This year, I have seen a lot of posts ranting against or making fun of New Year’s resolution gym goers. Honestly, this makes me a little mad. And here is my rant as to why.
One of the arguments against the people who are starting their fitness journey at this time of year is that they are taking up all of the equipment. So? Isn’t that what the equipment is there for? To be used? I understand that this can be frustrating to people who have a routine and want to go into the gym and do their usual stuff and they are now forced to share a little more. But it isn’t your equipment. You don’t own it. If it is so important to have access to certain pieces of equipment at a very specific time and you can’t wait a couple minutes to take a turn, maybe you should consider purchasing it for yourself. Otherwise, branch out, modify what you were going to do, or simply be a grown up and wait your turn. Politely. Everyone has paid to be there, and you are not more entitled than anyone else.
Next, about all of this nonsense about “they’re going to quit after a couple of weeks anyway.” I’ll address this on a couple of levels. First off, these people pay a membership, which helps keep the business afloat. Having people pay memberships keeps your gym open, funds new equipment, pays for the staff, and so many other things. So the more memberships, the more improvements your gym can make. Isn’t that a check in the “win” column? And secondly, maybe they won’t quit! Forming new habits can be difficult. Maybe they have tried a dozen times before to start a workout routine. Maybe this will be the time that sticks! Or maybe it isn’t but they have still increased their activity level for a few days and this is better than nothing. They may have learned a little more that will help them in the future. I liken starting the gym to quitting smoking in that it can take many attempts to get it right. Stopping working out (or continuing to smoke) isn’t failing. It is just practice for the next time.
I have a huge problem with shaming anyone who is attempting to improve themselves. No one is perfect and everyone has to start somewhere. So some people have had habits, life circumstances, medical problems, or other reasons for ending up with an unhealthy body. Shouldn’t we be cheering them on for trying to make changes? Wouldn’t encouraging them to stay consistent and keep coming to the gym be the right thing to do? A lot of people are already embarrassed at where they are at, so what point are you trying to make by making them feel worse? And, at the very least, if you aren’t going to encourage or lift people up, shut the fuck up and don’t say anything. Putting people down, especially when they are trying to improve, doesn’t make you better than them. It makes you an asshole.
I proudly support New Year’s resolution gym goers, the people who start in the springtime to work on their bathing suit bodies, the people who only run during the summer, and anyone who starts working out at any time. I can confidently say that you will always be welcome at the New England Fitness Compound, and with the FitCrew for our workouts. Find a place that will welcome and embrace you, no matter where you are in your journey. I’ll be saving a high-five and/or a sweaty hug just for you!