Dear New Fitness Enthusiasts,
Happy New Year! I understand that, every January, we are encouraged to take stock of our lives, encouraged to take a look at what’s working, and what’s not, where we’ve been, and where we might like to go from here. I understand this—really I do. It’s culturally embedded into how we identify ourselves. I do it, too, this taking stock. I think about things that are working well, and things that might need to change. Inevitably, many of these life-changes concern diet and fitness.
I have, on and off, been a member of various and sundry gyms since my early twenties (I seem to have been born without what some people refer to as a “working metabolism”—I need to do some research on that someday). Currently, I am a member at Gold’s, mainly because they offer me a discount based upon where I work. Win-win.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Under no circumstances could I be considered a “gym rat.” I am a woman in my mid-forties who goes to the gym six days a week out of sheer habit and an unwillingness to stop eating French fries. My workouts are hardly challenging, but they are workouts nonetheless. Because of them, I allow myself unfettered access to the aforementioned fries. It’s a sickness. I’m not working on it.
Typically, I do cardio (either the elliptical, stationary bike, or hill climber) on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are for weights (alternating upper and lower body, respectively). For the past 8 years, I have been a part of the “Morning Crew” at Gold’s, the crowd who shows up at around 6:00 and is out by 7:00. We all recognize one another, and sometimes exchange a nod, or a “good morning” as we pass from machine to machine. We are familiar with one another’s routines, and generally do a pretty good job of staying out of each other’s way. We don’t like waiting around for equipment to open up. It’s early. We’re grumpy. We haven’t had our fries yet. We want to get home.
Imagine, then, our frustration, New Fitness Enthusiasts, when there is a line to use the machines on the cardio deck! We are happy for you (really, we are!) that you have decided to take your health more seriously. We are happy that you are realizing that lying around watching “Property Virgins” and eating Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches (sugar is sugar, folks) isn’t serving you as well as it once might have (assuming that, unlike me, you used to have a “working metabolism”).
This happens every January. In fact, those of us who comprise the Morning Crew at Gold’s are used to it. We anticipate it. But that doesn’t mean we enjoy it. We take umbrage at having to wait to use the newer elliptical machines (the ones with the television sets built right in!). We resent having to play “shark” around the better equipment (I, personally, like the Cybex). We don’t like being closed out of our fitness classes.
So for now, we will be patient. We will toss one another knowing glances as we watch you circle the gym, clipboards in hand, making sure you record every rep at every station. We’ll wait. We were there once, too. We’ll show you our utmost compassion, because deep down, in our heart-of-hearts, we know that by mid-February, you’ll be gone, and we can have all of our stuff back.
So for the next few weeks, enjoy your workouts. Go forth and sweat. The Morning Crew will be watching, and waiting. Patiently.