Treadmill availability as a proxy for broken New Year’s resolutions

It’s that time again.  Gyms all over the country are jam-packed with members determined to make good on their New Year’s fitness goals.

At my gym this week, there’s been nary a free locker or treadmill to be found. Forget your regular routine; workouts this time of year consist of bumping around the gym like a pinball and pouncing on any piece of equipment as soon as it becomes free.  Whether it’s the 8th triceps exercise of the night or the 6th different body part, just feel lucky that you were able to do anything.

This week is bad, but things will probably hit even more of a feverish pitch in a couple of weeks as new members join and come for the first time.  But then, the inevitable decline will begin.  As we ease towards February, the excuses become easier.  “I have to work late.”  “I’ve already been once this week.”  Or in my case: “After 25 years of this, I’m just tired of doing this crap.”

Finding a free treadmill has probably been the toughest challenge this week.  Tonight, the only spare piece of aerobic equipment I could find was sort of a cross between an elliptical trainer, a stairmaster, and a hula hoop.  I pressed “quick start” and the display said “Start Floating.”  And then the foot pedals started moving in a motion that roughly resembled the way Elaine dances on Seinfeld.  I was embarrassed for me.  No wonder the thing was free.

I wish everyone luck with their New Year’s fitness resolutions.  But I can’t say I’ll be so sorry when resolutions slip and those regular old treadmills open up once again.

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