Maybe it’s because the new year arrived on a Wednesday. My gym wasn’t crowded that day, nor has it been the rest of the week. But I have a feeling beginning Monday they’ll invade in droves. You know who I’m talking about.
The New Year’s Resolution People.
They make sure the cardio equipment isn’t available to us “regulars.” They walk around in a daze trying to figure out how to use the various machines. They scan the room, their eyes darting wildly, checking to see if anyone is noticing their newbieness. They leave their crap all over the dressing room, not knowing “how things are done here.”
Every year I hear the gym regulars complaining, “It’s going to be awful around here until Valentine’s Day.” I used to be one of the grumblers. But a few years ago a spin teacher spent the last week of the year lecturing our class. He told us to expect the large crowds. He reminded us that many of the New Year’s Resolution People feel awkward and perhaps a little scared. He told us that by our willingness to show patience and kindness maybe, just maybe, a few of those folks will stick around the whole year and get healthy along with the rest of us.
And so, come Monday, I may have to set my alarm a little earlier to get ahead of the crowd. Finding a gym locker might be more of a challenge. “My” machine may be taken. But if I’m willing to show some hospitality, perhaps some of those newbies will join our health and fitness tribe. And that will make my community all the better.
What about you? Are you willing to be a welcoming gym member? What are your strategies for dealing with the crowds? Hit me with a comment.
I just wish the gyms were more proactive in that they would hold introduction classes to teach the new people about the equipment, go over the rules and help get people know one another. This would go a long way in retaining those new members.
But I sometimes think that the gyms prefer that the new people fade away after awhile so they can collect the monthly membership dues without having the expense of maintaining the equipment.
A monthly New Member Orientation would be a great thing!