It’s Dec. 28, which means it’s time to start brainstorming New Year’s resolutions.
I don’t think I need to tell you that most people are trying to lose some weight this year. It’s a shared goal for most Americans.
You know what 2017 would be even better without? Those who complain about “resolutioners” clogging up the gym, then smugly joking that they’ll only be there for a week or two.
If you’ve ever posted about that on Facebook, re-evaluate. As a bigger guy who, yeah, uses the start of a new year to get my butt in better shape, I am fed up with consistent gym-goers who mock those trying to get started.
Everyone starts somewhere. Maybe you started getting fit when you were in high school and through hard work, you’ve kept a pretty fit body for 15 years. Congratulations! I’m so proud of you.
Now imagine if, when you first hopped on the elliptical or started working out with freeweights, someone just mocked you for even being there. Told you that you’ll just give up anyway, so you might as well move out of my way.
I know. You’re reading that and scoffing. Saying, “No way, I’d push that jackass out of my way and finish my set!”
But not everyone has that mindset. They go to the gym, maybe for the first time in their lives, in search of something better for themselves. They’re not there to actively mess up your workout cycle.
Now we have people who eagerly want to change their lives for the better. People who want to become healthier. People who want to fit into a slimmer outfit. People who just want to look better naked.
They’re not trying to mess up your day. They’re willing to wait for the machine. They’re willing to learn how to use it (and they’ll need time to do that). All they want is to better their lives.
And you mock them for it. I hope it really makes you feel better.
Will you have to get to the gym a bit earlier next week? Yeah. Is that a huge inconvenience? If you’re really going to the gym to work out, not at all. Get there a bit earlier (or later). Check out a workout class at another time. More people are gonna be at your gym in early January, but hey … this isn’t your private workout area! Just as with most things in life, you’re going to have to accept coexistence.
What the people who go to the gym on Jan. 1 are really looking for is a supportive environment. I was lucky to have gym teachers in high school who encouraged me to keep pushing. I’ve been super, super, super lucky to find class instructors who know what I’m going through and want me to keep coming back. I’ve made friends through gyms, when they could’ve just been happy that my laziness would someday equal a free spot in future classes. That kind of support makes me want to come back and keep coming back.
So here’s my challenge to you, if you’re about to post about those resolutioners:
Instead of complaining about this on Facebook, try something better. Help them out. If you see someone struggling on a machine or looking for a spotter, be that supporter. Losing weight is damn near impossible to do alone and even harder when people in the gym actively wait for you to cancel your membership.
Offer a thumbs-up and a smile. High-five them in class. Offer to help explain workout safety, if they appear to struggle. Be the kind of person who supported you starting out.
You never know. That resolutioner might just turn into your next workout partner.