More Adventures at the Y (or: Why I Wear Flip Flops in Public Showers)


Last week, somebody took a dump in one of the shower stalls at the Y.

A human.  Pooped.  In the public shower.

The discovery, of course, was followed by 5 minutes (I’m sure longer, I just left the locker room at that point) of Maria Callas walking around announcing to no one in particular, “Well, I mean, I understand having to pick up after a dog or a cow, but a PERSON?”  And I don’t disagree.  I just don’t know if it needs to be repeated multiple times to the same crowd.

So the turd sat there until poor Rosa showed up with her rubber gloves on, and Ms. Callas directed her to the offense and explained how she had considered picking it up with toilet paper, but had decided against that.

I never wear flip flops at the pool (I know, some people are horrified by that…I blame an entire childhood of walking around barefoot in gnarly locker rooms with no serious infections to show for it).  I opted to shower at home that day.

My flip flops arrived in the mail yesterday.

P.S. Picture via here.  What.



When I lived in San Francisco, one of my coworkers told me that one day, after living in SF for about 8 years, she was walking down the street and a girl wearing no pants walked past her.  And she barely noticed. That, she said, was the moment she realized it was time for her to move.

I feel like the YMCA has a number of proverbial pantless pedestrians wandering its hallways.

There is one older/middle-aged woman who was obviously a singer in a previous life and likes to sing opera, loudly, in the locker room.  Full volume loudly.  And apparently we’re on the same workout schedule, because she is there more often than not.

At first it was awkward, I wasn’t sure how to react…when she makes eye contact with you do you smile like a normal person and pretend like she’s not doing that or what?  Now it’s like, whatever…preferable to the usual locker room rants about how the 84 degree pool water is too cold.

So when I was greeted by La Traviata after my swim this morning, I ignored.  Per usual.  But this time, someone taking a shower decided she needed accompanyment.  When Singer #2, another silver-haired vocalist, emerged from the shower, Singer #1, at this point fully dressed and about to walk out the front door, approached a totally naked Singer #2. They clearly did not know each other.  The following conversation ensued, naked, next to me as I got ready for work:

“Well, thank you for the beautiful harmony today.”

“Oh yes, well, I just recognized the hymn, and you know the alto part goes, ‘hum HUM HUM hum hum…”

“Ah yes that’s different than the mezzo-alto part that we normally sing in church. I heard you singing something else, what was that?”

“Oh, that was At the Cross…you know, ‘at the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light…” 

“…’and the burden of my heart rolled awaaaAAAAaaaaAAAAAY!'”

…and there was my cue.  Exit scene.

My Love/Hate Relationship with the Y


The local YMCA is located 3 blocks from my office.  Super convenient.  It has a (very warm) pool, a wide mishmash of quasi-functional treadmills, and elliptical-esque machines which I (attempt to) use when I am injured.

Because of the weather lately, I have been spending a lot of time at the Y.  And if you haven’t picked up on this yet, I am not a fan of working out inside.   I consider most stationary machines to be the modern-day equivalent of the iron maiden.

On those days, however, when heading outdoors is just not an option, I am grateful to have a gym where I can run.  And that that gym has Bravo TV.  We don’t have cable at home, and Vanderpump Rules is one of the very few things that will get me through an hour of running in place…especially since I’m doing slower runs with no real intervals or speed increases or anything.  Painfully boring.

My trips to the Y, however, usually go something like this (this is, step by step, my most recent experience):

I check the Bravo schedule, Toned Up is playing at 5.  Perfect.  Shoot down the street to the Y as soon as I leave the office.

Battle for parking.  Finally get a spot to go in and find…no available treadmills.  Which I think is pretty typical for any gym at 5pm.

After 5-10 minutes of hanging around, debating whether I should go warm up on a bike and lose my place in line, the first TM opens up.  It has no TV.  Conundrum.  Go linger on the machine, start setting things up, “stretch”, all while eyeing the TV machines waiting for someone to get off.  Just as I’m about to give up and hit start, the old dude walking on a TV machine at an extreme incline gets off!  Jump off TV-less machine, jump on TV machine.  VICTORY!

Turn TV to channel 59.  Plug in headphones.  Hit Quick Start button, get ready to rock.  The belt won’t start.  Hit button again.  And again.  And again and again and again.  Start hitting every button on the machine.  Belt won’t start.  I look around  a little embarrassed, kind of waiting for someone to tell me that either the machine is broken or there is some trick to starting it.  Of course nobody does.  After 5 minutes of feeling like a complete tool, see someone else get off another TV machine.  Ditch broken TV machine and head over to working TV machine.  All hope is not lost.

Get the belt going on machine #3 almost 20 minutes after I should have started my workout.  Try to change channel.  Realize that the TV might be on, but it is stuck on one channel with the menu bar covering up half the screen and has no sound.

Decide that at this point I just need to freaking get over it and start running. Feel extra stupid given the fact that if I had just stuck with the non-TV in the first place, I’d be almost halfway through my workout.

Spend the next 45 minutes watching a soundless, half-screen of Two and A Half Men.  Halfway through my run I look over at machine #2 to see if anyone has started to fix it.  Someone is walking on it perfectly fine watching the Food Channel.  Wtf.

Whatever, at least I got my run in.

And then there are the days like last Thursday, when I walked into the pool on a really tight schedule, and saw the Special Olympics team there…even though it was definitely not listed on the online schedule. ( And while I am glad the Special Olympians get pool time, I curse the Y for not updating their online schedule.  Ever.)

But when the single available lap lane finally opened up and  I finished my (shortened) warm up, I somehow ended up pacing the Special Olympians on fast 50s instead of doing the workout I had planned.  Which was way more fun than swimming by myself ever is.

And, as is always the case when I walk out the door of the Y, I’m so glad I went.

Even better

photoand for picture #2086939587 on social media of the temp outside…

Today trumps yesterday.  In so many ways already.  And it’s only 10am.

Btw, when the temperatures dip below 0, don’t leave your shampoo and conditioner in the car overnight.  Because the next morning while showering at the Y, in a mad rush to get to work on time, you may get your finger stuck (like, not-funny stuck) inside the bottle trying to scrape some frozen shampoo out.  Possibly.