Tuesday, December 29, 2009

They're back...and it's awesome

This is a post from Mike, (Marmadaddy), over on Beginner Triathlete. Mike is one of THE principal guys on BT. He has given me permission to reprint his post. It was a great reminder to me of the importance of not being too full of oneself. ENJOY!

As happens every year around this time, over the next few days we should start to see posts from people making observations about their gyms, particularly how crowded they are with new people.

A couple of years back I posted the following in response to some of those observations. It has become something of a tradition that I re-post it in order to add a little perspective to what will surely be stressful and inconvenient in the coming weeks for many of us.

We're endurance athletes. We train all year not only outside, but also at the gym and the pool. We can expect some serious crowding in both places for the next few weeks. It happens every year.

Suddenly we have to add 30 minutes to our scheduled gym time because of the "resolutionists."

There are no parking places. When you do manage to find one and get to the locker room 10 minutes behind schedule, there aren't any lockers available and the door is blocked by someone trying to remember the way to the weight room.

In there, the machines you need to use are all occupied by people in new track suits pushing too much weight with truly horrible form. The bubbler is blocked by someone who is trying hard not to look totally out of their element.

You can't get in the pool because it's jammed with people using pull buoys on their arms and kickboards as flotation devices. Half the lanes have people with no goggles and baggy swim trunks down to their knees who can't swim an entire lap.

The whole freakin' place is filled with...with...


It's one of my favorite sights. I've never been in a place more full of hope than a gym during the first week of January. It's a place full of people giving action to their dreams. People who for that day are making an effort to be fit, to improve themselves, to live a better quality of life.

The effort and courage it takes them to get there that morning is huge. It certainly exceeds what it takes me. I know where everything is. I know the pool etiquette. I know what my workout is going to be and how to use the machines.  I'm not the least bit embarrassed to take my shirt off in the locker room. This is routine for me.

These new people will be showing a lot of courage and determination by going to the gym in the next few weeks and they'll deserve my respect. They'll get it.

It wasn't that long ago that I was one of them. During the next few weeks I'll be making an effort to help some of these people feel a little less uncomfortable. Maybe make eye contact with some of them, be ready to give a nod or say hello.

Once we're halfway into February, the crowds will be gone. Parking will be easy. Machines will be available again. The wait at the pool will go away. We know this. We're endurance athletes. We know the reward that comes from sticking through the hard parts.

And from helping others through them.

Here's a link to the post on BT. If you haven't checked out BT, you are - plain and simply - missing out. Happy Gym-Going, Lora.


Big Daddy Diesel said...

Yep, its already started at my gym. Not gonna be an fun month at the gym. Might be logging my miles in the man cave.

Frozentriette said...

As a personal trainer, I totally get what he's saying and salute those who will try. A little tolerance and even a bit of encouragement can make all the difference in someone's efforts toward their dream. I know we don't like to be inconvenienced, but as he said it's just for a season. A newbie will never forget a word of encouragement. Love this Lora. :)

teacherwoman said...

Great post! Totally different way of looking at it!

Mike Russell said...

I always am grateful because they are the ones who pay for the upgrades in equipment and facilities while my fees just go towards maintenance. Good job you six weekers!

Trishie said...

Love Marmadaddy's annual post... it's so true and a good reminder !

Velma said...

What a nice post! I will keep it in mind as I enter the gym next week.

ciro foster said...

The first part of the post remember me crowded places like undergrounds or Times Square....a nightmare!
The IInd, teaches me to be comprehensive and join to this odd bunch!
Hi everybody!

Teamarcia said...

Love it! So true. Incessant trolling for parking is the worst!

Stuart said...

Great post, thanks for sharing!

JF said...

This is something I definately need to be reminded about, probably more than once! Thanks for posting!


Missy said...

Good reminders and a good test of my patience.

FitEgg said...

Too funny and too true. Remember, most of us started as poor form beginners, no matter how many years ago. That said, I'm heading out now, about half an hour early, to make the spinning class, just in case.

tri_al said...

yup, it's all been said; very true!! i personally like this time. i like seeing all the newbies, all the older people getting back into the swing of things. i like that there they are, trying their best, and i'm here, as usual, like a bit of the equipment. i smile at them, even if secretly i'm thinking Damn You for Taking All the Parking :)

Patrick Mahoney said...

This year was cool for this one guy I don't even know that showed up about this time last year and has been working his butt off. He's still at it and now with the turn of the year officially graduated.

Hats off to you my man, whoever you are!!


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