Tuesday, January 15, 2013
We all know it's that time of year. The gyms are overcrowded with people trying to lose weight and get healthy as part of their New Years Resolutions.
Facebook and Twitter are filled with posts about how this person is working out and that person is saying goodbye to carbs.
And then I also see the posts and the eCards and the rants online and in person about how annoying it is that the gym is over-crowded, etc.
I get it.
More people in your space, taking your elliptical, sweating on your chest press machine.
It's easy to take on an Us VS Them attitude. I mean, they will be gone by March, right? Where were they in August when you were still doing sprints and bootcamp class? Where will they be when, come May, you are still drinking spinach smoothies?
But, lets step back for just a moment, okay?
Aren't they in a spot that you were in at one point?
Everyone has been the new person in a fitness class, the confused person punching the buttons on the elliptical, the weakling just trying to find a good weight to lift.
So, instead of sighing, rolling your eyes, and then filling your head and online world with snarky comments, why not help out?
If that's all you can do, just smile and make the newbies or returning (from 3 years ago) faces feel welcome.
If you are the type to help out, do it. Help someone find a yoga mat, show them the trick to getting the Pull Down bar attached, or hand them a towel when you see them sweating all over a piece of equipment.
Share a Story
You have a perfect Pilates Teaser, but the student next to you is red-faced and struggling to scoop. A simple "You should have seen me in my first class. I toppled to the side!" can go a long way in making the people around you feel welcome.
Invite them back
Okay...so the real reason we get snarky is because we WANT the Resolutioners to know how hard we train all year, right? So, go ahead, throw that in the conversation in a friendly way. Once you have done all of the above tips, go ahead and say something like: "See you next time. It gets awfully lonely here come summer time." Or, you know, something like that. Let the new people know that they are welcome while also standing as an example that you have made fitness a part of your everyday lifestyle.
Be a friendly, helpful example rather than a grump. You may just inspire someone to keep going.