Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The New Year's "Resolutionists" ....

This was posted on the BeginnerTriathlete.com website by marmadaddy and I thought you fellow gym rats would appreciate it:

As happens every year around this time, over the next few days we should
start to see posts from people making observations about their gyms,
particularly how crowded they are with new people. A couple of years back I
posted the following in response to some of those observations. It has become
something of a tradition that I re-post it in order to add a little perspective
to what will surely be stressful and inconvenient in the coming weeks for many
of us.
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
And from helping others through them.


  1. Nice quote. I thought it was going to end in flaming all those folks, but instead he gives these people respect despite the inconvenience. I feel the exact same way. I know that the gym will be crowded and I always try to help those who look a bit confused. My hope is that a few of those folks will continue a fit and healthy lifestyle. I know the percentage will be low, but I also know that there will be a handful of folks that will share my enthusiasm.

  2. ...The bubbler is blocked by someone who is trying
    hard not to look totally out of their element...

    Isn't a "bubbler" UK-speak for a drinking fountain?

    I share Boomer's opinion. I thought he was going to slam these people...and I hate to say it, I've had those same thoughts when I was using a club.

    As I've gotten older, wiser, tamer and in better shape, I've come to hope these people stick with it. When I see someone way-overweight jogging by the road, I want to encourage them. They're DOING something, and somewhere along the way, they chose to get started.

  3. Very true! More of the reason that I like working out at home this time of the year. In many ways, I dread the weekend crowds at the gym throughout January & February, but it is good to see people making an effort to change their lives.

  4. Usually I would be the guy to make fun of this beginning of a new year phenomenon but this post made me think about it a little different and be more open minded. You guys have been reading my posts for awhile and probably notice that me and confrontations seem to collide quite often and a lot of time I am the cause of said confrontations! - but maybe I can be a resolutionist myself and resolve to be a kinder, nicer jeff in this new decade!

  5. I hope you feel better. I guess you're just not used to that cold weather you've been experiencing in Houston. I hate the resolutionists also, because my spin and row classes get full and I can't get in. I'm glad I'm doing some home work-outs not also. Happy New Year.