Just like 65 percent of my fellow Americans, I, too, make New Year’s resolutions. And of course, like many resolution makers, I don’t always follow through for more than a few weeks or months. But even a few weeks or months of healthy eating and productivity is better than none, right?
A few years ago, when Planet Fitness gym opened in Russellville, I thought it was great to have a gym open 24 hours. I tend to keep the oddest schedule with my job. Between parenting duties and other obligations, making time to work out during typical gym hours always seemed impossible.
Weeks went by, and I kept thinking about how I needed to get a membership and start going regularly but just hadn’t made the time. But it was a new year! Which meant a new me!
On January 2nd I pulled into the parking lot of the City Mall, in my workout clothes. For me this meant an oversized sweatshirt and some old leggings. I mean… who spends money on clothes they are just going to sweat in?
I walked into the gym and told the clerk I was ready to set up a new membership. When that was done, she gave me a quick tour. Then she came to the area with lots of big work out equipment that looked incredibly complicated. There were pulleys and knobs, handles and ropes, weights and wheels all over the place. She must have seen my eyes go wide with uncertainty.
“Do you need help figuring out any of the equipment?” The young girl asked. She was dressed very smartly in matching gym attire with a bright pink “Nike” emblazoned on her rear end.
“Oh I’m sure I can manage,” I said with immediate regret.
“Ok, well let me know if you need anything.” The girl answered cheerfully.
“Ok thanks… I work out all the time!” I said loudly to her back while she was walking away. I looked at my reflection in the floor to ceiling mirrors that lined the entire wall in front of me.
“Liar,” I mouthed to my reflection. Who was I kidding? The most working out I did all day was blow dry hair and run after my son.
I looked over the machine in front of me.
“This can’t be too complicated. You can do this,” I said to myself.
I sat down on a seat that looked like a bench and started trying to pull down on some handles. Nothing. I tried again. No give. I sighed.
“Um, you’re supposed to sit on this part and put your feet where you’re sitting,” came a voice from behind me. I glanced over my shoulder to see a tiny old Asian man peering at me with impatience.
“Oh. Thanks.” I said. I got off that particular torture device and tried the next machine beside me. I put my hands on the foam padded handles. I began to pull up and down on them thinking, “Now this doesn’t seem too bad…” until I felt my head jerk back and my hair pulled tight. I tried to turn around and see what had snagged my locks as I heard the voice of the tiny Asian man. “Ma’am, your hair is caught in the ropes behind you.” Of course it was. Only me. I tried to act nonchalant, but I was clearly in a predicament. The tiny man sighed. He put down his barbells and came to help. Five minutes later, I was freed and even more embarrassed. I decided these big machines were probably not for me, and made my way to the treadmills.
I eyed them cautiously. “How do you even start this thing?” I decided the run-and -jump approach was best. I backed up, gave it my all and jumped on at the same time I pressed start. “Oh.” I said. “It starts up slowly.”
As I gradually increased my speed, the tiny Asian man appeared on the treadmill beside me. He placed his water bottle in a big circle opening on the front of the display. “You know, a Pringle’s can would fit there perfectly,” I joked. He looked at me out of the side of his eye.
“This is first time you’ve been here, huh?” He asked.
“Yep! Just got my membership this morning!”
“I can tell.” He said “My wife and I come here every morning to help us stay fit and young.” He said, with such vigor, as I looked over my shoulder in a area behind us, where a tiny Asian woman was doing squats with weights in her hands.
“Dang, y’all are dedica-”
While still turned around, I managed to trip over my own feet and fall onto the moving treadmill belt, which flung me off the machine.
“Holy crap!” The tiny man said. “Are you ok?” As he reached over and turned my treadmill off for me.
“Um, I think so.” I said, knowing that I was covered in carpet burn.
“I’ve never seen anyone just fall while they were walking before.” The man said.
“I wish I could say the same, but I do it all the time.” I said as I rolled my eyes.
The man switched off his treadmill and lithely stepped off.
“Well, it’s time for our yoga class, but I’ll see you back here tomorrow morning!” The tiny Asian couple walked away together as I stood by the treadmill that had tried to kill me.
“Well.” I said to myself. “I guess if I’m going get better at this I need come on a regular basis.” I eyed the treadmill with disdain. “Until next time.” I cocked an eyebrow at the machine and headed for the front door. A new year, a new me. Maybe if I repeat it enough it’ll sink in!