In defense of “New Year, New Me” at the gym

A message – a plea – to all the gym hardos in January, from the less athletically talented

I get it. I don’t look like I work out. I take it slow on cardio machines. And I look at weights the way a lot of people look at Orgo exams. At the gym, I’m the sort of hot mess people take videos of, hoping that it will become the next viral sensation.

If I’m at the gym, you can bet I’ve got some variation of this face going on.

It’s the beginning of spring semester. There are a lot of people at the gym still on their “new year, me new” kicks. And that sucks for you guys. I know. Last semester, this gym was your African savannah, and you were a lion.

Now there are just a lot of confused zebras running around, taking up space at your watering hole and running on the treadmill that you “always used to run on” – just slow enough for it to be annoying to you.

Busy AF – and annoying AF, we know!

That being said, I am making a request to all y’all with your lives together enough to have a regular exercise regimen. All of you dudes in your muscle tanks homemade from Berk Late Night shirts. And all you girls whose butts don’t quit in your yogas.

On behalf of all those who will give up on the gym mid-February when they realize they have no bae to impress on Valentine’s day:

Be kind to us. We are trying. We might not understand how the arm presses work (do you do one arm at a time or two arms at once?) or we might go really, really slow on the elliptical. But I promise – we’re trying.

We want to keep trying, but when faced with looks of judgment and anger from the beautiful and physically fit, it’s hard, and we’re more likely to quit. We know we look ugly, and when we feel people staring at us, we feel it even more.

When is there ever line to get into the Rec Center?

We don’t want to quit! We want to continue to work out, we want the faithful and dedicated regimen you have – but it can’t be done alone. We need that little bit of help from you. You should feel good about the fact that we clearly admire your work ethic.

Don’t stand just close enough to the machines we’re using while you wait for it so that we know you’re annoyed at how long we’re taking. Don’t excessively grunt while lifting weights just to show off how much you’re lifting. Don’t look over at us when you’re next to us on the cardio machines, move your resistance up to just one more than us, then look back to your machine with a smug face. (That one comes from personal and repeated experiences.) Who is that helping?

We’re just asking for a bit of tolerance. In the end, you’re helping UMass become a healthier, more active campus. And shouldn’t that make you feel like a good person? Now you can check “being a good person” off your own New Year’s Resolution List, right?


Advice to literally anyone who has ever worked out – showtunes. #runfreedomrun

Just a friendly tip from one newbie gym-rat to another. Spread a little exercise love UMass.

UMass Amherst amherst exercise gym new me new year new year new me resolutions umass umass amherst