It's New Year's Resolution time, everyone. Today is January 1st and tomorrow (because today is still a holiday, come on now) people will flood gyms all over the country to make good on their promise to be healthier in 2015. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that- I applaud their efforts and genuinely hope that people setting out to better themselves are able to make it happen. That said, this flood of people sure can make things suck at the gym for everyone. Not just the year-round gym goers, but the new ones who don't know any better. If you see the gym in January, you are undoubtedly seeing the gym at it's worst and how can that convince anyone to stick around for the long term? So many annoying things happen in the first few weeks of the year it's a wonder anyone returns:
1. Machines Breaking Down
With so much use, you will see "out of order" signs popping up on many cardio machines. Treadmill belts just cannot take the abuse for 16 straight hours. Showing up for a workout and seeing that half the machines are occupied and the other half are out of commission can be very irritating.
2. Nowhere To Park
For someone like me who gets Parking Anxiety (don't ask) this is probably the worst part. When I arrive at the gym and the parking lot is a war zone, I break out in a sweat and consider turning around and going home.
3. Newbies With Bad Etiquette
Nothing screams "I'M NEW HERE" like sweating all over a machine and walking away without wiping it down first. And to be fair, there are douchey regulars that do this too. Disgusting.
4. Newbies "Machine Hopping"
When someone is new, they might want to test out a cardio machine for a few minutes to see if they like it. That's fine. But when I arrive and my favorite machines are in use so I go to my runner-up machines only to settle in, look up and discover that my fave has been vacated, I have a choice to make. Abandon my machine and sprint to the one I really want and risk someone else getting there first or stay on my lesser machine and stick it out.
5. Classes Being Too Full
I have my favorites I go to every week so it kind of sucks when 50 new people show up and the room is so crowded no one can move. This goes for the new people and the regulars- why would the new people want to keep showing up if it's always horribly crowded?
6. Daycare Is Always Full
I feel terrible for the girls at our gym daycare in January. They look so tired and worn-out. With a constant flow of kids in and out, I can't say I blame them.
7. No Lockers To Be Had
And since many people are new, they don't have locks yet so you end up opening 20 lockers that look available only to see they are actually in use.
8. It Smells
Sorry, but it does. The more people hanging out all sweaty and gross, the more it's going to smell. I belong to a YMCA and I have to say- I never notice it there but I have at previous gyms and it's gross.
9. Bad Etiquette- Because It Bears Repeating
Sometimes, when new people join the gym they don't know the unspoken "rules" of conduct. Don't talk on your phone while among people working out. Don't play music out loud. Don't "claim" a machine for your buddy who won't be there for another 15 minutes. Don't chat so loudly that people can't focus. Re-rack your weights when you are done and please God, wipe your sweat off the machines.
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