On Jan. 2, they came.
In heinous spandex, and music playing far too loudly from their headphones.
They took YOUR favorite treadmill/bike/weight machine.
They occupied the corner locker -- you know the one that's your favorite with the extra space on one side for you to lay out your post-gym clothes.
Your regular gym crew calls them "the resolutioners."
Those people who make a resolution to make THIS the year they get healthy and fit. They come for a few weeks or months and leave, your gym buddies say.
But in the meantime they clog up YOUR gym.
How dare they, they say.
I say BACK UP THE TRUCK and PARK IT RIGHT THERE.
Why are we rooting for these people to fail? I wonder aloud in the locker room as I shuffle my stuff one locker over from where I normally am.
During a running race, I don't root for everyone around me to bonk out after a certain amount of miles just so that I can pass them and win.
I don't root for them to slow down simply so I can pass them.
When I race, I want whomever is next to me to race as hard and best they can, so that if and when I do pass them, I know they were working as hard as they possibly could and I earned that stride I just took over them.
I want everyone I am competing against in a running race to ultimately cross that finish line because I know how good it feels even if you're dead last.
I don't want them to fail -- these "resolutioners."
We have an obesity epidemic in this country, so I applaud these people for even trying to change their habits.
They may not stick, this year, or the next, but maybe one day, soon, the resolution WILL stick.
I propose we help.
When I started going to the gym it was a scary and intimidating place with people who looked like models compared to me: Svelte, hard-bodied. I felt like the unmade bed who got invited to the black-tie only dinner but never got the memo about the attire.
But I kept going back because the women getting ready for work at the same time as I was were nice to me and funny as heck.
We talked about our kids, and who we knew in common. And on my way out the door, one of them called out "see you tomorrow morning."
And I did. She made me feel welcome.
I haven't missed a day of exercise since (though I've switched gyms due to moving nearly a dozen times).
This may be my Sally-Sunshine disposition rearing its head once again, but my resolution is to help as many people as I can STICK to their fitness goals this year.
I'll say hi every morning at the gym.
I'll tweet at you if you want me to.
I say good for you.
And if I get to know your routine well enough, maybe you'll let me have that corner locker back.
But if not, I know you've earned it.