On some of my favorite sites, such as FitSugar, Pintrest, and even 9gag, people are posting about their resolutions – or the resolutioners who will be coming to “crowd our gyms” or “ruin our classes.” And I’ll be honest:
I have a love/hate relationship with health and fitness New Year’s Resolution-ers.
The love comes from the opportunity of a clean slate. I haven’t been a fitness junkie my whole life so there was a time in my life when I made a resolution to change, it just wasn’t during the start of a new year. I think it’s amazing that people want to get healthier, that fellow Americans want to change their fitness and eating habits to improve their lifestyles, and that some of these people maintain these changes and create a better life for themselves. I enjoy teaching someone how to use a new piece of equipment or recommending a class to the women who aren’t sure of their workout style yet, but that requires them to ask.
The hate comes from being a longtime gym employee. I have worked at a gym for almost 8 years and I’ve seen so many people come and go – I know the gym regulars, newbies, and resolution-ers, even now when I only work there about 4 months out of the year, because the regulars are there in every season. The frustration I have with the newbies and resolution-ers is that they often disregard rules, neglect to learn gym courtesy, and sometimes think they run the place when they have hardly been there a few days. I am sorry I don’t know your name, lady-who-is-running-late-to-class-and-didn’t-sign-up, but if you didn’t sign up I am going to give the last pass to Jackie who did follow the rules and sign up. I don’t appreciate being yelled at when I ask to take your picture for our front desk check-in, because “it wasn’t required when you used to work out here occasionally 11 years ago,” – it is now so I’m just doing my job!
For those of us who do go to the gym year round, how can we help these people maintain their new lifestyle? How can we adapt to the swollen numbers in our gyms?
3 Ways to Support
1) If someone asks for help, help them! Don’t just leave them embarrassed, looking like an idiot – people often cite intimidation as one of the main reasons they avoid gyms. We shouldn’t make out gym environment intimidating, it should be welcoming.
2) If someone cuts your turn in line for a machine or tosses your towel aside to take your bike, treat them with kindness and respect while correcting them. Tension only makes these situations worse.
3) When friends or loved ones are changing eating habits or picking a new workout to try offer to do it with them! Even if it is just a bi-weekly Zumba class or getting vegetarian dishes together on your Thursday lunch dates having someone on their side will help them maintain these new habits!
3 Ways to Survive
bitch not-very-nice lady has jacked your spot in 9:30 kickboxing on Mondays. Two options: 1) move to the opposite side or 2) station yourself next to another regular – as regulars you may not be “friends” but you can team up as familiar faces. Plus, she may have been ousted from her old spot last year and willing to welcome you to her space until you can reclaim yours if the witch drops out in February.
2) Find an outdoor activity like running – COLD RUNNING IS AWESOME SERIOUSLY – or use a Groupon/Living Social deal for a new gym that may be less crowded than your establishment. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break from your gym a few days a week and exercising elsewhere.
3) Take classes with your kids. There are a lot of gyms that offer parent/child workout classes that are often significantly less crowded than the usual Thursday am Zumba class. This gives you a chance to inspire your children, have quality time, and get in your workout. My mom and I used to take a kickboxing class together when I was in elementary school and I absolutely loved it.
So today’s Zumba class was great – and by great I mean rough – after yesterday’s deadlifts and squats I was seriously hurting during the squats today in the class. It is pretty adorable (and a little funny) to watch all the older ladies who don’t have a great range of motion just enjoy themselves and do their own dance moves in the same general direction. Props to them for still working out at that age in life – I hope I’m like them someday! It was only my 4th time doing Zumba but I think it’s clear that the instructor makes or breaks the class. I need high intensity and this teacher down here has it, if you really go all out like she does it is brutal!
Mileage – Zumba!
QOD – “Who knew that shaking your ass could be considered exercise? That’s why I do Zumba!”