It’s January 2019; the flurry of offers for gym memberships and new workout routines are rivaled only by the flurries from this Polar Vortex. I made it to the gym, right under the wire.
Now, I have been in athletics of various kinds and am no stranger to gyms. I’m just more like a beloved cousin who drops in infrequently and should probably visit more. Even when I did go to the gym regularly and was comfortable in the gym habitat, I never looked cool at the gym. I am not exactly sure why that is…
The one time I looked remotebly cool at the gym was 2010 at the Fort Benning. I had a certain work out circuit memorized and my jams playing. I was in the ZONE when a young soldier approached me to ask if I was listening to a workout on my iPod. “Like, does it tell you the moves and count on a track?” I popped my earbud out and told him my secret. ” No, I am just keeping rhythm to Michael Jackson’s Greatest Hits. Beat it.”
Now in January 2019, I am ready for a new and greater experience. One with guest passes and a cafe! This isn’t a military post gym with lockers, a dingy plastic shower curtain and rusty lockers. No Ma’am! This is a spa among gyms. The locker room smells of sweet shampoos, eucalyptus and hope. Hair dryers, lotions, mouthwash, spray deodorant, and other luxuries line the counters.
Banishing our winter coats to the wooden lockers and preparing to get physical, I reached for one of the spray bottles on the counter.
I spritzed. I paused. I checked the bottle.
“I think I just hair sprayed my armpits.”
The bottle in my hand read deodorant. I was suspicious. My pits were sticky and smelled made me feel closer to God immediately. Finish the phrase with me, Southerners. “The higher the hair, the closer to God.”
I sniffed the hairspray bottle. I sniffed the deodorant bottle.I did NOT sniff my pit. After some amateur detective work, my friend Nancy Drew and I concluded that someone had accidentally switched the spraying lids on the bottles, so the first several sprays of “deodorant” had been remaining hairspray.
No matter how awkward or out of place any other woman felt in that locker room, she had not hair-sprayed her pits that morning. In these faux pas moments we all face, there comes a moment where we decided how to react. I could get upset, complain, wash my pits in front of others, or just move on with an annoyed eye-roll…but no. Part of it is my personality, but I’ve spent years of practicing the mental discipline of choosing to laugh. Besides, if I didn’t want to share the laugh I wouldn’t be telling y’all this so you can laugh with me.
I chose to chuckle and then to own it. Better to have hair-spray in my armpits than deodorant in my hair! I’m NOT the first person to use hair spray before working out! What would Dolly Parton do? Dolly probably never hair-sprayed her armpits, but she would never fault another woman for seeking style, support and volume in any manner possible.
As my muscles worked to raise the weights over my head I felt a sticky clash of greatness. The victorious thrill of Rocky Balboa raising his arms atop the Philadelphia Museum of Art had met all-day strength and hold in a squirt bottle.I realized that this accident had amazing implications. I was motivated to keep my arms raised! Could this extend to other areas of life?
Imagine, a spray that improved smell but also kept arms up! Market this for sports events for the enthusiastic fan! A few simple sprays a worship leader can transform turn uptight curmudgeons with hands affixed in pockets into a Pentecostal swept by the spirit.
I’d say my trip to the gym was a success. I had spent time laughing with a friend, completed a workout Dolly would be proud of, and presented the world with marketing inspiration. I look forward to hearing your ideas. In the meantime, I will attest that a good January workout did leave me feeling a little stiff, but high and lifted up. All in favor of a good work out, raise your arms.