Columbia, South Carolina’s City Health Department has confirmed that a local CrossFit gym’s 20-foot manila climbing rope is a biohazard.
City spokesman Mark Jacobs said that the report of the woman contracting flesh-eating bacteria on her lower leg attracted their attention, and lead to further investigation.
“The rope in this particular gym has been used for years,” Jacobs told the Overheard Press. “Our study found that a noticeable percentage of athletes received friction-burns on their legs during training, and then proceeded to drag their bloody, seeping flesh-wounds up and down the rope.”
Jacobs explained that this phenomena, which is common among many gyms and fitness centers, leads to a host of dangerous bacteria thriving on the length of the rope. He also noted that the texture of climbings ropes makes them nearly impossible to disinfect.
“We have advised gyms that use climbing ropes to protect children and others with weakened immune systems from exposure.” Jacobs said.
Despite the seriousness of the Health Department’s report, local CrossFit affiliate Kim Morrison wasn’t surprised or concerned.
“We’ve used this rope for years, and nobody has gotten sick,” Morrison said. “And our gym ropes probably see more bodily fluids than a kiddie pool.”
Morrison believes the exposure to bacteria on the rope might actually help boost the immune systems of her athletes, but seemed to grow visibly ill as she pondered the extent to which her ropes have been exposed to biohazardous material.
“Between seeping leg wounds, bloody hands, and crotch sweat, it’s basically like climbing a giant used tampon.”