Way back in the day, I used to hate the new year’s resolvers who crowd gyms after January 1. During law school (when I started working out) the gym would fill with tiny girls who didn’t have two fat cells to rub together from January 1 until spring break. At the Oak Park Athletic Club, they used to have a complimentary valet because the small parking lot would fill up with cars until as late as February. That was nuts.
I’ve mellowed with age. I don’t hate the resolvers any more. Although I’m no health or fitness professional, I think it’s super awesome when anybody starts working out and I appreciate the effort. Seriously. This is totally dorky and will make me sound like a freak, but I like people I see at the gym (as long as they’re not totally annoying, which is a subject for another day and doesn’t happen very often — protip: don’t blow your nose in gym towels). Even though we never speak, if I see you running on the treadmill every time I’m running on the treadmill, I think you’re pretty cool.
So yay rah let’s all sing gym kumbaya and get that shit out of our systems so I can admit that I do sometimes get a tiny bit annoyed when the gym gets super crowded for a while in January. I suppose that’s bitchy but maybe somewhat understandable, too. I get a little tense if there’s any chance of someone coming between me and an open treadmill or if someone is hogging the leg extension machine. (I know machines are lame and don’t use many of them but I’ve found that if I don’t do the leg extension machine I’m more likely to have knee pain and then if I do the leg extension machine I also have to do the seated leg curl machine for balance. Also I’d rather cheer for Tim Tebow than do squats. I hate squats.)
A few years ago, I came up with the idea of The Super-Secret VIP Gym. (Clearly, it was such a great idea many gyms have implemented the concept since then.) The Super-Secret VIP Gym is a gym within a regular gym. The trick is that you can access it only after you’ve established yourself as a regular of the regular gym. Now that Foursquare exists, this would be easy. You might have to check in (No cheating!) at the gym at least X times a week for at least X weeks to unlock The Super-Secret VIP Gym Badge. The badge would, as you might guess, allow you to access The Super-Secret VIP Gym. Only other regulars would be in there with you, so it would be like old times or, well, December.
This wouldn’t be too hard to do, space allowing, of course. Maybe there’s a vacant storefront or former restaurant near your gym, or maybe The Super-Secret VIP Gym could take over the stupid yoga studio for two months or so. (Just kidding about the yoga studio, although is this the right time to tell you I’ve never done yoga in my life? My theory is that you either like weightlifting or you like yoga, and I love weightlifting.)
Anyway, I hope your workouts, if you do them, are going well and you’re having an awesome time and kicking ass and all that good stuff. I won’t really be annoyed to see you at the gym. Seriously.