sauna (an update)

**This photo has nothing to do with the post, but I like it.  
I think Campari is going to be my summer drink

So, about the Sauna.  I decided to embrace it and go.  Mostly I just realised that I liked sauna and it was really the only thing that made me toasty and warm in winter.  But, I also discovered that I found unisex sauna no more intimidating that the girls change room.

Surprised?  I was surprised too.  But I really have found the gym change rooms hard to get used to.  By the time I was 12 years old I had mastered the technique of dressing and undressing in a change room without actually being naked.  I thought this was how everyone did it.  Well, as my sister said, in comparison to Australian women, German women like to be naked.  The change rooms at gym are full of naked women.  And I'm not talking about a quick 'naked while you change outfits' naked, but a prolonged 'walk around the change room and have a conversation naked'.  The showers are in a communal 'wet room' and towels are left outside in the dry area.  It is not uncommon to see people blow-drying their hair whilst at least partially starkers (top/bottom, take your pick).

I have found this cultural difference quite intimidating and unsettling.  I have had to face what turns out to quite big, but thankfully not insurmountable, fears about my own naked body.  I have also realised that I have some strange preconceptions about what the female body is supposed to look like (thanks Hollywood!) and in an earth-shattering "uh-duh" moment realised that there is no normal, or for that matter, abnormal body shape.  By the way, everyone looks, and you're naive in you think they/you don't.  Anyway, suffice to say I discovered that I have no more anxiety going into the unisex sauna than I do entering the female showers.  I also discovered that a fifteen minute sauna is perfect meditation time and an antidote to anger and stress.  I like sauna and this, I have decided, is all that matters.

PS.  In a slightly related topic I started my life-drawing class last night.  So awesome!


Jess said...

That is good! Sauna's are a fantastic way to relax.
And in answer to your question, I'm not a vegetarian. I have thought about going mainly vegetarian though because the organic meat looks like it is quite expensive. I don't think I could give it up for good though. I like my roast dinners!

Chrissy said...

Clare your blog is such an inspiration, I look at it nearly every day. You are living such a rich and beautiful life which makes me so happy for you and right now it is making me take a look at my own life...

A Girl Called E said...

oh you're so brave! i have so many body issues that i doubt ill ever be able to get over them long enough to get in the nuddy in public but im sure it is liberating experience!
it's crazy huh? i mean what's so weird about being naked? yet change rooms and naked people give me the heebie-geebies...
em x