A Different Take on “Resolutioners”

Some people call them “Resolutioners” and some call them “January Joiners” and some call them “those people who hog the treadmills for 45 minutes to slowly walk shuffle”.   I’ve been guilty of harshly judging people who join gyms in January but something changed this year.

I spent a good chunk of Tuesday dreading going to the gym because I was convinced it was going to be overrun by people who had no interest in exercise but were there to suppress feelings of guilt.  You have to understand that my gym is unusually peaceful.  It’s brand new, modern (the treadmills have iPod charging docks and TVs), huge and doesn’t have a lot of members yet since it’s pretty expensive (luckily, I could piggy back onto a family plan that my mom has up in Pennsylvania and I pay next to nothing to be a member).  I’ve been there at 6 pm and maybe 10 treadmills are in use.  There is never a wait for a cardio machine and the weight area, which takes up the entire bottom floor, is usually deserted.  Classes are never full.  Basically it’s the best gym ever.

So I walked into the gym Tuesday night, grumbling about the crowds, and settled on a treadmill.  The person next to me was reading the Economist, which I think takes a fair degree of concentration that obviously detracts from athletic coordination, and he was walking at 2.7 mph.  I suppressed a scream, put down my water bottle, and started to stretch.

As I was warming up I scanned the room – I’m a pretty notorious people watcher – and I saw her.  No, this isn’t a romantic tale, I saw a woman on a treadmill one row over busting her butt at 4 mph. And then I realized: Everyone has to start somewhere.  Heck, I did Couch to 5K last June.  It was recent.  There are a lot of  people who make a resolution to go to the gym out of guilt or to socialize but there are some who are finally getting the guts to change their lives. So I grabbed my stuff and switched treadmills so I could run next to this lady.

I didn’t have the guts to say anything to her – I was too nervous that I’d end up sounding like a know-it-all or a total creeper.  So I just did my thing, smiled at her a few times, and hoped her first trip to the gym wasn’t so miserable that she changed her mind about exercise.  I wish she would have observed my 9:1 run/walk ratio because it really looked like she was going to die a few times but there’s always next time.

So tonight when I go to the gym to do treadmill speedwork (double ugh), I will be more tolerant of the crowds.  Besides, I know the guy reading the economist won’t show up too many more times 😉

How do you deal with increased gym crowds at the beginning of the year? Or are you a gym newbie?

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “A Different Take on “Resolutioners”

  1. I actually just get to the gym a little earlier for classes during the first couple month to ensure I get a space in the class. I used to get “annoyed” by all of the resolutioners too, but I too realized that if a new year is what it takes to get them motivated to change their life, so be it! Plus, I went to that first Zumba class on the 1st Monday of the New Year…so I guess that makes me a resolutioner too!

    • Carly D. @ CarlyBananas

      I agree, it’s nice to see people change.
      I don’t think I’d consider you a resolutioner though. People who just switch gyms around the new year, even to take new classes fall into my “regular old gym member” category. Plus, at least classes have instruction. There’s always a variety of skill – I’m so uncoordinated. I’ll always look like a mess in classes/like I’m brand new 😛

  2. I quit the gym because mine got too busy. I live in SoCal…I need to get my a%* outside.

    • Carly D. @ CarlyBananas

      I hope you enjoy the So Cal weather 🙂 I think I like exercising outside a lot more, even in the cold. I do love taking classes at the gym. I’m not sure I could give those up, even with the big crowds.

  3. What an awesome little story, from one little gym trip! Last year when I went to a teeny tiny gym with only 4 treadmills (Can you imagine?) I woke up at 4AM to go to the gym. No one is there at 4AM.

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