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.