With all the other stuff vying for memory space—get more milk, pay the mortgage, call my sister—the last thing I want to add is some random numerical gym lock combination. And if the Wordlock folks have anything to say about it, I won't have to.

April 15, 2010

By Su Reid-St. John
With all the other stuff vying for memory space—get more milk, pay the mortgage, call my sister—the last thing I want to add is some random numerical gym lock combination. And if the Wordlock folks have anything to say about it, I won't have to.

Just as the name suggests, the "combination" for their sturdy padlock is a 4–5 letter word. Cool, I thought: Scrabble for the gym set. (Bonus: It comes in bright red and sassy pink, for easy locker-spotting.)

But with my very first choice, ZOERS (my daughter's first name and last initials), I encountered a snag: There's no Z. Okay, how about ERICR, for my husband? Nope. KYMTA, for my aforementioned sister? Sorry.

The Wordlock touts that there are 100,000 possible letter combinations to be made from the 10 letters on each of the 5 dials, but that doesn't mean 100,000 viable words, much less 100,000 words that mean enough to me that I would remember them.

Luckily, it comes with suggestions, including some inspirational ones like BLISS, FEAT, and SOAR. Others, though, are questionable: How motivating is it, really, to have your gym locker combo be DORK, LOSER, or FAIL? Do you really want to head into spin class with PAIN, TOIL, or WAIL on your mind? Or even more ominously, ATONE? (If that's the word you're drawn to, you may have more pressing matters to attend to than hanging around the gym.)

After some experimenting, I came up with several easily remembered options of my own: BRENR (my best friend), PATSY (my mom), SPEED (I'm training for a 5K), and the one I ultimately chose to keep my stuff safe, LOSTY (no explanation needed for fellow Oceanic Flight 815 fans).

Just don't tell anyone, okay?

Product: Wordlock Padlock

Category: Gear

Pros: The word combinations are easier to remember than numerical ones. Plus, the red and pink versions stand out stylishly in the locker room.

Cons: The word choices are limited, so you may have to work at finding one that'll stick in your brain.

Cost: From $2.49 (for silver) to $10 (for red) at Wordlock.com

Extra tip: The company makes colorful cable locks to secure your bike too.

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