If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.
Okay. So thank you Facebook for prompting this blog post (and sorry if it ends in some ranting). I’ve seen a few status’s from some people who are annoyed with the influx of new bodies at the gym because of New Years fitness and health goal/resolutions. Sadly, most of the comments are: “well, give it a few days/weeks and they’ll quit anyway.” Look, I ain’t naive. I know that it’s no secret that people make New Years resolutions that are next to impossible to keep (eg: six pack abs in four weeks). I know that sometimes we get so excited trying to make positive changes in our lives, that goals get out of hand. And don’t kid yourselves, we’ve all been there: too many changes too fast – trust me, I know. I also know first-hand that some people are just jerks. Period. They take more pleasure in seeing somebody else fail, than succeed (God only knows why).
Let me tell you a little story.
Last year I decided (after several attempts) that I was going to start going to the gym early in the morning. I had made grandiose new years resolutions that I would finally get back into shape; I would go to the gym every day; work out – yadda yadda yadda. It took a while, but I finally got the nerve to go. I arrived super EARLY that morning. I was so proud of myself. I signed up for the machine I preferred (you know the one I mean; the one that has absolutely NO ONE directly behind – no one needs to see that). I started doing my thing. Then, out of nowhere, I got accosted by a regular (who, I came to find out from the fitness center monitor, regularly humiliated people and also favoured the machine I was on). He accused me of not following protocol. (Seriously guy, it’s 6:30 a.m… protocol?)
I looked at the board and realized someone erased my name off of the sign ups – obviously an honest mistake. But this guy was just a dick (side-note: thank goodness none of my resolutions were to stop swearing; some year I will but this ain’t it). Anyway, I told him that I had signed up and it must have been erased. He rolled his eyes, hopped onto the machine beside me and turned to the woman there and started bitching about me within earshot. SERIOUSLY? I was already self-conscious as it was, the last thing I needed was some gym-freak making it more uncomfortable. And he did. It took me a few days and maybe even a week or so to comfortably get back at it. But I eventually I did. I even managed to say “Hi!” to him one morning (mostly just to get a rise out of him).
So here’s a thought for all you people out there who have no patience for the “newbies” at the gym: why don’t you just try to encourage them? It’s not easy to go, especially if you haven’t been active. It takes a while and some confidence to get into a new routine. And for some people, it literally is a struggle every day. And seriously, what the hell do you gain by taking pleasure in someone else’s failure especially when you can share in helping them succeed?
You all know that yesterday I needed motivation to get out and run and within a few minutes of asking for help, one of my online pals gave me the encouragement I needed to get going. It’s that easy. It’s that support and encouragement that helps people achieve their goals – no matter how big or small. And I believe we’d all be better off if we just learned how to support each other more.
And with that, I’m asking that if anyone out there needs a running or workout buddy, whether in person or online – I’m your gal! Call on me!
Truly. I need it as much as anyone else!
And for goodness sakes you old gym rats: OK. So you find it severely annoying when your routine is messed up because a “newbie” is using YOUR machine at the gym. Cut them some damn slack. Instead of being a jerk. Just talk to them. Give them a pat on the back. Or shut the hell up and carry-on with another piece of equipment. It’s that simple.
Okay. That’s it. Really. I hope that if you made a resolution, that you will stick to it. I’m only three days into not eating stuff that comes in a package and I’m thinking, “oh no, a whole year of this?!”
But I have faith. I know I can do it and so can you!