Bust a Rut

Regular gym-goers have a tendency to dread the facility in January. Every machine and every corner is occupied from pre-dawn to well after dark. It can become frustrating when the new exercisers make it difficult to use a machine, invade your personal space in a class or elongate your workout due to the extra wait time.

I used to grumble every year about the influx of newbies. Some years, I even avoided the gym for much of January, only to return once the numbers dwindled down to a more reasonable level.

I don’t complain anymore. After all, we cannot always change our circumstances, but we can always change our attitude. The people are coming, I might as well learn how to accept it:)

I actually really enjoy seeing people embark on a fitness routine. I love seeing the determination and I celebrate their success. I am often more inspired by the people setting foot in a gym for the first time than I am by the people who visit every day. It takes some real guts to start something new, especially when you feel like an outsider. (A la Sephora)

What I don’t like is that my routine is inevitably disrupted.

I don’t have a prescribed set of exercises. I change things up. But I prefer to change them up on my terms.

January doesn’t allow that to happen.

Overnight, I go from being able to choose what exercises I want to do to having to think on the spot and do whatever I can with whatever I can.

It’s a rude awakening, having to relinquish that control.

But I actually kind of like it.

Let’s be honest, if not required by necessity, I wouldn’t bust out of my fitness rut. I may change things up, but I only change them within my comfort zone. In January, there is no comfort zone. It’s already filled with guys doing bench press and ladies doing core work. Rather than alter just a few exercises, I’m forced to start from scratch every time.

It’s frustrating. But also revitalizing.

You don’t see the rut until you’re strong armed into busting it.

Often, when we face change on our terms, we seek to control it. We move slowly or at least in measured and thought out increments. In some ways, change on our terms in easier since we feel like we are in the driver’s seat. Yet, it can also be more challenging as you have to battle with your own fear each step of the way.

Sometimes life doesn’t allow us to change at our own pace. Sometimes it comes as a great big unwanted shift that requires adaptation and acceptance.

Or complaining and resistance.

It’s really your choice.

And for all the gym newbies, I wish you the best. I hope to still see you in February. Just please don’t hog the squat rack:)

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7 thoughts on “Bust a Rut

  1. I’m heading out to a Saturday yoga class soon.. I’ve been at this studio for 7yrs and January is always difficult. We (those of us who are there year round) have our favorite mat spots in the room, our favorite props. When there are “newbies” the flow of the class is slower, more interrupted as the instructor helps with positions, as she should. But shaking it up is good. Having to do a pose with someone 6″ away instead of 6ft is a new challenge. My mindset is changed by reading this post…Thanks…

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