The Rule of the Locker Room

by DavalosMcCormack on February 25, 2010

There are certain absolute rules in life. There is the Newtonian principle that a body at rest remains at rest, and a body in motion remains in constant motion unless an external force is applied. There is the lesser known but still equally true law that states that the less talent a celebrity has the longer and more frequently they’ll go to rehab. And finally there is the rule of the locker room that states that even if there are only two people at the gym, they’ll have lockers right next to each other.

Now, you may not be too familiar with the last rule but as someone who has spent many many hours at the gym, it’s true. It doesn’t matter how big the locker room,  how many lockers there are, or even how few people are at the gym at any given moment. If you are there, you will not only find yourself next to someone else’s locker, that person will also be there right at the time you are changing.

It’s an odd phenomenon but a universal one. For instance, here’s a comment posted on an MSN article about gym etiquette: Share the space!  The locker room is huge, but it always happens.  I return to my locker after a work out or after a shower and of the 1,000’s lockers available there is someone using the locker next to me.  Not a problem, but if you see me trying to unlock my locker please share the bench and space around “our” lockers.  Please move your sweaty sticky stinky jock strap over, I don’t want to see it, let alone touch it.”

So what should you do about it? Nothing, weren’t you paying attention! It’s a universal rule. There is nothing you can do about it. You just have to learn how to handle it. Either avoid eye contact and turn away from each other – dancing cheek to cheek as it were – or just observe how amazing it is that you are the only people in the locker room and here you are, next to each other. In the words of Humphrey Bogart at the end of Casablanca “This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Or not.

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