Things I Hear in the Gym Sauna

05 Apr

I’ve added sitting in the sauna as part of my gym activities. The purpose is threefold:

  1. I take a book in there to read and leave my phone in the locker. Leaving the phone is mostly because my phone can’t handle that much heat for that long, but I also appreciate the break from all electronic devices.
  2. It helps with my break from mama-hood. I get 2 hours of childcare each time I go in, and you better believe I use all 120 minutes.
  3. It’s supposed to help with hormone blah blah blah and workout recovery.


There were several things I did not know before I started this practice:

  1. The majority of sauna users are men.
  2. I feel very vulnerable and unsafe when I’m in there with multiple men and no other women.
  3. When you read a physical book, older people tend to engage you in conversation about it, but not younger people
  4. People (mainly the men, but some women too) talk about things in there as if they are in the privacy of their own homes or participating in private phone calls and this is so bizarre to me.


I’ve decided to start collecting sauna stories and sharing them here because they must be shared.

  1. I heard a man talk about how he lied to his wife about the benefits of some food supplement because she wasn’t going to believe the real benefit
  2. I heard another man tell his buddy that sometimes daughters just need to be told that they aren’t smart enough to do something
  3. I heard a man who was probably in his 40s trash talk the young guys for not stretching in the sauna prior to working out IN FRONT OF some said young guys
  4. I watched a young man try to hit on a young woman awkwardly in front of about 8 other people in the sauna
  5. I overheard that same woman talk about her modeling photo shoot with her friend in that same sauna with 8 or so strangers

So…do what you will with all of that. You can imagine how I felt at times.

In a more positive report, I had a lovely conversation with a colleague of Shirley Brice Heath whose book I read in graduate school. He chatted me up because he saw me reading Anne of Green Gables. He first complimented my use of a “real” book rather than a device, and then told me about his work with a Taiwanese linguist and Anne of Green Gables and how it related to Shirley Brice Heath’s work. Let’s just say I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation as opposed to things I was thinking when listening particularly to #2 above.


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Posted by on April 5, 2016 in Grad School, Uncategorized


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