Girls Gone Wildly Athletic

Greyhound wrote a really great post the other day about kids who swim competitively, probably on US teams (the training ground for future Olympians). He noted, among other things, that the girls at swim practice were confident and when the boys teased them they gave at least as well as they got. No cowering and giggling for them.

I have a perspective on those girls that Greyhound is not privy to, though. I find these young women endlessly inspiring and entertaining if not a tad loud for that hour of the morning. Admittedly I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with them I’ve developed as a result of sharing a locker room with them a couple days a week. A locker room full of women changing from street clothes to suits and from suits to being naked in the shower. .

One of the funniest parts about having them in the locker room is that these girls with their perfect bodies and their little buns the size of a pair of grapefruit use a lot of elaborate maneuvers involving towels and shirts to get undressed without revealing anything – until the towel comes off and they are in a suit that could fit 3 to a band-aid box. Once they are comfortably clothed in their nearly non-existent suits they prance out to the deck like they own the place. I don’t think they are self conscious in a particularly pathalogical way – I think they are just at an age where kids have an overblown need for modesty.

Before they go off to lift weights or swim laps I can catch them in the mirror taking furtive glances around the room at the middle aged and older women. I can tell when I catch the expression on their faces that they are thinking “I will NEVER look like THAT! EW!!!!” because even the most fit women sport at least a little cellulite. I want to give these girls my most sympathetic and motherly look and say, “there, there… it’s not so bad”.

I don’t, though. As grossed out as they are they have more important things to think about like themselves, the meet they are training for, the classes they are taking and the boys they are figuring out how to attract without giving up who they are in the process. Just the other day Dear Abby advised a young women who only seemed to be able to attract boys as friends that perhaps she should emphasize your feminine side and present yourself in a different light. This may mean temporarily downplaying your involvement in sports and amping up your “girlishness”.

I like to think that my young athletic acquaintances in the locker room would kick her dimpled ass for that crappy advice. I’m pretty sure they would.

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13 Responses to Girls Gone Wildly Athletic

  1. Tammy says:

    “…figuring out how to attract without giving up who they are in the process.” Powerful statement. And that advice… wow. Sounds like you were reading a column from 1950. geesh!

  2. sometimes I think dear abby needs to come back to planet Now – before she sets us back 50 years in time. Ugh.

    There’s a lot of cute high school girls at my gym, but I never get to know them as athletes, just cute girls in the locker room. sadly, many of them seem about as deep as a coat of paint – and almost that interesting. I just wish they could expand – but I was the same when I was an illegal age…sigh.

  3. Greyhound says:

    What a great piece! (Although it makes me wonder again why the people who should be covered–especially in my locker room–seem to have never heard of towels)

    How about this for advice girls: treat him with respect while respecting yourself. When he grows up, he will find it completely intoxicating that you have game, perhaps even more game than you have. If he never grows up, you don’t want him anyway.

  4. Greyhound says:

    Oops, I meant even more game than he has!!!

    I need a proofreader.

  5. Rural Girl says:

    I love it when they say, “She’s old, you know, in her thirties.” Cough, gag.

  6. twenty first century sis says:

    I saw that dear Abby and nearly gagged. Maybe we should send her your post! Bravo!

  7. Donald says:

    God, I love strong women … and athletics are such a great environment for them to shine. Great post.

  8. fe-lady says:

    Just when I think we as women have come so far, something in the media proves it differently….
    great post on your part! Yeah to strong and athletic girls who are “in it” for the right reasons!

  9. comm's says:

    working in gym’s I completely understand what your saying about modesty/immodesty in the how much a young lady is wearing. Or looking at older women and the expressions on their face.

    In my own family, Mistress was a lingerie model when we met and now after a child and no longer starving herself she is just a normal woman. So I understand how the mind can go those those machinations.

  10. comm's says:

    working in gym’s I completely understand what your saying about modesty/immodesty in the how much a young lady is wearing. Or looking at older women and the expressions on their face.

    In my own family, Mistress was a lingerie model when we met and now after a child and no longer starving herself she is just a normal woman. So I understand how the mind can go those those machinations.

  11. Ashley says:

    Here’s something that I’ve noticed that I find curious.
    When I was in high school in the 1970’s it was mandatory at our school that you had to shower after gym class, and the same was true if you were on a sports team. I, and from what I can recall none of the other girls, were really bothered by this rule, it was just the way it was, and nothing to get upset about.

    Our shower room in the girls loker room had 6 polls that had 4 shower heads each. That meant that when you stood there under your shower head you always had a girl facing you directly from about 4 to 5 feet away, and then you had a girl to each side of you that were only a few feet away. There were usually 20 to 25 of us girls in each gym class.

    I was on the girls swim team as well as the girls basketball and tennis teams. We always had to shower after every single game or practice. This meant that sometimes I was taking 2 to 3 showers a day in the locker room with my fellow female classmates and teammates.

    Now here’s the funny part…
    Most of us, myself included in this, were very modest around boys. We never exposed the amount of skin that teen girls expose in public today. Most of us did NOT talk about sex, or have sex at that young of an age, and we would not have dreamed of going around nearly naked in front of boys the way that so many teen girls do today.

    But at the same time most of us weren’t bothered by being nude and showering in front of each other in the girls locker room. With our swim team we could have showered in our bathingsuits if we had wanted to, but from my recollection no one ever chose to.

    There is a local girls swim team from a near by high school that hold some of their practices at the YWCA that my two teen daughters and I swim at a few nights a week. There are a small handfull of girls who do shower in the nude after their swim practice, but the bigger majority of them don’t. And like you described, these are beautiful young women with bodies to did for.

    Being a swimmer myself, I have taken my two daughters to swim at the YWCA with me a few nights a week since they were about 4 years old each. At 4 years old they never even knew the difference between being nude in the locker room or wearing a bathingsuit, it didn’t make any difference to them. And since they saw their mother showering without her bathingsuit on they would automatically peel out of their wet bathingsuits as soon as we went into the locker room after a swim. So as a result, they have never had a time period in their whole lives where they have ever had any embarrassment about showering or being nude in the locker room. I often wonder if it is a blessing (whether they realize it at the time or not) to have the mandatory showers and such at an early age, so as to get girls used to those situations, and that they may then have better body immage for the rest of their lives?

    My husband’s high school did not require them to shower after gym class, and even now as an adult he will never shower at the gym for modesty reasons. There have been many times that either my husband or I will have to go straight to work right after a workout at the gym. He will just go straight to work all sweaty, which I would never dream of doing. So I’m glad that I don’t have the embarrassment to be nude in a locker room that my husband does.

    Sorry for rambling on! Just thought I’d share my thoughts.

  12. kb says:

    i think a lot people like myself who didn`t shower in high school now have a lot of trouble at most gyms.in most of the locker rooms i have been in people who have anything on are few and far between.

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