Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Locker room

Archer's running club has been moved from a before-school activity to an after-school one. So instead of putting on my sweatpants and hoodie first thing in the morning, I'm taking a bag of workout clothes to the office with me and changing before heading off campus.

More organized folks than me would probably have the bag packed the previous night. And they would probably never forget anything they needed. But I have a long tradition of packing workout bags just before they're needed, and an equally long -- and possibly related -- tradition of forgetting stuff. In order of least annoying to most annoying, here are the things I most often forget:
  1. Sports bra
  2. Ponytail elastic
  3. Socks
Since this change in schedule, I find myself hauling my workout bag into the bathroom on the same floor as my office and changing in a stall. When I give a lecture to prospective students at our interview days, I compare the process of giving serious consideration to alien ideas to the discomfort of taking off your clothes in a department store dressing room. I think changing clothes in a bathroom stall is a comparable feeling. Certainly it's something you want to get through as fast as possible because it's not a good feeling being undressed in a public place.

But aside from being more cramped, changing in an office bathroom actually has some advantages compared to the store dressing room.
  1. No mirrors. Does anyone ever look good in a dressing room mirror?
  2. A misplaced yet palpable sense of ownership. This is my bathroom; I'm in it several times a day. I have a right to change clothes here.
  3. The opportunity to imagine what the person in the stall next to me is thinking as the feet visible to them shed their shoes and socks.
It still feels strange and illicit to walk out of my office dressed appropriately, and back in looking like a slob ... or a student. But as long as I get to combine a workout with quality Archer time, I don't mind the momentary discomfort. Unless I forget my socks.


Jenn said...

I went to the gym this morning, which requires me to pack my work clothes the night before. What's funny is that today, I forgot an essential piece of work clothing--a bra. Luckily I a.) have no boobs and b.) was wearing layers. So even if you do it the night before, it doesn't mean you'll remember everything. I hate forgetting things!

doafy said...

Last year, some of our faculty had a kickboxing class on campus after school. We would change in our faculty restrooms, and mostly it was no problem. However, there was something about changing bras at work that I could never get used to. No pants? No problem! But having the boobs totally free for a few seconds, even in a locked bathroom? It was so strange.