Looking back, something I am very thankful for is having the experience of being in a locker room with teammates. I remember as a freshman on the wrestling the coaches strongly recommended us to take showers after practice because in wrestling its very easy to spread ringworm and things like that so hygiene is very important. The coaches said if we weren’t comfortable being naked we could wear a swimsuit in the shower (lol).
Momma didn’t raise no bitch so hell no I wasn’t wearing any swimsuit I was balling out with the boys. It helped me get so much more comfortable with my body and just gain general self confidence. I’ve seen 2 locker room fights in my time there. One of them was because a kid slapped someone with his compression shorts and he had hit his breaking point already so boom, fight. The second fight was actually in the shower. The shower room was a square shape with shower heads lining the wall so everyone just stood facing the wall. One kid snuck up behind someone else and started peeing on him. It took someone else yelling out for him to realize what was happening, boom, fight.
Looking back from a #metoo lens, it’s pretty fucked up and some of the things that happened are questionable. I always remember coaches would tell us stories about “the old days” and the things they did in matches and tell us stories about what it was like back then. For us they’re funny stories and moments we tell but I think it helped mentally toughen each other up. Can you go through a tough practice, take your shirt have and then get a searing slap on the back without losing it. Are you going to stand up for yourself or not. It doesn’t even have to be a fight, just saying something back is enough to understand. It helped you bond with your team cracking jokes the way we were created (as weird as it sounds).
Down the line, it’s helped me in a lot of ways. I can have a rough day and still be able to keep moving forward and handling my business. Take knocks and not get phased. I’m not afraid to have to take a shower at the rpac. Being naked in the locker room doesn’t bother me and it doesn’t throw me off when I see other people naked. I’m not afraid about taking my shirt off, I’m comfortable with my body and just my general self confidence is higher partly due to in my opinion having a locker room experience.