Tales from the downstairs shower (2009 archive)

Happy First day of Spring or as I like to call it Vernal Equinox day (actually I didn’t know what Vernal Equinox was until I helped my son with his science homework last night).

In celebration of Spring I thought I would take advantage of the warm weather we have been having (up until today that is) and go for a jog on a nearby nature trail over lunch. So this morning I packed my gym bag with clothes, shoes and a towel and off I went.

So 11:30 a.m. comes around and I grab my bag and head to the downstairs changing room/shower. So far so good…I will spare you the details but after a few moments that would make Clark Kent blush, I am out the door… brrr… so much for spring in Wisconsin.

Next I get in my car (I bet you thought I was actually going to jog)… and drive the short mile down to a private school’s entrance to the nature trail. I check my car’s outdoor thermometer and it says 33 degrees! Ughhh…

I optimistically packed shorts and a light top… no hat no gloves… so I ransack the car and find one of my kids facemasks (dare I put that on…knowing where it has been) and gloves. I squeeze into these because as we all know the only valid criteria for wardrobe selection in Wisconsin is how warm it is and NOT how it looks. I get out of my car, lock it and am starting to try to find a place to hide the key when… Fitchburg’s finest come rolling by in their police cruiser…

I am feeling like a burglar in my none-too-fashionable garb and facemask, and immediately drop into a calf-stretch lean to communicate visually that I am not planning an assault on the nearby school, but am rather going for a jog. It works… he keeps driving by… whew!

So off I go on the trail… which is beautiful by the way… even on a gray Wisconsin early spring day. I think I am doing pretty well, until a young lady (younger than me at least) swiftly passes me with her dog in tow. The dog looks like it is barely walking and gives me a condescending smirk, which doesn’t inspire confidence in my early season jogging form. Next I hear a creak, creak, and watch an elderly gentleman with a stroller cruising by… next I look down and see the first turtle of spring.. (or “pace turtle” as I like to call him).. and he passes me…

O.k. I exaggerate…a little, but that dog did smirk at me, and I am breaking no land-speed records that’s for sure. Anyway 15 minutes out… and about the same back and I am done, and heading back to the office for a hot shower!

I get in the shower room, lock the door and take stock of my surroundings. I realize belatedly that I did not bring soap and there is none in the shower, so I ask myself… do I dare dash to the soap dispenser at the sinks… all the time imagining one of our board members coming for a visit and using the restroom as I streak back into the showers with my soap. I won’t reveal my solution, but suffice it to say I am as clean as Irish Spring don’t you know.

The showers are zero barrier, and there are fold out seats outside and inside of the showers, so they are good from an ADA point of view which is nice… but the shower curtains don’t extend all the way to the floor, which is not so nice. So I budgeted half my towel for drying off and the other half for mopping up the floor. Now if I can only get the order right (self then floor instead of floor then self) I would be all set.

Bottom line. It is great to have access to a shower, and the nearby trails are a real bonus for going for a very pleasant walk/jog over lunch. If you happen to see a strange looking, slow moving man with a too small face mask, being passed by a turtle… don’t panic, but rather just say “Hey John, Happy Vernal Equinox Day!”

Happy Friday and First Day of Spring Everyone!

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