I love riding my bike, but the gym doesn’t get me excited. My lovely wife, conversely, hits the gym nearly every day. Spinning, weights, classes – she enjoys all different kinds of fitness workouts.
Gyms are abnormally busy right now. First week of the new year, lots of folks working on resolutions to get fit and lose weight. Happens every year. Sadly, the herd will thin quickly as old habits return.
I wonder, though, how those new folks feel. Excited about a new start, but they’re surrounded by gym rats all fit and toned and strong. Must be discouraging to feel out of shape anyway and then be confronted by “perfect” bodies.
Plus, I’ll bet they feel like invaders. The gym people have been there forever. Even if you paid your fees, it must be hard not to feel like an outsider. And I imagine there are a few eye rolls and heavy sighs and less-than-kind glances at the interlopers.
It’s tough being the new guy. In a gym, in church, on a bike tour, in any community, the insiders get comfortable. Easy to forget what it was like to sign up and walk through the door the first time. Easy to forget not everyone knows the routines, the traditions, even the inside jokes. Easy to forget the worry of “will I fit in?”
How about a welcoming smile, an offer to help, perhaps even a word of encouragement? Might help the new guy keep coming back.
Note to self: it’s not about me! It’s important to be kind to the new guy.