The more I read around the internet about where people train, the more spoiled I feel when it comes to our facilities. I just read Jiu-Jiu’s locker room shower situation- they have one unisex communal changing area and one shower. Actually, I have heard of similar situations in the area around our academy.
Again, I feel a little spoiled when saying this, but we have separate men and women’s locker rooms: each locker room has two bathroom stalls, two shower stalls and two sinks. Separate hot water sources too, I’m pretty sure: there have definitely been a few occasions when the boys had to deal with cold showers while the girls were totally unaware of any issue.
It wasn’t quite always this way: we were temporarily displaced when the building was being remodeled, but men and women always had separate changing areas made with stacked lockers.
I’m sorry to hear this is a situation in some gyms. I understand sometimes owners/instructors make sacrifices when it comes to real estate: a space with the perfect square footage and the right location can make someone overlook the bathroom facilities, but I have to admit, if I was just starting jiu jitsu and someone told me that I had to change in a communal area, I probably would have quit, or brushed up on my locker room ninja changing skills from highschool gym class. Most likely the latter, contorting myself like I was in a straight jacket, with my arms inside a t-shirt when attempting to change from a regular bra to a sports bra.
For ladies who put up with all of this and still train, you absolutely have my respect. For guys who have women in their academy in this situation, I agree with Jiu Jiu- please understand that it can be a stressful situation for a girl, especially for one that is starting out in the sport. I’m not saying you should let this theoretical white belt girl walk all over you and take an hour shower, but understand that’s an uncomfortable situation for most women, and sometimes it takes women a little longer to get themselves sorted before leaving the locker room. I don’t even know what I would do about a single shower. I would most likely either go home and shower or only use the gym shower in extreme emergencies.
On a side note, congratulations on Meghan getting her blue belt! Hooray!
On a geek-tastic side note, I haven’t watched the season premiere of the new Game of Thrones, but I did take advantage of their site Join the Realm and made a Coat of Arms for the blog.