Gyms are interesting places full of fascinating people. I used to be a gym member many years ago. I went almost on a daily basis and sometimes twice a day.
One of the group class that I actually enjoyed was Spinning or indoor cycling.
It was scheduled at 5:30 am, so I got into the habit of going to bed early. 8:00 pm became too late for me because I had to sleep my 8 hours and wake up at least 5:00 am to make it on time, but regardless of waking up so early, I was enjoying myself.
I started to recognize some people who were the morning regulars: the elderly lady who always came to the spinning class with a book. I always wondered how she could read when the music was so loud, people were coming and going, while others were moaning because of the pain. Yet, nothing interrupted her reading. I wish I had her ability to concentrate in a chaotic environment.
For some reason, she gave me the impression that she was a retired teacher, but I get these impressions with almost every senior lady who’s reading a book, a couple of times I have gotten it right tough.
Then there was the extremely bulky guy, the bodybuilder. Close to 6 ft tall, really tanned skinned, he looked like he just came out of one of the bodybuilder’s competitions. Sometimes there were two of them. They spent all of their time in the weights area, no classes for them. Maybe they considered the group classes were for beginners not for professionals such as themselves.
I remember a mid-30s man, whom for some reason liked to bathed himself in expensive cologne before coming into the gym. Maybe he was trying to find a girlfriend, and he didn’t want to stink should he meet the love of his life unexpectedly in the gym at 5:00 AM. The reality is that he had a point because you never know when you may accidentally bump into your future better half.
Maybe he was self-conscious that his sweat was revolting or maybe it was just pure vanity. Whatever the reason, he was forever burned in my memory. I am not complaining though because I’d rather stand on the elliptical next to someone who smells good than next to someone with an offensive odor.
And just like that, I became a gym regular who made casual talk with other morning regulars. I even got a few people to join the spinning class.
January and February were always the busiest months, lots of people with a new year resolution of losing weight. Because I was a regular, it was easy for me to spot who was a newbie with a goal of losing the excess weight.
Typically by March, all the crowds had faded and it was just us again: the regulars.
We reclaimed our gym once more. The machines were freed to be used at our disposal, whenever we wanted. Everything was freed up until the next January.
This was a yearly exercise. Us, the regulars just had to be patient and waited for the excitement of the new year to wear off on people. The newbies gave up on their resolution and the gym was ours to enjoy.
Then I got married and my husband had no interest in going to the gym whatsoever. He is blessed with one of those super fast metabolisms. He can easily lose weight when he stops eating junk food and in two weeks you can see the changes. I, on the other hand, have a slow metabolism, yet I made the conscious decision to stop going to the gym; and the extra pounds started to accumulate on all the wrong places. Although each body is different, fat predictably stores itself in the usual spots: hips and abdomen.
Last year, I decided to sign up back again in the gym. However, I refused to be the newbie with the New Year’s Resolution, so after more than 4 years I decided not to wait until January and rejoined the gym in the middle of September.
Less than 3 months later, January rolled around and the gym is packed just like it used to be years ago. After so much time has passed, this still continues to be a trend.
The gym that I joined is enormous, so far I haven’t experienced shortages of machines. However, the group classes are packed.
For example, the spinning class at 6:00 PM is completely full, there’s not an empty bike. If you want a seat you have to arrive 10 minutes before the class starts. I am not protesting, in fact, I like to have a full class that way the instructor does not pick on a specific person for not sprinting as hard as she wants them to. There’s an abundance of people that she can pick on.
I may go back to my old gym just to check if the bodybuilder and the perfumed guy are still there. Who knows, maybe the latter got married and stopped going to the gym.
I ran into the retired teacher at one of my spinning classes in the new gym. She had her accustomed book in her hands. Once the class started, she spun and read at her own pace without a care in the world. I seriously admire the irreverence that most of the elderly population has and this includes my own 95 years old grandmother.
Anyways, my retired teacher looked just like she did years ago. I guess at the end people are right: exercise is good for you!
For all of you that just joined a gym this 2018, remember that you need to remain persistent throughout the whole year. Become a regular and make the change you want to happen! Anything can be achieved through consistency and discipline. And while you’re at it, check out the spinning classes maybe you’ll love them as much as I do.