Anyhoo, I went back to the gym and was immediately struck by the culture shock that always gets me there. You see I went to the kind of high school that enshrined privacy. Our showers were closed stalls with 3 walls and a door and we had doors to our loos. The only person who ever saw your boobies was the school nurse when doing her intrusive kneading & pinching in the name of a pregnancy scan. Because of this background, you’ll never find a picture of me jumping over a barrier without my undies like a certain ex-tabasamu celebrity who will remain unnamed (reason being we don’t know said name). The point here isn't so much chastity as it is propriety.
In the gym, I will not be the one prancing from the steam room in nothing but the skin on my back and sitting around chatting idly with the rest as I wait to cool down. Yet this is exactly what happens. Women of absolutely all shapes and sizes throw self-consciousness to the wind and bear it all, all the while conducting conversations on the latest political intrigues! Aaaahg! I don’t care to see your backside or so much skin in one room! I’m happy to sweat it out in the aerobics class followed by a non-traumatizing shower!
What I’ve come to do is block it out. I try very hard not to look at people in the nude. I’m a little anti-social in the gym I guess as in the process of avoiding eye-contact, I keep my eyes firmly on my gym shoes (which have a stain at the bottom right corner). How do I change in & out of my gear? I actually seek out a stall to change inners as necessary. I’m the one who carries a few items of clothing to the shower to change once done (and thus spends more time in there than is strictly appropriate). I’ve noticed a few hostile looks (“Kwani anadhani ana nini hatujaona?”) but let me be me and I shall let you be.