You’re looking at the parking lot of Gold’s Gym on New Year’s Eve. It’s packed with cars, and it will stay that way until about the third week of January. This happens every year when hundreds of people make new years resolutions to get in shape. And I love each and every one of them for it… especially when they give up and start staying home. And why would that make me so happy? Because
Because each one of those well-intentioned couch potatoes has paid for a full year’s gym membership, in advance. It helps keep the price of my gym membership down, and except for just a couple weeks at the beginning of the year, they’re not in my way. I don’t have to hunt for a parking place, or wait while they fumble with a machine.
People go to the gym for lots of reasons. We have regular members who are striving for the perfect chisled bod, and many of them succeed. Some are training for marathons. I’ve talked to quite a few who were due to go in the military and wanted to get into serious shape before boot camp. Lots of folks are just trying to maintain good health. These are all admirable motives.
My reason for going to Gold’s four times a week, rain or shine, is less admirable – avoidance of pain. I have fibromyalgia and the pain used to be so bad that when I could sleep, it would intrude on my dreams. This led to the physical therapy center of Carle Care, located right inside the gym – which makes a ton of sense when you think about it.
They designed exercises for me to reduce pain and increase strength, and it worked. So I generally make every one of those “PT” sessions. Every once in a while I meet with the physical therapists for evaluation but usually I just do what they tell me plus whatever else I can dream up. It’s been very effective. Three years ago I was having trouble stepping up over curbs and now I do stairs all the time. Sitting in chairs is still very painful so usually I sit on a stool at work, much to the amusement of my co-workers. But in ways I never expected, Gold’s gym has become an important part of my life.
The worst – and most common – reason people go to the gym is to “lose weight.” Not that you can’t lose weight at the gym – I did – but in isolation from other health goals that really doesn’t do so much for your health. Mind you, I’m not a doctor, but I tell people they should focus on getting strong and developing endurance, and not obsess about the numbers on the scale.
I have not been very consistent about anything in my life but one thing I’m pretty sure about is that I’ve never made a New Year’s resolution – not one. I’m doing the best I can most of the time. I make tons of mistakes and try to learn from them – and sometimes make the same mistakes again for good measure. I try to avoid good intentions as they lead to unnecessary guilt.
This year will be no different. I’m not promising anything, folks. I invite everyone to join me in not making promises. Just do your best most of the time and don’t be afraid to risk making mistakes because tomorrow is another day.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!