Christian Ross

The Art Of The Shower

Most rarely think much about the shower, usually just enough to know that they’re needed and on most days it’s worked into their routine. I’m not most people. I’m about to tick some Greens™ off… but I am all about the shower. The longer the better. In fact, even when I try for a quick one, it rarely ends in less than five minutes.

Why do I tell you all of this? Cause I’m about to rock your [shower] world.

While you’ve probably put very little thought into it; I’ve been carefully crafting, honing and refining my shower routine for years. Today you got a shower, you follow my lead and tomorrow you have an experience.

Showering is about preparation

A great shower isn’t happening if the elements aren’t right. Just as if you were throwing a huge party, careful consideration and pre-planning must occur for the perfect shower. Your shower is your daily party.

Ever attended a party where you casual’ed it up while everybody else went penguin style? Welcome to the similar feelings you get when you realize that you just hopped in your morning shower and failed to notice pre-soak that the soap dish was empty. Yep, that’s you. You could lay blame on the previous inhabitant for not restocking but you’re still getting out and dripping crazy amounts of water on the floor just to remedy. Good luck not eating it when you forget about the wet floor after you’re all done.

What about a forgotten towel? Even worse. At least missing soap affords the opportunity to warm back up with a full shower ahead. Thanks a lot, laundry day.

While you’re preparing, don’t forget to bring in your clothes ahead of time so they’re nice and warm for you (even if this means you’re ironing pre-shower) and figure out a way to create the least amout of contact with your bare feet and the tile floor. Floor-mats are acceptable but when paired with a space heater, you’re golden.

And for the final (and possibly most important) pre-planning I present to you:

The Dump/Shower Method

This might ruffle some feathers.

I can’t claim ownership for it, but since day one of my knowledge of it, I have been a follower and a firm believer in The Dump/Shower Method. In college, one of my roommate’s took the time to enlighten the rest of us on a secret that will not only help you but haunt you for the rest of your life.

In any and every circumstance, if there’s even the slightest possibility you’ve got to do a #2 within the next four hours, you implement The Dump/Shower Method. It’s simple to do and genius in its process; the one and only rule is that your “business” comes before your shower. The D/SM saves anxiety, time and toilet paper in the process. You know you’ve been in the situation of a post-shower wipe at some point in your life, and you regretted every moment of it. So much so that you contemplated getting back in the shower to cleanse yourself again. It’s okay, I’ve been there.

Showering is about rhythm

Gloria Estefan was singing about more than dancing when she reminded us that the rhythm was going to get us. I’m not advocating dancing in the shower unless you’ve got some sort of anti-slip mat (of which I’m not a fan of anyways) but I am going to point out that you’ve got to establish a routine.

In my shower there’s a perfect spot that I rarely stray one to two degrees from on the temperature dial. But I never start there. I’m a crank-it-up-all-the-way guy to make sure it’s at level scalding first and then I back it down to where I want it. This works two-fold: first it allows for the fastest warm-up and second it pre-heats the shower floor so I’m not mistreating my feet anymore than I have too.

There’s also the routine of how you cleanse yourself as well. I’m a ground-up kind of guy for soap and shampoo but I know some top-down people as well. In fact, top-down is probably a better method because you’re not contaminating clean body parts (ie. feet) with dirty parts as you might be with the ground-up. I’ve contemplated this often but haven’t yet strayed from my ways. I’ll reconsider.

Other things that I’ll just scratch the surface with are some who shave (males, specifically) and those who brush their teeth in the tub as well. I incorporate neither of these techniques into my daily, but if I had a fogless mirror I might entertain the de-whiskering.

Establish your routine, make it work for you, and practice it enough to make it habit.

Showering is about enlightenment

I’m not exactly sure on the count at this point, but I’ve probably solved about half of the world’s problems in the shower. Whether its the soothing sounds, the cleansing of the sinuses or the warm embrace of flowing water, your brain can kick into Albert Einstein mode when you’re in the shower zone.

Some of my best written work and project ideas were hatched, modified or mapped out in the shower. Heck, I bet most of the pioneering thoughts and devices of the twentieth century were hatched in the shower. The toaster oven, the post-it note, tilt-shift photography and even Little Debbie cakes could have all been a spark while someone was scrubbing their hair.

I encourage you to use the shower to benefit all mankind. Who knows, you might discover the next big cure.

Showering is about freedom

When my two-year old takes a bath, it’s all fun time for him. He shoots baskets, he colors on the walls and he squirts me with rubber ducks to just name a few. At some point between adolecense and adulthood, we lost the wonder of the tub. Let loose in the shower, get your inner child back. Whether you’re giving yourself a shampoo mohawk or trying out for American Idol, rock that daily shower.

Showering is all about a comfort zone

There’s not a lot about showering I don’t love, really just a few things come to mind. The cold shower is a terrible thing to have to endure but not quite as bad as having to give it a go in a foreign shower. It’s the pits. I’m not recommending forgoing the shower on foreign soil but I will point out that once you find your shower happy place, you will be out of the zone once you cross enemy lines. It’s not just an all or nothing type of thing but more of a sliding scale so at least you have a small shot of peace on the road. Mine are broken into three categories but you can classify/organize the non-home use tub any way you like.

the out-of-towner

The OOT is by far the least of the three evils, usually a relative or close friend that you’re having to share or invade their space. As your usage grows your comfort level will too but you’ll never reach the plateau of your own water abode.

the multi-plex

Most commonly found in college dorms, this one will make you cringe. You won’t be able (nor should you have the desire) to grow into a peace with this one. Whether you’re stuck in the divider wall or heaven forbid the open-floor plan, all is not well. Shower shoes are a must and the ability to block out strange noises from other participants is a plus.

the mother-of-all-things-tetanus

I pray that there’s never a time in your life that you will endure the setup we used and turned a daily blined-eye to in college. There aren’t words to describe what the rust was doing to the walls and floor but yet we powered through. In my last trip to the doctor, I asked the doctor for a double-shot on the tetanus just to make sure I wasn’t still carrying. There are no pictures left to share but honestly the image that would be burned into your memory from them would be cause for you to end our friendship. I still cry myself to sleep.

The shower is an adventure unto itself. I encourage you to spend some time establishing your goals for this daily occurrence. Do you want to be the kind of person who just hastily rushes through this menial task while saving the finite, precious resource we have called pure water? Or would you rather join the ranks of those of us who take great pride in their shower techniques and their body and mind daily thank them? That’s what I thought.

Go forth and cleanse.


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6 responses to “The Art Of The Shower”

  1. Dave Ruiz says:

    I live by the dump/shower method. Just saying.

  2. Christian says:

    I wouldn’t have expected anything less.

  3. Mom says:

    Yes, the college shower is forever burned in my memory also. As for your other thoughts….TMI.

  4. Craig says:


    It is important to enlighten your reader that in order for the dump/shower method to be successful one must really work in a daily routine. It has to approached methodically upon the same day and time, or the process is lost. To perfect the route is not an means to an end but must be approached with great patience and fiber.

    Also, the cleansing process after the dump is a very strategic strategy. It is all about precision as you go through the process in the shower. If you would like me to post step-by-step pictures for your blog I would be happy to. Let me know?

  5. Christian says:

    I appreciate the extra insight, but there’s not a chance in this world I want any more elaboration from you on the subject.

    Man, I thought I was crossing the line…

    Thanks again for the enlightenment so many years ago.

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