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Toenail Clipping And Other Gym Grossouts

A climbing gym isn't your home, so exactly what is cool and not cool to do there?

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Clipping your toenails in the middle of the gym is totally disgusting—am I right?—Zack N., Augusta, ME

AMtoenails

You are. And it’s not the only nasty gym-etiquette offense. For easy identification, I’ve made a list of the nastiest offenders and how they can de-grossify.

  1. The Clipper. Those fungus-laced, ballistic stench-crescents cannot be contained—no matter how hard you try—and I don’t want to step on them or have one land in my chalkbag. Alternative: Clip nails at home, out by your car, or in the gym’s bathroom.
  2. The Biohazard. We all know the mélange of moist awfulness that graces a bathroom floor. Don’t go in there in your climbing shoes only to sashay back out and smear every surface (and handhold) available with your toddler footwork. Alternative: Take 10 seconds to put on your street shoes or a pair of flip-flops. And wash your hands. You nasty.
  3. The Yard Sale. You open your gear bag and spray forth stuff like the Mount St. Helens of chalk, nylon, sticky rubber, and beanies. Alternative: Every gym has cubbies. Full? Keep stuff you’re not using in your bag and neatly stow the bag somewhere.
  4. The Bleeder. You huck big for a grainy jug, catch the hold, swing out, and rip a massive flapper in the process. Then you laugh, fill it with chalk, and continue climbing, leaking blood everywhere. Great job. Alternative: Head to the front desk for some tape and a Band-Aid. Then, march your ass straight to the bathroom (wearing appropriate footwear, see above), clean the area, apply the Band-Aid, and tape over it.
  5. The Greased Pig. I see folks over in the workout facility wiping down machinery every time they use it. This is not a thing that greasy climbers seem to worry about as they slip-slide all over the crashpads. Alternative: A shirt helps. So does Speed Stick. And a healthy dose of self-awareness.

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