I love going into the sauna at my gym. After an intense workout, there’s no better recovery than to sweat it out and have a slow stretch in the sauna’s intense heat. I just wish it wasn’t always so damn awkward.
First of all, there’s no knowing who sits behind the fogged up glass door before you enter. You hold your breath and cross your fingers, praying that it’s empty. The unfortunate thing is, it very rarely is. In fact, there is a 100% certainty that you will find a hairy, overweight man in the sauna at any gym (he appears to live there permanently – as you can imagine, we are very concerned for his hydration levels).
You find yourself stuck in a small, dark, boat-cabin like room with a complete stranger whom, like yourself, is practically naked. You spend the first five minutes deciding whether you should acknowledge your plump friend’s existence, by which point it is too late. He now thinks you’re rude, and you feel even more awkward than before. You start sweating profusely.
As you stretch your body into positions that would not be sexy on even the most recent Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, the most gorgeous male you have ever seen enters, just as Mr Fatty leaves. You’re now hunched over in attempt to touch your toes, your tummy rolls out for all to see. Mr Adonis smiles at you, and you return something between a smirk and a whimper. You stretch out your other leg, attempting to hold in your exposed belly, as Mr Six-Pack begins flexing his beautiful, sculpted arms. You try not to look but end up staring, goggle-eyed. He catches your eye and you turn so fast that you come dangerously close to fainting.
Once you finally begin to relax, your sister’s friend’s cousin’s mother enters the sauna and launches into a serious discussion about her recent marital troubles. You can’t leave before she does (that would be rude) so are forced to remain seated for Earth’s next orbit (sadly, Mr Perfect is long gone). By this time you have not a drop of liquid left in your body and resemble a sexy, shrivelled sultana. It is at that very moment when your lifelong crush enters the room. Thankfully, he doesn’t recognise your prune-like appearance, so you jump at the opportunity to escape. You leave your favourite water-bottle in the sauna but it’s a necessary sacrifice.
If there’s any place more awkward than a sauna, please, dear reader, enlighten me.