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#330047 - 04/27/10 11:38 PM Showering in a Men's Locker room
Survivinguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 310
Loc: Colorado
I'm betting that's not a big deal for 90% of the males on the planet but I'm almost 40 and I had never done that before, especially growing up but even thru high school, college and adulthood - I would avoid it any way I could - I'd "forget" a change of clothes, I wouldn't "have time" to and it didn't matter if was hot or freezing outside. There were times I'd even just pull on jeans over my soaking wet swimsuit and walk out with water soaking thru my jeans. Crazy right? I didn't care, I was sure every male on the planet was planning on attacking me or mocking me or something.

Well I put all the fear on the shelf tonight and after a decent 2 mile run on the treadmill I went to the locker room, grabbed a towel and took a shower. I made it back to my locker, dressed and left. No one attacked me, no one mocked me, no one stared at me.

Like I said probably not a big deal for a lot of guys but a first for me smile

Just had to share my little triumph today.


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#330049 - 04/27/10 11:42 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: Survivinguy]
02151964 Offline


Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 7
Loc: Canada
congrats surviving guy , I have been there always waited untill every one else was done before I would change or shower to this day I will not join a gym for that very reason, again congrats


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#330050 - 04/27/10 11:46 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: Survivinguy]
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
Good for you Surviving Guy. I have the same fear, though I've never had to shower in a locker room before. When I started High School I thought I might have to but it turned out that the shower in the Boys Locker Room was only for the sports teams. One time at Boy Scout camp, I remember that they had a public shower, don't remember much else other than I was scared and didn't want to do it. Don't remember if I did or what happened or even if this was before or after the abuse.

_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


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#330052 - 04/27/10 11:57 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: onlyakid]
jls Offline


Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
As an adult I don't have issues with undressing in front of other men but as a little kid I did, in front of other boys after gym I mean. Back then it wasn't an abuse thing since that didn't occur until adolescence. Instead I think it related to pure and simple shyness. JS

_________________________
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.


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#330053 - 04/27/10 11:59 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: Survivinguy]
usmc97 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/05
Posts: 437
Loc: Colorado
Kind of adding to my weirdness by answering your post here instead of in private, though I've said something about this before. I'm really strange about this subject, kind of the opposite. I can't really shower at home like a normal person. I have to be in the dark with some kind of shorts on, even then there is a good chance I would freak out and wind up huddled up on the floor not knowing how long I've been there. I only feel comfortable in the gym setting or similar especially on base or if I have a friend with me. At home by myself I don't even change clothes with the lights on. I didn't always have such a separation, I was once okay with everything, even though I stay fit I have a lot of body issues now that don't really make sense. My sense of safety really depends on my environment.

_________________________
Semper Fi

The statistics? 1 in 4, 1 in 6?
...then there's me the imaginary number

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#330055 - 04/28/10 12:07 AM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: Survivinguy]
Charlie24 Offline


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 562
Robert,

I admire you. You just put yourself in an uncomfortable situation and guess what happened, you fucking survived. I need to be more courageous in my life.

I'm so glad you shared this with us. I've always had this problem and tend to prefer to shower in the privacy of my own bathroom in my apartment. But way to go bud.

I remember the awkwardness of it all in middle school/high school, in high school I was able to get out of showering. I remember in middle school the guys would take a towel, myself included, into the shower and just open enough to get some water on our bodies and get the hell out.

Way to be Robert.

Charlie.


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#330067 - 04/28/10 01:37 AM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: Charlie24]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
In junior high school our teacher would make us leave our clothes in our locker, head to the community showers nude, then he would hand us a towel when we were leaving the shower. While I wasn't comfortable with this arrangement either, there were plenty of my classmates that were a lot less comfortable with the policy than I was. I managed to miss 10th grade high school gym class because I had athlete's foot at the time. For years I still wasn't too comfortable with showering in a public locker room either, but by late in my recovery, by my early 40s, it just didn't seem to matter as much as it used to.

A fear of public showering, or having to shower behind several layers of locks and booby traps, or having to shower wearing clothing, are all symptoms of suffering sexual abuse. Glad to hear that you are making some good progress SG, keep up the good work.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#330070 - 04/28/10 03:30 AM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: Trucker51]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11027
Loc: Denver, CO
Thanks for sharing this Robert. I was one of those kids in school who despised sharing the shower in gym. When I was in 8th grade, I discovered that gym did not have to be one of my electives. Thank God!

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#330089 - 04/28/10 11:10 AM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: FormerTexan]
pkincrisi Offline


Registered: 04/08/10
Posts: 96
Loc: Wisconsin
Way to go, Survivinguy!

I could identify with a lot what was said here. I hid in a corner in the locker room by the coach's office. I would wait until the last minute to shower so that there would be fewer guys in the shower with me. I couldn't understand why all the other guys seemed to have no trouble standing around in the open unashamed.

I hadn't thought about this in years but I went to camp soon after the abuse took place. I did not shower once that entire week because I was so fearful. I just couldn't risk it.

To this day, I avoid public showers as much as possible. I guess this is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It just helps to know that I don't struggle with this alone.

_________________________
Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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#330095 - 04/28/10 11:33 AM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: pkincrisi]
Survivinguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 310
Loc: Colorado
Wow - thanks guys - I as much appreciate the affirmation/congratz as I do hearing that I'm not alone with this issue.

02151964, Onlyakid, JS, Charlie24, FormerTexan - thanks guys - I appreciate it - I know it's not monumental but it felt good to accomplish it and it feels great to have this support/affirmation/understanding.

USMC - I appreciate you adding your "weirdness", I know we all have some of that and even when one person's weirdness is totally different than another's we all get to feel a little more normal for not being the only one with some weirdness - I have weirdness about bathrooms but that's for another time.

Trucker - Wow. I think I would have died if my junior high school teacher forced that procedure on me. Nude among my peers and in the company of an adult male at that time of my life/abuse - yikes. In my 30s I considered whether I could take a medication to help me be calm enough to go through a physical.

Anyway - like you say - some progress.

Thanks again guys.

_________________________
Survivinguy

============================================
I have to survive and I hope to thrive.

Alumni Dahlonega WoR May 2010
Alumni Sequoia WoR March 2012

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#330125 - 04/28/10 04:15 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: Survivinguy]
sportinrucks Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 422
Loc: Louisiana
dude I hate showering in the locker room. Aggravates me. Always been a pain in the ass.


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#330131 - 04/28/10 04:38 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: Survivinguy]
just me Offline


Registered: 05/27/09
Posts: 193
Yup great topic,
I, as I suspect most can relate on many levels. IS there really ANYONE who always felt comfortable with the whole 'public shower scene?" I think not!

Imagine my surprise, when they were repairing the boys locker room in High School, and we had to use the girls locker room...THEY HAD SHOWER STALLS WITH CURTAINS!!! Whats with the double standard. Are men SOOO proud that they have to build the showers as one big room??? I'm there are many schools and Y's that are set up this way, private for women and open for men...I don't get it!

But hey, now in my 40's I don't care much, as a kid this was a BIG deal!!!



Edited by just me (04/28/10 04:39 PM)
_________________________
My Story

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#330132 - 04/28/10 04:58 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: just me]
JustSurviving Offline


Registered: 04/22/10
Posts: 47
Loc: Hell
-------




Edited by JustSurviving (05/21/10 11:45 PM)

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#330198 - 04/29/10 12:00 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: Survivinguy]
Light of Being Offline


Registered: 04/17/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Hamilton, Ontario Canada
Hello, for me I did absolutely everything I could to not attend any type of gym courses. I had my mother call the school each year to let them know I was not able to take gym classes due to foot problems.

I would have been absolutely devastated to undress and others see all the dark purplish/black bruises from being punished often with a leather belt. I do not think a week had gone by for me to not have any bruises. I was so deeply ashamed. I made sure to wear long sleeve shirts and pants all the time. The shame runs very deep inside me. Having gone through about seven years of therapy, the shame is still there.


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#330201 - 04/29/10 12:30 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: Survivinguy]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
when i was young, ie, in high school, i did loathe the locker room, public restrooms, being in gym class, and showering afterwards. yuk!

since i started recovery, i still can't stand pee-ing in public and always opt to use a private stall.

regarding being naked in a public arena, i no longer fear that because i now have a stronger sense of self and a lot more of my own personal power [back in high school, i was underweight, 'little' in size, and a late bloomer to boot, so i felt very much diminished in the presence of the peers who were farther along in their personal development].

the only problem i have in being publicly naked now, is a sense of shame at not having what by certain standards would be an attractive physique, and of course, i have average genital size and that is somewhat embarrassing, even still at my age.

oh well .... some things you just can't do anything about ..... oh you could waste a lot of time energy and hard earned money, but sooner or later everything starts to shrivel anyway as you get older!

whistle

warm regards,

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#330222 - 04/29/10 02:27 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: Sans Logos]
TJ jeff Offline

Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 3362
Loc: Northern Wisconsin
Light of Being,

I know well what you mean of not wanting others to see the bruises (which sadly they did get to see due to a crazy gym teacher who ensured that i showered with the rest of the kids (he even made fun of my himself)) - that was the #1 issue with the gym showers for me (I don't really think that my not wanting to be naked around others as a youth had anything to do with the S/A - it was the physical abuse I was trying to hide...

I know it's hard - but the shame really does belong to the person who physicaly abused you

Welcome to MS Light of Being - I hope that you find great healing through this site

_________________________
Who will cry for the little boy? - I will... - Antwone Fisher

Abuse happens in silence/isolation - Recovery happens only when that silence/isolation is broken...

TJ's History

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#330334 - 04/30/10 02:39 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: TJ jeff]
George Offline
Member

Registered: 01/29/01
Posts: 120
Loc: NY metro

In middle school we had to change for gym. I had to be the fastest dresser in the locker room. The showers were avail to use, but no one ever did. Even in H/S no one used the showers for gym class.

Even as an adult I don't like open showers, I wouldn't allow my boys to use them either.


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#330413 - 05/01/10 09:02 AM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: George]
Silly Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/21/10
Posts: 140
Loc: Virginia
good topic - thanks

In Jr High - I always tried to be first in/first out of the locker rooms. Never showered even once...

This topic kind of triggered an event for me - as I was reading these posts, I recovered a memory from when I was little kid...The was a place in WV I used to go with the family sometimes...a lake with swimming and pic-nic grounds...a park I guess? Anyways ... there was a changing room and as I was getting into my swim trunks there were a couple of older boys in there trying to check me out...it scared me so I went and found my mom and had to change in the womens changing room. What I find interesting in that was said in another post...double standards - guys room - big and open, gals room - seperate stalls. Why is that?

Anyways...thanks for interesting posts...peace

Shane

_________________________
http://esdgc.com/links/shaneCSA.html

http://seriouslysilly67.blogspot.com/

The Round Table, Men's Sexual Abuse Group, Monday 7:30pm CST, MaleSurvivor Chat

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#330438 - 05/01/10 01:06 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: Silly]
TheBobcatAgain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 506
Loc: AZ, U.S.A.
Yes, this is a good topic.

I have related elsewhere my fear of being naked; even at home alone I only change clothes in the bathroom with the door locked. I can count on two hands the number of times I have been naked elsewhere - and most of those are me skinny-dipping alone in my sister's pool in early morning last summer while I watched her house when she and her family were in D.C. I have also told the story of how I made myself physically sick for the first 3 weeks of high school, because I was absolutely terrified of being naked in a locker room; thankfully, by the time I starting attending gym class, the coach wasn't making the boys take their showers anymore. And I have explained my reasons for my nervousness about nudity - my small, uncircumcized penis is noticeable in a room full of average, circumcized penises. The only time I got up the courage to shower in a locker room, around age 20, I got stared at by other guys. First and last time for that.

It means a GREAT DEAL to me to hear other men say they were scared of being seen naked as kids, teenagers, or even now, as I have been scared of being seen naked my whole life. I guess this sounds awful, but I'm really glad that other men have this problem, too, and are able to share it. Thank you so much, you guys.

I read somewhere about mandating shower stalls in boys' locker rooms, and how contreversial that decision was. Many people against shower stalls in male locker rooms were outraged because they felt that giving boys a chance to shower together and hang out naked with each other was a kind of bonding experience; and as men, we don't have many bonding experiences with each other. There might be some truth to that - the only face-to-face bonding experience I've ever had was the Sequoia WoR last April.

I'm going to put a TRIGGER WARNING here, because I might offend someone with my next statement, but I'm not trying to. It's just a crazy idea that has come into my head.

TRIGGER WARNING!




There's only one way I could feel myself completely at ease being naked in a locker room, and that is this: if the other men in the locker room were you guys. I trust you guys; I know you wouldn't hurt me or ridicule me. In fact, some of you would be just as nervous as I would be. But wouldn't that be an awesome way for those of us who are nervous about public showering to overcome that fear together? It would almost be a bonding experience (shared nudity) on top of a bonding experience (shared brotherhood). I know MS can't do something like that at a WoR, but I wish they could, like in an advanced WoR; for me, it would be the final stage of being accepted fully. Imagine, having a fear of public nudity, but being able to undress in a safe locker room with a bunch of safe guys that you know love you as their brother. There are times when I would truly give a LOT for that chance, that acceptance.




TRIGGER WARNING OVER

Thanks for letting me share, guys. This topic is a big deal to me.

Your loving brother,

Bobcat


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#330730 - 05/02/10 06:57 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: TheBobcatAgain]
usmc97 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/05
Posts: 437
Loc: Colorado
As a kid, things were harder in middle school. I got picked on and embarrassed "enough" by other boys in the locker room. Comments about some of the marks that I tried to hide would come up here and there and tried my best to deflect anything that would give too much information. The other part of things was feeling so far behind in developement, my perps removed body hair since before I knew I had any. Nobody ever talked to me about puberty, I still couldn't say when it actually happened... it was all such a scary time for me.

I was pretty modest up until high school, I guess that's when I was allowed to feel better about myself in a physical sense. I got into athletics and things, the abuse and stuff was behind me. I found myself comfortable with my friends around me and the whole shower thing was just a part of being one of the guys... I felt like a normal guy.

It all transfered into my time in the military where all personal boundaries pretty much stopped existing, for some reason it became even more of a comfort for me. There is some kind of bonding element to being vulnerable and just simply being male in an enviroment which personal space allows for trust of this kind.

For me there is such a big difference between the regular public lockerroom and the ones on military installations. When I'm on base I don't have the fears or the need to be so protective of myself, their is a comradery that makes it safe to be vulnerable. The civilian gyms I still usually have to have a friend with me or someone I've seen around the gym long enough to feel okay around.

I just got back from a men's retreat where the hottub/gym locker room were utilized by nothing but guys from our group, a couple of my closest friends included. It feels akward to shower and change with friends, it also feels so safe being nude with those who know the depths of my hurts with the feeling that they see me as normal... they also know I feel protected by them.

I still don't know how I don't automatically go to fear. It's a wierd embarrassment to feel comforted by my friends being around in these situations. Black and white difference from me at home alone.

.... when it's safe it really becomes such a non-issue.... it's good to feel safe and just be one of the guys.

_________________________
Semper Fi

The statistics? 1 in 4, 1 in 6?
...then there's me the imaginary number

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#330751 - 05/02/10 08:03 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: usmc97]
Elad 12 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/15/05
Posts: 1176
Loc: on the coast
Bobcat,

I found your last post interesting and positive. As you know from my posts elsewhere, I don't have a problem with being naked around anyone. I haven't always felt that way. But by letting myself experience being naked with others in showers and other places I have been able to loose a lot of the shame I carried. I am personally sorry to see more and more shower stalls and to hear that kids don't even shower at school anymore. Not because I like to see other guys naked but because it is very shame reducing in my opinion. I understand why people (particularly survivors) may not want their kids undressing around others, but to me that just has a way of creating an atmosphere of shame. The more you hide your body, the more ashamed you feel of it.
I do agree with you though. I don't think the WoR will ever include a nude showering workshop smile

Dale


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#333196 - 06/07/10 02:09 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: Trucker51]
Sobernow Offline


Registered: 05/17/10
Posts: 256
Loc: Oklahoma
I am 51yo --- spent most of my life afraid of public restrooms -- would rather pee outside or somewhere - than to go inside a public men's room (empty or occupied).

I fear being shot, knifed, robbed, attacked.


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#333242 - 06/07/10 11:58 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: Sobernow]
Anomalous Offline
Greeter Coordinator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 1341
Absolutely NO public showering for me!!!

I was just thinking about the bathroom at college. Though there were individual shower stalls, they only had a shower curtain and not a door with a lock. I was always afraid that someone would see me.

When I was in middle school we had to shower one year. I was terrified and didn't want to, but had no choice. Then I found that there was a shower stall and I always tried to get that one. I don't remember if the showering lasted all year. I just remember trying to get out of showering. It was difficult enough just having to change clothes in front of others.

It doesn't matter if I have been in shape or out of shape. I refuse to publicly shower, or change. I had joined a gym once, and have thought about it again, but can't bear the thought of the locker room.

Yes, I would be the one wearing wet swim trunks under my jeans.


Anomalous

_________________________
Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

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#333296 - 06/08/10 04:27 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: Anomalous]
KingFred Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/23/10
Posts: 57
Loc: West Coast, USA
I haven't showered with anybody else since I was like nine or ten (and even then, I remember saying that I didn't want to shower with them (two of my older brothers)).
I am ashamed of my body (morbidly obese from "swallowing too much aggression...and too many pizzas" (bonus points if you caught the movie referance) when I was growing up). I won't deny that. But part of my abuse was also in the shower/bath. If it weren't for this, I'd feel WAY more comfortable taking showers "in public."

_________________________
Not particularly a fan of hugs. High fives and well wishes are always appreciated though.

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#333393 - 06/09/10 07:48 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: Survivinguy]
Obi Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1290
Loc: kansas
i was always worried about having to take showers in the gym class and so on. i lucked out that i had gym the last class of the day and went home to get cleaned up.

i only showered once in a men's locker room. it was in '99. i was up in thermopolis, wyoming. they had a small water park there that used the hot springs up that way. i took a quick shower, still in my bathing suit. however, i still had to change into dry clothes. so, after a few deep breaths i took my suit off and got changed into dry clothes in front of other men, some dressed and some naked...

that actually ended up being somewhat liberating for me... i was terrified the whole time, felt less than a man but at the same time i felt some freedom there...

i think that if i had to shower in a public locker room again i think i could do it and not have as much anxiety as i did the first time...

todd

_________________________
live another day. climb a little higher.

my story

my vlog

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#335016 - 07/01/10 09:36 AM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: Obi]
BK Offline


Registered: 07/01/10
Posts: 1
In 7th grade I was shocked to learn we would be showering with other guys after gym. I had always been on the heavy side, hated playing shirts vs skins too.

I made it thru this class by being the first one in and out of the shower. While all the other guys were in the shower I was already finished and dressing. This actually created more privacy for me.

Placing my towel around my waist ASAP and beginning to dress with towel in place helped too.

In high school I had had enough of showering and did not choose PE when it became an option. In the end I had put it off too long and was forced to take PE. Hated it so much that I quit school. I was a B student and on the school newspaper staff at the time but just could not cope with PE being overweight, always getting picked last and then showers. I later got my GED.

Over the years I've lost weight and when I go to the Y to swim I don't mind taking showers with other naked men in an open shower area. I think it's masculine. To me it is facing my fears from long ago and I see how far I have come from those days.

I've taught my children about eating right and exercising; we have open communication too. I think had I been able to talk to my Dad knowing he would help me by drawing up a diet or exercise plan and doing it with me, my high school years would have been much better.


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#339187 - 08/29/10 03:11 PM Re: Showering in a Men's Locker room [Re: BK]
lfp Offline


Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 121
This is a very good topic. I hate the gym, not only because i get tired and it hurts but bc of the whole showering and locker room thing.

When I'm in the locker room I have a LOT of things in my mind, questions, fears, I challenge myself. It takes a lot of emotional energy to be there. Eventually, I just get exhausted and I need to get out.

I showered once in the gym, but it wasn't easy at all.

_________________________
Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there. ~Josh Billings.
The Round Table, Mondays 7:30pm CST.

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