I recently saw this on Instagram:
It was followed by a comment by the poster saying: lol January Joiners.
It really chapped my ass.
Listen, I do get the sentiment. January Joiners make January difficult and frustrating for regular gym goers. I know all too well the disappointment of getting to the gym to put some miles in on a treadmill because the weather is just awful, only to find every single one is taken.
But here’s the thing, I also find the idea of every treadmill being occupied to be a beautiful, wonderful thing. It means that there are people, at least momentarily, wanting to make a change for the better. The sad truth is that the vast majority of them will disappear within two weeks and the vast majority of those who remain will disappear within another two months.
Shouldn’t we be encouraging people instead of discouraging them? Shouldn’t we be reaching out to those January Joiners, those unfamiliar faces and letting them know that they are doing a good thing, not just for themselves but for their families and friends? Studies have shown that fitness and obesity can be contagious. Should we not be encouraging the former?
One more healthy individual, makes society just a little better, just like one drop of rain helps fill a bucket of water. It may not seem like a lot, but it DOES make a difference. Imagine how much less money we as a society would have to spend on healthcare if we were able to eliminate 50% of the self-inflicted obesity related illnesses? It’s billions of dollars back in our pockets to help drive the economy.
We should be embracing and encouraging the January Joiners, not dissing and insulting them.
If you are a regular gym goer, I hope that you will do your part to reach out and encourage those who have resolved to make a change…a simple thumbs up or a “way to go!’ as someone steps off the treadmill. Give them a sense of pride, a sense of community, and try to remember what it was like the first time you stepped into a gym.