New Year's 'Resolutionists" Crowding Our Gyms

>> Tuesday, January 03, 2012

About a year ago, I published this article on my Examiner page. At that time, I posted something about that here on my blog too, but I thought it would be a good "re-post," so here it is again:

Here's a note I recently saw that helps put the "New Year's crowd" at the gym in perspective. It was written and posted by "Marmadaddy" in a BeginnerTriathlete forum. Marmadaddy is one of BTs site administrators. Here's what he had to say:

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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.

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I read this to my wife, and it really gave us a different perspective on "resolutionists." Have you seen new faces at the gym or in the pool? Be kind to these people - you never know if they are about to become a new training buddy. Happy New Year!

Something to consider before you get too annoyed with those "resolutionists" at your gym. ;)

By the way, there was a new "resolutionist" at our gym yesterday. Henry was determined to not have "0 yards swimming" in 2012 as he noted in his guest-post yesterday about 2011. So he spent 25 minutes in the pool:

Getting changed.

Flexin' his pipes for the ladies.

Learning to splash with Momma.

Afterwards with Daddy.

Scroll down (or click here) to read Henry's funny "guest post" from yesterday. Back with my 2011 totals soon!


Megan 9:17 AM, January 03, 2012  

I am the kind of person to be annoyed by the influx of gym goers in Jan, mostly in the pool though. So I've decided to beat the crowds, I need to get to the gym stupid early and snag my lane. I'll be impressed with the new gym people when they last past the end of February, then I'll be less annoyed.

Emily 9:51 AM, January 03, 2012  

Ok, Henry is the cutest. Ever.

This is a really good perspective on newbies at the gym. I'd usually try to avoid the place for a few weeks, but this sounds better. Maybe some of them will join the endurance athlete crazy train!

TriMOEngr 10:11 AM, January 03, 2012  

What? No Speedo for Henry? Love the cute trunks. Haven't braved the gym yet. Hoping going during business hours might save some of the crowds.

Running In Boise 11:27 AM, January 03, 2012  

You have the cutest, happiest looking baby!

I don't like having to wait for machines, ect at the gym. But mine is open 24 hours, so I can go after work - 1:30am - and there is no wait for anything!

April 1:21 PM, January 03, 2012  

We just moved to a new state- got here Dec 31- and our first trip to our new gym was on the morning of Jan 1. I have found myself trying to casually mention that we had just moved here as I ask "newby" questions of the staff so they don't judge me!

Johna 4:00 PM, January 03, 2012  

By all means... I'm a "newby"!! So my new goal is to make it to March in the gym. Ha!

But I have to say I love your swimming pictures with your son!! We are signing up our six month old for lessons this week (space willing). I can't wait!

Lisa S 8:09 PM, January 03, 2012  

Can I make a suggestion (or request, rather)? I think it's be mighty cute to see hank in a pair of tooty fruities or a true bonafide speedo!!! please!?!

Jen Small 6:19 AM, January 04, 2012  

Seriously, Henry is just so cute. He is so photogenic too. LOVE HIM!!

So just a couple years ago I was a gym newbie and 120lbs+ so I try to be encouraging and supportive to the new faces in my gym-heck, it IS my job.
While it is frustrating dealing with the new crowds, just remember you were new too once.
A little kindness can go a long way to someone who is probably already feeling intimidated, out of place and scared.
Thanks for a thoughful post to be KIND

Michelle 10:46 PM, January 04, 2012  

Love that post. I am of the same mind, love to see all the newbies or returning newbies. That's been me more than a few times in life. I hope they stick with it.

On another note, isn't parenting the best thing ever? Despite all the work we did it again and that's saying something. Two is about it for us though...don't want to be outnumbered!

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