Those flip-flops in front of the bathroom at the gym...

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Those flip-flops in front of the bathroom at the gym AREN'T there to protect your feet. They're there to protect my face! That means:
  • Number one: Wear them!
  • Number two: Don't wear them ANYWHERE ELSE in the gym.
  • Number three: Don't use your own flip-flops or street shoes in the bathroom.
  • Number four: WEAR THEM!
We wear the flip-flops in front of the bathroom at the gym because we don't want the funk on the bathroom floor to get on our feet. NOT because we're concerned about our feet. But we're concerned about our faces and other sensitive areas of skin on our body. That funk promotes the spread of horrible bacteria and fungus. Bacteria and fungus which can lead to horrible skin diseases. The last thing we want is for bacteria to colonize anywhere on our body causing an infection like MRSA. That's right, I said it. MRSA. Flesh eating bacteria. It's about as bad as skin infections get, but it's a real threat. ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE NOT USING THE FLIP-FLOPS IN FRONT OF THE BATHROOM AT THE GYM! Photo Mar 06, 11 27 08 AM Don't believe me? Ask Kenny Florian, Big Nog, Mayhem Miller, Forrest Griffin, Diego Sanches, to name a few... Here's an article about staph infections in MMA (Warning: Graphic Images) Imagine this scenario: You walk into the gym off the street and head back to the bathroom to, oh, I don't know... relieve yourself. You skip taking off your shoes at the front of the gym because you're gonna need to put those flip-flops in front of the bathroom on anyway. You're smart; you're thinking ahead. WRONG. Firstly, all the crud from the bottom of your shoes which you have been wearing all day and stepping in who-knows-what has now left a trail from the front door to the bathroom. Then, once you're done in the bathroom, the funk from the bathroom and what's left of the crud from your shoes makes a trail from the bathroom over to the changing area, or maybe even back to the front of the gym where you take your shoes off, FINALLY. Now... there are several other people in the gym who have already followed protocol and taken off their shoes at the front. They've used the flip-flops in front of the bathroom when utilizing said bathroom and taken off the flip-flops and left them in front of the bathroom when they're done. BUT, because you tracked all the crud from the street and the funk from the bathroom all over the floor of the gym already... their bare feet are wallowing in it. What happens next? "THEY WASH THEIR DAMN FEET!" you might be saying. Nope. They step on the mat. They aren't aware that there has been a breech of protocol; that some one didn't know how to use the three seashells... I mean, the flip-flops in front of the bathroom. They're clueless that someone is tracking crud and funk all over the gym floor. What happens on the mat? Bumps, shrimps, rolls, breakfalls, guard passing, armbars, kimuras... general ass-kickery. Does your face ever touch the mat in the process of this ass-kickery? Mine does. A lot. Not only that, but my hands are ALL over the mat (not when in someones guard, mind you), all the time. Hands naturally gravitate towards the face. I keep talking about the face because it's the worst place to imagine the possible urine and fecal matter from the bathroom floor being exposed to. No one wants shit and piss, and the bacteria that comes along with it, on their face,  or any other part of their body for that matter. But that's what it boils down to. Sure, we don't want the crud and funk on the bottom of our bare feet. But it doesn't end there. That's why we use the flip-flops in front of the bathroom to walk in and out, AND THAT'S IT. We don't use any other footwear which is worn elsewhere. We don't bring our own because we have the fear of foot-cooties. We especially don't wear the flip-flops in front of the bathroom ANYWHERE else in the gym. If your gym doesn't have flip-flops in front of the bathroom to use, go to Walmart and pick up a pair or two and institute the practice of wearing them to protect one another's faces. So, to recap:
  • Take your damn street shoes off at the front of the gym.
  • Use the flip-flops provided for you to walk into and out of the bathroom, THAT'S IT.
  • Don't use your own footwear in the bathroom.
  • If your gym doesn't have flip-flips for patrons to use while in the bathroom, get some.
My apologies for the semi-strong language used in this blog post. This is something I'm passionate about: mat sanitation. Next time we'll talk about what to do if you've got an open sore that's bleeding while training. Keep training, right? Get blood all over the mat, right? WRONG. I digress... I care about you guys. I don't want any of you to get MRSA or any other skin disease.        

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