It takes you an hour to park in the garage. You walk into the gym; every single cardio machine is occupied. Spin class is 100% full. Disgruntled, you decide to run around the teeny tiny track before you start your strength building routine. Where did all these people come from? Oh right, it’s January.
Gym rats everywhere hate January. Why? Yup, you guessed it: the resolutioners. Everyone and their mom makes a resolution to get fit or to lose __ lbs or to exercise more. They hog machines, take up space, and, more often than not, have really bad technique. Knowing that they will flake out and be gone by mid February, gym frequenters wish nothing but for them to just quit now. What difference does a few weeks make?
I found myself in this spot from Jan 2 to a couple days ago. I was tired of having to park in the auxiliary lot across the street due to the fact that the line to get into the garage was literally all the way around the Downtown YMCA building. “Ugh. Just go home, you phonies,” I thought to myself. I felt entitled to a good spot because I go to the gym at least 3 days (usually 6 days) a week year round. I was dedicated to this gym. I worked hard to be where I am now. I had convinced myself that I was better than them because of that.
But the other day, I realized something. I don’t deserve the gym anymore than they do and I shouldn’t wish them away. I shouldn’t mean mug them every time they swing their bicep curls up with their back (Super bad for your back and doesn’t work your bicep properly. Don’t do that.) I should want them to be healthy. Men’s Fitness declared Houston to be America’s fattest city of 2012. According to the CDC, %34 of Houstonians are overweight. We also have the highest number of fast food restaurants at 1,034. That is outrageous! We, as a city, are slowly killing ourselves. If you’ve been watching the Biggest Loser, you know as well as I do that obesity is the cause of a number of life threatening diseases. Web MD has a short summary of the health risks of obesity. I would never wish a disease on someone, so why should I wish them away from the gym. If anything, I should invite more people to come.
My new attitude is going to be as encouraging to the resolutioners as possible (while trying not to be awkward). I want them to be healthy. I want them to keep coming to the gym. Yes, I will be mad at the ones who bail mid February, but who am I to judge which people that will be? I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and hope that they make a life change towards wellness.
Let’s be positive and healthy, okay? Houston doesn’t have to be America’s fattest city forever.