I have spent a lot of nights at the gym this past year. At least four times a week, I head to the gym after a whole of work. I push myself even if my legs feel like jello from a whole night of serving plates of food to some hungry, needy, and occasionally sweet guest. I drive up to the gym while I have this internal battle with myself. My mind thinks “Just go home, your body needs rest,” or “Just get through the workout, you feel good afterward.” When I convince myself to skip out on the workout, I end up feeling an immense amount of guilt. So, I do my best to show up and get it done. I do end up feeling good afterward. It has become routine. Last year, I had taken up swimming as my workout. In the evenings, I would begrudgingly put on my swimsuit and jump into the heated water that still felt freezing. It would take so much effort to jump in there. After a 20minute swim, I would shiver towards the showers. The hot water was on blast as I hugged myself to warm up under the hot water. Afterward, I would grab my towel and sit in the quiet sauna. It would help me dry up and it felt really nice. I would get dressed and head to my car. I was on alert as soon as I left the gym. The walk to my car was scary since this gym wasn’t in the best area. I did this for a couple of months until I realized there was one of my gyms on my way home from work. It was a newer gym so I completely forgot about it. There were some cool food places right next to it too and that excited me! One of the problems at this gym was that there was no sauna but the pool was beautiful and new. The area was a bit nicer and it would save me drive time. I would be able to spend more time at the gym before they closed. I swam there for a couple of weeks but I decided to change up my routine. I decided to do weight training instead and since then my routine has changed again. Since I stopped swimming, I stopped taking a shower at the gym. I would just go home and shower. That way I had more time to work out and honestly, I felt more comfortable showering at home.
Recently though, my home was having plumbing problems so there was no hot water for almost a week. So I had to shower at the gym.
One night after a workout, I walked into the locker room wishing there was a sauna for me to sit in for a bit. Instead, I got my toiletries items and headed to the showers. All the showers were empty except one towards the end. I chose the shower across from the occupied one since it had the best water pressure. I noticed that the other person didn’t have the water on. Instead, she just stood there with the water off. I thought about how cold she must be since she probably just finished showering. I closed my curtain and took my shower but halfway through the shower, I started to feel uneasy. I have always felt spooked by empty shower rooms. I can even remember being afraid of the showers in middle school and high school. They weren’t being used and just felt so abandoned and eerie. The worst part was the lack of lighting and the rusty old metal of the showers. Do you know what I am talking about? Those old spooky showers. It didn’t help that my middle and high school, which were right next to each other, was based for soldiers during world war 2. Anyways, there is still some lingering fear of showers since my school days. My parents have always been adamant about not showering at night in an empty house. My parents had seen a lot in their life and they are superstition. They have experienced people being attacked by entities while they bathed in the bathhouses in Afghanistan. They have a lot of stories. Still, I thought the gym must be safe. There are so many people in the gym. I will be fine. My mom actually encouraged me to shower at the gym since there was no hot water in the house. I started getting goosebumps on my arm. I turned off the shower. I grabbed my towel and started drying myself. The person in the other shower was still there. What was she doing just standing there? I glanced down towards her feet. which was the only thing visible. She wasn’t wearing shower sandals. She had swollen feet. Her toenails were yellowing. Her skin looked like it was shedding and it was flakey. I was in the shower for at least 20mins and she hadn’t moved at all. I couldn’t hear her scrubbing or anything. Just still.
I went to the locker room and quickly put on my clothes. I heard the closing announcement made. I rushed straight to my car and drove home. I wondered if she had left the gym especially since they were about to close. Who knows? Spooked me though. Now every night when I hit the gym, my eyes dart towards the locker room into the showers as I wonder if she is there again. I haven’t showered at the gym since then. I do listen to a horror podcast, Sinisterhood, at the gym so maybe that might add to my fear? LOL
Cheers to spooky season,