New Year’s gym crowd, you should stay or you should go

Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, this past week predictably brought huge crowds to my local YMCA. Every cardiovascular machine was full, classes were packed, the hallways bustled.

Also predictably, the people who were working out in November and December grumble about the New Year’s resolution throngs. For instance, a friend funnier than I am wrote on Facebook:

Dear people who are going to give up on your fitness resolutions by February: please throw in the towel now so I can park at my gym. There’s a donut in it for you.

That is why we grumble.

It’s not like it’s our personal gym, we know we need to share the locker room and the elliptical. There’s all kind of gym etiquette, from working in on a weight machine someone else is using to limiting your use of cardio machines to 30 minutes, that’s about sharing.

In January, I dream of a row of empty exercise machines like this.  This photo used under a Creative Commons license, courtesy of HealthGauge.

In January, I dream of a row of empty exercise machines like this.
This photo used under a Creative Commons license, courtesy of HealthGauge.

We just get irritated when we have to accommodate a sudden influx of people that we know from experience will be gone by Valentine’s Day. It has happened at multiple gyms I’ve belonged to, in Michigan and in New York, and clearly the same timing holds in L.A., where my friend lives.

Why should I have to pace around to find an open bike when you’re only going to come for a few weeks before you quit? A dozen workouts isn’t going to do anything for your health, so you’re wasting your time and mine.

I had a college roommate who had an 8 a.m. class. She would set her alarm, hit snooze multiple times, then ultimately decide to skip the class. It was this last thing that ticked me off. If you wake your roommates up because you’re going to class, there’s a reason. There’s no point in all of us hearing the alarm if you’re going back to sleep anyway.

Likewise, if you’re going to quit the gym next month, why get in my way now?

So here’s my plea to all the gym newbies across the country: Either stay or go.

It would be great if you started a new commitment to yourself and your health, and you were still with us next year when the New Year’s resolution crowd rolled in. You might feel better, look better, and be happy with yourself for following through.

You deserve that.

Otherwise, can you please step aside for the people who were here before Jan. 1?

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Categories: health and well being

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2 replies

  1. I was feeling the same way, then thought I had to turn it to positive. So now, I am grateful they are keeping fees affordable for us by paying and then not using their memberships. Also, I used to be THAT girl, so I try to have compassion, be supportive and use their optimism as motivation!

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