They come in peace

Welcome the newcomers to the gym, it might make a difference (Megan Cooke/AQ)
Welcome the newcomers to the gym, it might make a difference (Megan Cooke/AQ)
Welcome the newcomers to the gym, it might make a difference (Megan Cooke/AQ)

I’ve been there. “New year, new you.” Everyone wants to live better and, while last year my resolution was to watch more westerns, one of the most common New Year’s resolutions for normal people is to get in shape.

Cue the floods of newbies at the gym.

Now, I’ve never professed myself to be a fitness guru. I try to get to the gym, but being a lean, mean, lifting-weights-but-not-going-anywhere-with-them machine doesn’t even crack my top five goals in life. If that suits you, by all means lift away.

But back to the scene: dozens of suddenly fitness-crazed people rushing to the gym to try and tone up or lose weight. The inexperienced and the rusty take over the machines and weights, hoping that once and for all their fitness goals will be achieved.

But there’s one problem: fitness elitists.

Don’t be fooled. Snobbery and elitism occur in the fitness world as much as in every other aspect of our society. Some of my muscularly-gifted friends have already posted Facebook statuses about how the gyms are crowded with “resolutioners.” But have no fear, because they’ll be gone by Groundhog Day.

I can understand how frustrating it must be for those who have dedicated their time and their body to getting in shape, only to have to deal with people who perhaps aren’t as serious about their goals. It must seem like a dull buzzing in the back of their minds that only goes away once the next snowfall hits. Dedication, my ass.

Yet there are a bunch of reasons why this elitism has to end. First, there is no valid excuse for not accepting people who want to be healthier. People judge you if you’re overweight, and then turn around and judge you again for trying to be more fit. It’s a vicious circle for all those involved.

These elitists also seem to forget that they were once newbies. If they were looked down upon when they first joined a gym or went for a run, they wouldn’t be where they are, either.

It’s ridiculous that, in this day and age, we’re still judging people for their goals and passions. I didn’t make a resolution this year for that reason. I’m still going to go to the gym though, inane labels be damned.

Whether you’re into fitness or you’re a master trombone player, if you see someone new, be encouraging and lend a hand. You were once in their sweaty shoes.