap I have to paw through. So now I can have TWO traveling bags! Oh joy. (not)
I showered, returned to the locker, got my makeup and hairbrush out and went to the hair-drying/makeup apply area to finish getting ready. AND LEFT THE DAMN KEY IN THE LOCKER AGAIN!
Now I don’t know about you, but I usually dry my hair without clothes on. Because you know – the hot air from the hair dryer is “hot” which seems counterproductive to staying “sweat free” after a shower. Especially if you’re wearing a turtle neck and heavy sweater while drying the hair. I also cannot secure my towel efficiently around me so I can dry my hair with just a wrapped towel. So it’s either be dress or be naked. Trust me, no one wants to see me naked.
Returning to the locker, I struggled to return everything to my gym bag while not sticking my butt in a co-locker users face as she was trying to get dressed. Finally getting it all together I grabbed my bag, the makeup bag that wouldn’t fit in the gym bag (because someone has huge ass shoes that take up too much room), my newspaper and my purse (with the combo-lock still locked around my purse handle).
“Oh, you should grab your car keys out of your purse now so you can open the car without having to dig in the dark for them,” I thought as I started to head out. After pawing through my purse – and panicking – because “OH MY GOD, NOW I’VE LOST MY CAR KEYS!!??” I realized I had given the attendant my car keys in order to get the “USELESS NOT SECURING MY STUFF WHILE WORKING OUT”, locker key. *sigh*
As I drove home I contemplated what I could do to change the fact it took me 45 minutes to get showered and dressed –while feeling “scattered” the whole time.
“I don’t remember being this disorganized back in Az,” kept running through my mind. “Was the locker room set up differently?” Mentally I shrugged. “Who can remember the setup of a locker room eight years ago?” Then it hit me. Really, I don’t NEED to shower at the gym. Because unlike Arizona, I am NOT working out on my way to work! After my workout I will return home each morning to eat breakfast, write for an hour, and meet my carpool!
Halleluiah! That’s the key! I can continue to shower at home!
(or remember combination locks don't require keys)