Gym Vanity

I was at the pool the other day, swimming my 1km (still proud of that…) and there was a lovely lady there, swimming laps with her friends. For some reason or another she needed to change lanes, and got a friend to hold up the lane rope so she could slip underneath without getting her hair wet.

Really?

You’re worried about your hair at a swimming pool? During a women’s only swim program? Who are you trying to impress?

Now, I know I’ve talked about vanity and grooming habits in the past, and I recognise that many of these practices are good for you, and important for success and acceptance. Being clean and well-presented is important.

But so is appropriateness: You don’t wear hot pink to a funeral, you don’t wear shorts to a job interview, and you don’t wear a ball gown to a barbeque. And I reckon you could add you don’t worry about your hair and make up at the gym or the pool.

I also realise how you present yourself depends to a large extent on the gym you attend. Ours is not a ‘beautiful people’ gym. There are all shapes and sizes, and the dress is pretty much shorts and t-shirts. I remember watching a girl who arrived here from the city come into the gym wearing ‘beautiful people’ clothes; she took one look around and put her jacket on for the duration of her workout. She quickly adjusted her wardrobe to suit the environment.

Although I may be more of an exception than the rule when it comes to habits at the pool or gym (I roll out of bed, into my workout clothes, deodorant  teeth and go), it seems that trying to do more than this would distract me from my purpose: getting to the gym and working out.

I know there are some girls who go to the pool and even if they do get their hair wet will make sure they always do the dunk-and-slick and after they’re done will always moisturise, brush, and put up their hair. This is probably not a bad habit to get into. (I always forget a brush and end up going home with crazy hair.)

But I do wonder about those ladies that spend more time in the change rooms getting ready than they do in the pool. Afterall, what is is the purpose of your visit to the gym or pool if not to get wet or sweaty?

I used to lifeguard the Women’s Only program and had to ask a few of the women to plan their exit a little better, because I was getting stuck 30-45 minutes after the end of class waiting for these ladies to shower, dress and do their make up and hair before leaving. I have to ask “To go where?” It’s Sunday in Katanning – there’s nothing open except the hardware store.

I suppose if you have a difficult coiff and need to go to work, I can see how being wet or sweaty could seriously muck up your morning schedule. But is the answer to avoid exercise, or to simplify your beauty routine?

I reckon you should need no more than 15 minutes following your workout in the gym or pool to get cleaned up enough to go out in public again. Shower, moisturise, brush, dress, maybe eyeliner and lipstick if you’re so inclined.

What do you think? How long do you need to be presentable after a workout?

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