Saturday, February 23, 2008

Personal Belongings

Every year the equipment room at the gym issues all athletes new work out clothes (e.g. Powerliners, socks, towels, shorts, shoes, jump rope, shirts, etc.) and a personal laundry bag so that after you work out you can have your sweaty clothes washed. However, the equipment room that issues the gear and does the laundry has strict rules when it comes to the laundry bags. Come to think of it there are really only two things to remember. 1) don't forget to seal your bag 2) Never put personal belongings in your bag.- The following account is true although some names have been altered. -

It all began last December... It was finals week. I had two of the hardest finals of my life coming up and I was operating on little sleep. I left the gym that day in a hurry because I had to make it up to Harlem for an interview. It would be my last work out until I returned to NY after break. Now I don't remember this happening, but apparently when I sealed my bag I left a huge hole in the opening... I broke the first rule and I was going to pay.

In January I got back to the equipment room and requested my laundry bag. It was all in slow motion as "Baron" the equipment room guru came from behind the steel cage with an empty laundry bag. It was like he was playing a practical joke on me. "I know he doesn't think I turned in an empty laundry bag." I thought to myself. I opened up the bag only to find a lone shriveled sock. My gear was lost in the mystery that lurks behind the steal cage at Coles Sports Recreation Center, in a sea of random sports equipment that only a select few can navigate.

I was pissed so I decided to start working out in my own workout clothes, and washing them in my laundry bag. I blatantly broke the second rule in retaliation for my lost clothes. Little did I know that the equipment room Nazi, "Gulliver" and his loyal wench "Tina" had other plans...

I had a perfect plan. I would only put shirts in the laundry bag that looked like the issued shirts so my bag wouldn't stand out... and then when they least expect it I would get bold and sneak in a white shirt or maybe a blue shirt. So my plan worked well until about a week ago.

I got my bag back after the long weekend and to my surprise I was missing some clothes again (my shirts and a towel). Baron and I trade glances as I quickly grab the bag and retreat to the locker room to investigate what happened. There have beenrumors of the equipment room confiscating personal belongings in laundry bags but I never really believed them.

"They took my shirts!" I announced in the locker room and I couldn't even ask for them back without awkwardly admitting that I have been in violation of their strictest policy. Out of principle I would not admit my wrong-doing and let them keep the shirts.

In the waning days of the season the running gag in the wrestling room was "What the hell is Byron wearing today?".. I had no issued clothing left and resorted to sweatshirts, t-shirts from home and on one occasion, the top we use for competition.

Yesterday was the last workout of the year and I decided to admit defeat, bite the bullet and ask the equipment room for my shirts back. As I made my way into the equipment room a figure emerged from the steal cage behind the counter. It was Baron... and he was wearing my shirt!

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