The month of January, every year, never ceases to amaze me. That’s the one time of the year that my local gym is packed with bodies beyond capacity. People are everywhere they shouldn’t be and the overwhelming majority of them doing things they shouldn’t. I understand that with the start of the new calendar year, my gym membership numbers soar as people try to adhere to their resolutions of weight loss and becoming physically fit. I appreciate their commitment to improve their health but not at my expense!
My habit is to visit my local gym early in the morning, before I go to work. It’s less crowded during that time of day and normally it only takes me between 45 minutes to one hour to complete my workout routine for that day. Plenty of time for me to go in, do my business, leave and commute to my job.
Not so once January arrives. My schedule becomes a hell-hole of madness and my frustration and stress levels soar through the roof. Every year it’s the same: it seems that every new membership just has to workout first thing in the morning. Their schedules identical to my own.
Under normal circumstances, the early morning times are the slower, less attended activity periods at the gym. As a result, there are usually only one or two staff on duty and no physical trainers. They aren’t in demand during this time so there’s no need in having them on the schedule. I understand the principle of “supply and demand.”
Then January comes and all hell breaks loose! Suddenly, all the equipment is lost between long lines of persons waiting their turn. No one seems to be able to find a particular piece of equipment or workout station that they need and no one, naturally, knows the name for what machine they’re looking for.
So where do these “lost souls” go to seek help? With an absolute shortage of professional staff available, they look to those of us who seem to know what we’re doing for assistance. Whether it’s to locate a particular piece of equipment or, more than likely, to ask how to operate a fitness machine, they always manage to find us.
The majority of us, myself included, not wishing to be perceived as rude, try our best to be as accommodating as possible. In my case, this means indicating that I’m Deaf and offering them a pen and paper to write down their question. A somewhat time-consuming process. Precious time that I’m not scheduled to waste!
January at my gym. You’d think that somehow the management would have figured that with the start of a new year, the membership swells. It isn’t like they did sell the member cards and had no access to previous attendance records. It’s all there in their company computers, just waiting to be perused. I’d like to think that someone in management does monitor these sorts of records.
Forget even thinking of going to the gym in the evening. I’ve tried. It’s the same situation as the early morning, only much worse. Whereas they do have the staff on duty, the crowds are just as congested and everyone is very impatient. They’ve already worked all day on their jobs, they want to get the workout out of the way and then head home or wherever they need to. People become very testy when they lose their patience.
Which is where I am now. I am very close to throwing a proverbial temper tantrum towards the managers and owners of my neighborhood gym. However, mentally I keep reminding myself that the end is almost within sight. Usually, by the end of January, the dedication to the resolutions begins to fade and with it, the morning crowds begin to disappear. Generally, by the beginning of March, the January mob scenes become nothing more than an unpleasant memory.