It’s that time of year again when oh no the gyms are so packed, overflowing with new people so determined to get fit and healthy. New Year’s resolutions, new goals to be achieved, and the regulars gloomily start getting a bit frustrated and moaning about it. The waiting times for the equipment seem to go on forever, and you’re lucky if you can find a space on the gym floor to do bicep curls if you can even find the right weight you need.
There may be someone sitting on the bench that you want to use on their phone or not happy to share the equipment, doing what seems like three hundred sets. While you dodge your way around the people doing lateral raises and the individual doing single leg RDL’s. It can start to feel like there’s no space to move. Passions and tempers can even start to rise, and you can feel the tension as two people start to argue over who had the fourteen kilo dumbbells first.
Don’t let it escalate. Don’t be hostile, and also maybe don’t make fun of the new person who’s struggling to figure out how to do an exercise. This will only make the individual uncomfortable, not want to continue coming to the gym and discontinue their exercising and fitness journey. Instead, be welcoming. Let people do their thing. Be a bit more patient, and if someone is struggling maybe offer some help courteously.
If you think back, you may remember that you started from a similar position. You may have not known how to act or share equipment when you started. You probably also struggled with exercises and movements which are now easy for you. Just because you now feel accepted as a member of the regular community, don’t forget where you started from. This new member is at the start of their journey, so why not give them a welcoming hand as many probably did for you when you started.
The gym is a place where people go to work on themselves and better themselves in one way or another. And while you may prefer when the gym is less busy, don’t be the reason someone gives up and quits. Don’t be the reason someone doesn’t reach the levels of self-improvement that you hoped for when you started and are reaching now. Embrace the new members into the community as the community embraced you.
Yes, the gyms will be a little bit uncomfortable. And unfortunately, if we’re honest, it probably won’t stay this way for more than a month or so as the new year energy starts to fizzle out a bit. But if anything, it’s really great that more people are choosing to work on themselves and get healthier and fitter both physically and mentally. It will not only improve their lives, but also makes for a better community and society as a whole.
So instead of being impatient and upset with the new faces, embrace it. Maybe even somehow try to enjoy it, help them out when needed. New faces mean new stories and even potential new friends. Remember where you started from. Welcome them and maybe they will feel more included in the community and continue to keep going with and working on fitness.