“The gym is going to be so busy the first few weeks in January.” Eye roll.
“It will be nice when things are back to normal in February.” Head nod and smirk.
I have been guilty of thinking such thoughts or saying them aloud to regulars at the gym. I have been guilty of feeling smug because I am a REGULAR. I come every week, 2/3 times a week. For a long time. This isn’t a passing fad. I EVEN went during the pandemic when it was outdoor classes or virtual classes only.
How obnoxious of me. It’s not really because I am a snob. It’s just because I like my comfort zone. I enjoy seeing the people I see regularly at the gym who have become community, and even, friends. I enjoy coming to class and getting to be at my spot on the rig. I like knowing there will be room for me and I don’t need to come 15 minutes earlier because there are more people to share space with. Before my current gym, I frequented places as a regular. When I find a place I enjoy, I become a regular.
I’m also happy to see and meet new people. New people often become part of the community and also become friends. Some come and go but I still see the value in their being there. I am rooting for them. If that’s where they want to be. If they don’t, I wish them well and that they find a place that suits them better.
We’ve all been a newbie. I am still a newbie when I try new classes and experiences. We have all experienced unwelcome spaces. I never want to be the reason someone feels unwelcome. We all know how hard it can be to show up to a new class. Wondering if the unknown is going to work for you. If you are going to feel out of your element. Wondering if you will feel clumsy or will be questioning why you are there. We all have different reasons for trying out a new gym. Finding new strength, new experiences, new communities, new personal bests (PR)s.
I intend to welcome the newbies to my gym in January. I hope they have fun. I hope they find new PRs. I hope they feel welcome. I hope some of them stick around. I hope that those who don’t stick around, remember it as a welcoming and positive space. That is all.
Welcome to the gym, newbies!