Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gym Reminder

In January, I loathe going to the gym. Not because I am lazy or procrastinating - but it's CROWDED. With a new bunch of people in brand new clothes, with brand new ipod's they don't know how to use- taking up good locker space, parking space, pool lanes, treadmills, etc.

Getting in the way. Taking up air space. Going "mad hard" as my kids say, and we alllll know they won't last long.

They annoy the CRAP outta me. I usually have the move mentality when I am in the gym anyway, and these "resolutionists" really don't help.

I participate in a great online forum - Beginner Triathlete - that provides incredible friendly support to all levels of multisport athletes. If you haven't been there and participated, definitely check it out. I am reprinting with permission the following message from Marmadaddy of BeginnerTriathlete. I think the below is truly the correct perspective we should all have about the new folks in the gym, on the track, in the pool. After all, we were ALL the new person at one point or another.



We're endurance athletes. We train all year not only outside, but also at the gym and the pool. We can expect some serious crowding in both places for the next few weeks. It happens every year.

Suddenly we have to add 30 minutes to our scheduled gym time because of the "resolutionists". There are no parking places. When you do manage to find one and get to the locker room 10 minutes behind schedule, there aren't any lockers available and the door is blocked by someone trying to remember the way to the weight room. In there, the machines you need to use are all occupied by people in new track suits pushing too much weight with truly horrible form.

The bubbler is blocked by someone who is trying hard not to look totally out of their element. You can't get in the pool because it's jammed with people using pull buoys on their arms and kickboards as flotation devices. Half the lanes have people with no goggles and baggy swim trunks down to their knees who can't swim an entire lap.

The whole freakin' place is filled with...with...


It's one of my favorite sights. I've never been in a place more full of hope than a gym during the first week of January. It's a place full of people giving action to their dreams. People who for that day are making an effort to be fit, to improve themselves, to live a better quality of life. The effort and courage it takes them to get there that morning is huge. It certainly exceeds what it takes me. I know where everything is. I know the pool etiquette. I know what my workout is going to be and how to use the machines. I'm not the least bit embarrassed to take my shirt off in the locker room. This is routine for me. These new people will be showing a lot of courage and determination by going to the gym in the next few weeks and they'll deserve my respect. They'll get it.

It wasn't that long ago that I was one of them. During the next few weeks I'll be making an effort to help some of these people feel a little less uncomfortable. Maybe make eye contact with some of them, be ready to give a nod or say hello.

Once we're halfway into February, the crowds will be gone. Parking will be easy. Machines will be available again. The wait at the pool will go away. We know this. We're endurance athletes. We know the reward that comes from sticking through the hard parts.

And from helping others through them.

1 comment:

  1. And don't forget that it is those beginners who pay for the new machines, etc. at the gym so that your gym fees can stay low...