I’m sure that every gym has them in January. Those fresh-faced gym-goers, brushing dust from sneakers that have languished since September, pretending to remember how someone told them to use the machines months ago. If they just smile and act like they know what they’re doing, then no one will notice they’re using the leg machine backwards.
They crowd the gym through the first month of the year, full of determination and hope. They clutter the machines and take over the hand weights. Mats are in short supply and the track is almost never empty. I would blame the lack of respect for the posted lane usages on them, but it seems that no one ever pays much attention to them (walk on the inside, run on the outside – is it really that hard?).
Aerobics classes are packed, and the spin classes might not have bikes to spare for a walk-in. The climbing wall attracts new crowds and reservations are required for the racquetball courts. No room to lay down in the sauna and good luck squeezing into the hot tub, a favorite spot for resolutionists.
And it’s good they’re there. Sure, the crowds are a bit irksome to the regulars, but we know they won’t last. Mid-February, March at the latest, and the crowds will have thinned back to those of us who put going to the gym high on the list of priorities. The crazy ones among whom I now count myself.
The few who join our ranks will be as I once was. They will find that exercise does more than work the body. It focuses the mind and soothes the spirit. Hard physical effort can exhaust the body, but it brings compensatory satisfaction. These realizations are what turn resolutionists into regulars.