Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Watery Excitement at the Gym

I had a hard and great workout today and couldn't wait to hit the showers. Hot water pounding on my shoulders then sliding down my salty skin is reward. My body cools when I strip, the skin getting goose-pimply as a walk over the slick tiled floors. The shower warms me and wipes me clean.

The work I've done in the gym that day sinks into the muscles and becomes the result that shows the rest of the day when I'm showering. Hot water as annealer.

I quickly stripped of my soaking wet t-shirt and shorts, tore off the sock and threw the entire pile of sopping clothing into my locker. The towel I packed had dried on the line, so it was scratchy and rough. A just reward for a job hard-won.

As I chose a shower stall, I turned and saw an older woman lying on the floor in the stall across from me. Everyone else ignored her; she was soapy but unable to get up. Naked and completely vulnerable. She just needed a little help but wisely insisted on management coming to help. And here's the weak point in the gym's design: there is no communication line between the locker room and the front desk.

I walked through the locker room yelling: is anybody dressed?? Anybody??


So I pulled my sopping wet t-shirt and soggy wet shorts back on (sans undies, this was an emergency), walked up the stairs and through the gym to get her help. Fortunately, two female employees were quickly summoned to provide assistance.

Back. Clothes back in the locker; me back in the shower stall. Corporate girls talking to our fallen lady. She has no explanation for how she fell, but it's a shower room.

Do you know about the simple one minute stroke test? Neither did the employees. Frequently when someone falls down with no reasonable explanation, this test will show that the person has had a stroke. Quickly. Easily. Before they try to get up. So I guided the trainer through the 3 questions, then witnessed as she continued checking that the woman hadn't injured herself in her fall. Fortunately, all signs were negative and the woman was assisted to her locker, dressed and escorted safely and happily from the gym. Nobody asked for ID as a witness in the accident, so I hope it's history all around.

And I? I decided that the miracle of the shower was not to be part of my life today. I quickly washed the sweat away, pulled on dry clothes and put the work behind me.