The Great Cover Up


One last thought about common sense. People often have little of it.

In fact, I recently saw a sign in a fitness facility that explained another sign in the facility. The sign I saw was located above the water fountain on the free-weight floor, and it explained a sign that hangs in both the men's and women's locker rooms.

The fact that a locker room sign needs further explanation is beyond me. What's next? A sign explaining the lighted exit sign? But the need for this particular sign in the locker room is even more baffling to me. Have we really come to a point when we must remind people with a “Please Cover Up With A Towel” sign?

OK, I realize what seems like common sense activities such as re-racking weights, wiping down sweat, letting people work in and other gym-specific endeavors may need reinforcing with signs, especially for new users. But wrapping up in a towel seems second nature and should be understood by most everyone, right? Obviously, many more people walk around their houses naked after showering than I would imagine and figure they should do the same in the locker room.

These people may think they look great naked. Hey, maybe they do, but not everyone wants to see it.

Still, though, they feel they must shave naked, comb their hair naked, blow dry their privates for the entire world to see (don't ask me, I just report it), and worst of all, talk to me naked.

They may like to parade around the locker room with their prized possessions hanging out (and this goes for women, too — I have heard many a tall tale of women who are not shy) and talk about the weather or gossip about their training partner, but many more of us prefer to get dressed, or at least wrap up in a towel before talking politics, sports, training methods or any topic at all with another person — especially a practical stranger.

This sign is a great start. But, there are plenty of other missing signs in this and other facilities. For example, I'd like to see some of the following signs:

  1. “Don't Use a Stopwatch when an Hourglass Will Do.”

    Do members really need a stopwatch to time rest between sets when that rest lasts long enough for them to talk about the weather or last night's game? Well, at least they are clothed for this chat.

  2. “Run or Get Out of the Way.”

    Sure, walking is good exercise, but if a person is going to read a book while walking on the new treadmill at a slower pace than they walk the aisles at the grocery store. Then stop wasting my time.

  3. “Get Real.”

    Why is it that the biggest guy in the gym can squat 400 pounds, but the 20-pound dumbbells he's using for lateral raises are too heavy to rack. Even worse, they are so heavy that they have to slam to the floor in a loud crash just to get attention. Moreover, don't grunt and groan when changing in the locker room (considering all the nudity in locker rooms, getting dressed must be hard work for many people) just to prove you worked hard in the gym.

I hope I will see these signs in facilities throughout the country someday. But for now, all I can say to the facility managers that put up the “Golden Towel Rule” sign — and the sign to explain the sign — is THANK YOU!

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