On January Joiners

Today I wanted to ramble about something that’s always bothered me. Peoples reaction to “January Joiners” – also known as the people who start frequenting the gyms after Jan. 1 as they begin work on their new year resolution.

My newsfeeds on Facebook and Twitter are filled with people complaining about lack of treadmills, spots in all the classes and all the “rookies” who now show up in the gyms. I was talking to a friend from college about the gym and she said, “Oh my God, I can’t wait until all these new people give up and stop coming.”

I get it. Believe me I do. I get it’s frustrating that people used to have their pick of ellipticals. It’s annoying that the leg machine used to always be wide open and now there’s a line full of confused people who don’t know how to operate the damn thing. I understand the frustration that the new members might not re-rack the weights, they might talk too loudly or they’ll forget to wipe off the machines. I find that annoying also.

But what I don’t understand is that people are so annoyed to the point where they are actively hoping the people give up. That’s beyond me. These people on my newsfeed once had to walk into the gym for the first time. I don’t feel I have a right to any machine in the gym because I’ve been going for a few months. Sure, the statistics are against them and many will stop coming, but why are we rooting against the January Joiners? I think we should celebrate anyone who made the choice to try and work toward leading a healthier lifestyle.  Maybe since I was so self-conscious the first time I walked into my gym, I’m overly sensitive, but this really pisses me off. Nothing will want to make these people quit faster than people who are snobby and judgmental toward them.

So, January Joiner, I promise I won’t judge you. In fact, I think you might be savvier than I am as the gym membership deals around this time are awesome. My April membership incentive wasn’t nearly half as good as the one you nabbed. I won’t judge because you happened to join a gym in January or think I am superior because I joined a gym in any other month than January. I hope you fall in love with fitness and learn to lead a healthier lifestyle. I hope you try new things – give lifting a chance! – and find what works for you. I hope you work hard and feel so proud and ecstatic at the results. I hope you stick around. I hope to find a friend among you.

I’m someone who is also on the path to leading a healthier lifestyle. It’s a huge mental and physical switch, while I’m nowhere near as far as I thought I would be at this point (due to my own weaknesses), I haven’t given up yet. I hope you don’t give up either. Let’s motivate each other 🙂


11 thoughts on “On January Joiners

  1. I’m with you! It’s annoying but I actually get excited every January. I love seeing people start goals and wish them all the best 🙂

  2. i’m not sure if people want them to fail, but i think it’s more of an annoyance that the increase in bodies in the gym throws off their routines. my husband gripes about that; that there are all these new people hogging the equipment.

  3. I could not agree with you more. People assume I’m a January joiner because I’m just home for the month (although I was there in December too, so I must have gone unnoticed) but it is irritating. Yes, I get that the classes are a little more full than usual but I feel like for the most part, people have their spots already and new people are respectful of that. if you want to make sure you get your special place next to the instructor or even in the back corner, get there earlier. We were all “January joiners” at one point or another even if we didn’t join in January. Everyone deserves to feel included and welcomed in the gym or they won’t come back out of embarrassment, which defeats the whole purpose of joining in the first place

    • I totally agree. And look, when I was new to a gym, I was SO intimidated. The meaner people are, the less likely you are to keep at it. WHY would a fellow gym-goer discourage a new gym-goer? People SUCK.

  4. YESSSS! I actually have this written in my post for tomorrow. Let’s be HAPPY that people are trying to take control of their health rather than being annoyed that they’re making the gym more crowded than it usually is.

  5. Oh em gee girly. I agree 100%.
    The January gym goers are VERY annoying to me because I don’t normall encounter issues when I’m at the gym except this time of year. But amen sistuh, because I surely did not come flying out of the womb with a gym membership. As a matter of fact, I joined just a few days BEFORE NYE a few years ago to kick off the new year correctly. So, haters gonna hate. And let em. Because there’s nothing that pisses haters off more than someone succeeding.
    I know, I’m super deep in saying that but it’s so true! Let those haters hate – they’re just unhappy with themselves.

  6. Way to go with this post! While I no longer have a gym membership since I moved, I remember this when I was a member at my previous gym. I think it’s great to take one of the first steps (getting a gym membership) towards accomplishing the “get fit” New Years resolution. What better way to start than with a ton of others who are in the same shoes!

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