sunken city hike

Charlotte And The Sauna Trauma

As I mentioned in my last post, I like to think of myself as an overachiever. This is the explanation I must credit for the fact that I have already accomplished my most embarrassing moment of 2018. I mean, super impressive, right? Here we are, only SEVEN¬†days in, and I’ve already checked “highly embarrassing blunder” off my 2018 bucket list!

The story begins with a quasi-hike in Palos Verdes. What do I mean by quasi-hike, you ask? The working definition is when your friend’s neighbors recommend to her this “really cool hike,” so you go to check it out.

In order to get to the trailhead of said quasi-hike, we were instructed to slip through a warped gap in metal bars to which many graffitied NO TRESPASSING SIGNS are affixed. I love to laugh in the face of a good red flag and proceed carelessly, so naturally, we did not think anything of this.

However, upon breaking and entering, we realized that rather than being an actual hike involving steep climbs, switchbacks with rewarding ocean views, and rugged cardio intervals, where we had showed up to was a derelict, delinquent hangout that druggie youths utilize for initiation ceremonies and spray painting parties and cliff jumping. I mean, if you are doing hiking the proper way, you don’t usually see face-tattooed guys carrying a 36 pack of beer at 11AM, or dudes drinking straight out of bottles of vodka, or toothless weirdos leering at you and saying, “hey ladiessss” when you’re on the trail. They call it Sunken City, but I’m pretty sure a better name might be Drunken City.

We quickly developed a backup plan that involved catching up over coffee rather than quasi-hiking. Yet I left the meet-up with a distinct need to still accomplish a strenuous work out for the day.

Clad in my brand new running shoes, I hit the gym and treadmilled like I was being chased for miles by all the hooligans of Drunken City. After a cool down and some ab work I entered the sauna for a little detoxification. And then, it was all downhill from there. And I do mean this quite literally.

The sauna is basically a human game of tetris as you attempt to wedge yourself around the other people that are in there, while avoiding the visibly wet spots that are like the sweat graveyard of the recent inhabitants. Everyone refuses to yield any ground to you lest they reveal the astonishing magnitude of their own molten sweat pool they are currently seated atop. Undeterred, I positioned myself in the upper, 2nd level corner, away from the three men that were already present, laid out my towel, and let the detoxification begin.

Not too long after, I was feeling overheated and ready to exit. I stood up, and somewhere between the 2nd level and the floor, I managed to very gracefully discover that swimmers had left puddles of water all over, and I did not yet have a grip (PUN INTENDED) on the traction of my new gym shoes on wet floor. And let me tell you, the way this realization HIT me was in a fully flailing explosion of limbs as I slip-slide-slammed my way from level 2 to ground level of the sauna room floor.

Luckily, I have a lot of prior experience in major wipe-outs, through which I have learned a very cute way to salvage your tumble is to throw your arms in the air above your head and shout, “TA DA!” as if falling down was actually some cool gymnastics move you totally intended on doing.

I hoped that by doing this, the three guys in the sauna would play along and thus downplay the humiliation factor by clapping and being like, “yes, 10/10, you really stuck the landing on that one.”

Instead, they just stared at me with expressions of horror and shouted, “ARE YOU INJURED?!” Which, honestly, was even worse than just flat out laughing.

I closed my eyes and replied, “yes, I believe I have just suffered a major scale permanent fracture to my pride. The prognosis does not look good as I must endure a long road of recovery ahead from this sauna trauma.” One guy sweetly offered to go do a belly-flop into the pool to make me feel better, but I was just so abhorred about how I had majorly put the ass in embarrassment that I tiptoed on my slippery shoes all the way to the exit of the gym before bursting into maniacal laughter alone in my car.

I mean, I already know that my life has hit rock bottom. Now I have a very real bruise on one side of my butt to be a literal painful reminder. And as I sit here, lopsided, on the uninjured butt-cheek side, I’m just trying not to think about the tragic reality that I’m much more likely to be caught falling down than falling in love.

I guess that’s what you would call ending the weekend with a bang?¬†The universe never ceases to amaze me with its sense of humor, no butts about it.