I came to the world of exercise late in life. In my teens and 20s, my metabolism allowed me to eat and drink what I wanted, and going to the gym was never a huge priority. Once in a while, though, I’d venture to the land of dread-mills and screaming aerobics instructors, and when I did, I always changed quickly at home so I could avoid the locker room. Because lady bits. And modesty.
I had my kids in my 30s, and thanks to two C-sections, my abs were all but destroyed. Running endowed me with a rather impressive pair of thighs, but practically gave me black eyes too — thanks to my now pendulous breasts. Suffice it to say, I had to get serious about exercise if I had any hope of keeping up with my toddlers. Because I was often desperate to escape the 4-foot menaces in my house, I would grab my clothes and change at the gym.
Now, something happens to women around the age of 40 that causes them to completely stop giving a shit in gym locker rooms. I don’t know if it’s showing your lady bits to an audience of 20 in the labor and delivery room or breastfeeding at the park while chasing a 2-year-old, but somewhere along the line, women over the age of 40 feel compelled to let it all hang out right there next to your locker.
A busy women’s locker room is a blinding sea of marshmallow-soft women with nary a care in the world. Buck-naked women discuss recipes, last night’s Real Housewives episode, and their periods like it’s completely normal to have their headlights exposed. There’s genuine nekkid camaraderie, and for a newbie, it can be headache-inducing trying to keep your eyes from going south of the large, unkempt bush border.
Don’t believe me? Watch this video and tell me it doesn’t look like your community center bathroom. I’ll admit that I’m a tiny bit envious of the the women who can let it all hang out. While I’ve made it to the magical threshold of 40 and slightly beyond, I haven’t yet had the courage to expose my cookie for all the world to see.
A few years ago, I went to my local gym to swim laps and hide from my kids as my husband tackled bedtime. I performed complicated yoga maneuvers under my towel while discreetly coaxing my mom-sized funbags into my suit. During this juggling act, a 60ish-aged woman exited the shower area buck-ass naked and headed toward the bench in front of my locker. We exchanged pleasantries, and I continued to try to undress with as little exposure as possible.
But, this woman, you see, she gave zero fucks. ZERO. And it was clear that she’d stopped giving them somewhere around 1982. She calmly pulled out a towel from her locker, straddled it like a saddle, and proceeded to dry her twat vigorously. People, hear me: She probably needed a cigarette afterward, and her lady garden was dry as the Sahara by the time she was done. She continued to towel off while I silently prayed that the tiles would open up and swallow me whole.
When she finished her drying routine, she removed an economy-sized jar of Vaseline from her locker and started to lube up. No stone unturned, no skin fold ignored, no cranny was off limits: Her skin would be supple, modesty be damned. I tried valiantly to avert my eyes and focus on squeezing my mom body into my Speedo, but she continued chatting away like we were old friends. There was nowhere to hide, nowhere to run, and I was sweating like a pig before I’d even worked out.
Oh sweet Jesus and then.
She took a huge glob of Vaseline and started to lube where the good Lord split her. Leg up on the bench, hand deep in the crevasse of her lily-white, marshmallow ass, all while telling me about her grandson’s Thomas the Tank Engine birthday party. And then she closed the locker with the hand that had gone where no Vaseline should have gone before.
I don’t mind telling you, I died a slow painful death that day. And I refuse to go near Locker No. 17 at my gym ever again.
While I have mostly embraced my 40s and all the benefits therein, I’m still waiting for the feeling of locker room freedom to set in. Call me a prude, call me uptight, but I still can’t bring myself to parade my not-so-perky boobs and C-section scar for a roomful of strangers. Maybe that day will come. Who knows? But, if and when it does, I will save the ass lubing for a private bathroom stall. No one wants to see that kind of freedom in action. Trust me.