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The Professional Athlete’s Guide to Hand-Washing

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer by Brett Marlow is licensed under CC BY ND-3.0

The Professional Athlete’s Guide to Hand-Washing

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

I’m behind the times. I get that. It’s been well over a week since Noah Syndergaard and J.A. Happ dealt with bouts of Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease. People have likely already forgotten that two MLB pitchers were unable to properly cleanse their hands of fecal matter. In today’s 24-hour news cycle world, what happened last week might as well have happened last year. But it’s never not time to talk about personal hygiene.

I’m sure the schedule of a professional athlete can be extremely busy. You’ve got meetings, practice, and games filling up your day. But not matter how busy one might be, there is always time to properly wash your hands, especially if you found time to use the restroom. With that being said, I’ve come up with the perfect hand-washing guide for athletes

Step 1: Water

So you’ve gone to the bathroom. Whether it’s been smooth sailing or an intestinal battle, you’re first step after wiping is to turn your faucet on. Try using as little of your wiping hand as possible, as to not transfer whatever remnants might’ve missed your toilet paper completely. If you’ve wiped with your right hand, use your left. Don’t have a left hand? That’s ok! Get creative! There is no wrong way in turning on a faucet.

I highly suggest using clean water. Using dirty water is counterproductive, and, in some cases, worse than just not washing your hands at all. Not sure of the clarity of the water in your city, ask somebody! Or search the internet. Google can go a long ways in situations like this.

You’re going to want to find a temperature that suits you. Something that’s pleasant to put your hands under for approximately 2 minutes. Too hot and your skin might melt off. Too cold and you might get frost bite, leading to an amputation of your hands. Both of these will lead to you never getting Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease, but they will also mean you’ll never be able to properly hold a fork again. Or run your hands through your partners hair.

I like my hot side of the sink to be at at 3:30 position and my cold side to be at a 4:00 position. It’s pleasant to the touch. Sometimes I forget where I am and before I know it, my hands have been under water for an hour. If this happens to you your hands will become pruny, but don’t worry, that just means they are clean.

Step 2: Soap

Make sure you have some soap within arms reach. I suggest using hand soap, as it was made specifically for hands. Dish soap is primarily for dishes. Some of you might have dish-sized hands (I’m looking at you Josh Allen) but no matter the size of the hands, still use hand soap. 

You’ll notice,when you’re buying hand soaps, that there are various scents. If vast amounts of possibilities scare you, you may be tempted to just buy some unscented soap. But treat yourself. You deserve it. Pick lavender or something with hibiscus. That way when you’re shadow boxing in the gym, you get a whiff of elegance and sophistication. You’re a professional athlete. You deserve good smelling hands.

Step 3: Lather

Here’s where all that time at the gym is gonna come in hand. You’re gonna wanna rub every surface of your hands with the soap. Make sure you get between every finger. Leave no space untouched. But be careful. Rubbing too hard could lead to blisters, which if you’re a pitcher, could mean you’re out for at least two weeks. If you’re a hockey player, go as hard as you want. You’re tough, you can handle anything.

Step 4: Rinse

You’re in the home stretch now. You’ve got the water at the perfect temp and you’re properly lathering the most beautifully scented soap this nose has ever smelled. Now, it’s time to wash away your hard work. Run your soapy hands under the water and watch all that crappy bacteria disappear like a wicked soul that’s been saved. Nothing is more picturesque than the waterfall flowing into your sink created by your hands. Enjoy this moment. This is bliss.

Step 5: Towel Dry

You’ve just worked really hard. I understand it might have even been difficult work if you’re not used to it. Treat yourself with this final step. Find the softest, fluffiest towel your local Bed Bath and Beyond stocks and buy it in three different colors. Not only will your hands appreciate it, but your house guests will enjoy the use of color in your bathroom. 

Make sure your get your hands bone dry. You don’t want to leave any droplets on your hands. Any moisture remaining could alter the handling of a football or the control of a curveball. This could be devastating to your career and I would hate to have personal hygiene be the reason why you had to retire at an early age.

Don’t let the simple nature of these tasks fool you. Intense focus is necessary to make sure your hands are clean. Half-assing any of these steps  could cause you to get a disease that only preschoolers get. And that would be a terrible look for a professional athlete, especially one who’s named after a Norse God and comic book hero. 

Isn’t that right, Thor?

Actor, Voice-Over Artist, Sports Blog writer. Joseph Dalfonso is an unconventional triple-threat. Joseph grew up in the great beautiful state of Maine and now resides in New York City. Joseph is an avid New England sports fan who loves a good flannel every now and again.

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