HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hope yours was amazing! Now, on to today’s post.
There’s this unspoken attitude in the fitness community that it’s OK to mock January Joiners — the people who suddenly vow to get fit/lose weight in the new year and then by February, their sneakers are collecting cobwebs in their closets. It’s a broad generalization and it’s extremely judgmental.
That said, there were times many moons ago when I, myself, was one of those obnoxious people annoyed by these “newbies” who crowded my otherwise well-attended Zumba and Body Pump classes and forced our instructors to do more explaining then ever before; they took “my machine” at the gym; they stood in “my spot” during class. They were “the enemy.”
(Gosh, I was awful …)
But the truth is, we were all January Joiners at some point (or February or March …). Yes, the first few months of the year generally mean more crowded gyms … and the mad rush does generally wane.
But everyone who commits to fitness had to start somewhere, on some day. For me, I’d always been active — cheered and danced, lifted weights, ran … but the real commitment to fitness went hand-in-hand with joining Weight Watchers back in 2004. (April 13, 2004, to be exact).
And though my fitness commitment levels have swung in both directions (excessive over-exercising years ago and then barely working out this fall and everywhere in between ….) I’ve been a member at the same gym since we moved here in 2006. So I’ve seen a lot of January Joiners come and go … and many stay and make serious lifestyle changes. I’ve been blown away by many — including my one amazing friend who has lost over 100 pounds and still counting. She’s beyond inspiring and — like everyone at our gym — she started somewhere. We all did.
Today I went to my gym and noticed how empty it was, and posted a photo of the empty gym on Instagram saying that basically this is how you know you don’t work out at a trendy/flashy gym but rather a meat-head gym … no January Joiners (yet). I didn’t mean anything by it other than acknowledging the fact that my gym is full of beefcakes, fitness competition babes and regular peeps like myself–not a ton of JJs) but when I clicked the hashtag #januaryjoiners I saw a lot of judgy, non-encouraging posts about “those people.” It was incredibly disheartening.
Part of nourishing myself (#nourish2016 baby!) — being good to myself — means being good to others, too (more eloquently stated by my friend Marci in her post yesterday-we have a wonderful shared motto this year for 2016).
So let’s encourage those “January Joiners” instead of finding them a nuisance. Let’s motivate them — leading by example. Or maybe they need that nod of encouragement to keep going during a difficult workout, or they could use a nudge for more weight on their barbell. Who knows … maybe you’ll find a new friend by reaching out?
I know I have met some of my best girls — including Rachel — at the gym. You just never know.
So to all the “JJs” out there … remember this: we all started somewhere. And you can do it — achieve whatever health goals you set before yourself–if you put your mind to it!
2 thoughts on “Don’t hate on the January Joiners”
Well said! I do joke privately about the resolutioners, and certainly don’t love having to get to the gym extra early for parking/class pass, but as an instructor I *LOVE* seeing new faces in class and experiencing the new energy. EVERYONE starts somewhere and I want to see those new people stick past February, past June, well into next December when they themselves are silently cursing the people taking their spots in class. 😉 I want to see the people in class with me or taking from me succeed.
I love your perspective as an instructor!! Yes–we want them to stick around long enough to be irked by the JJs!