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I should have known the minute the ball dropped in Times Square. Ignorantly, I welcomed in the New Year kissing my husband and toasting with friends as if nothing was about to change. I’d given up New Year’s resolutions as a serious matter years ago. I’d forgotten how many people still carry this tradition like the magical key that will open the door of health!

Body Pump class had become a routine over the last month. I was starting to feel stronger and savored this time for myself. Then, between traveling for Christmas and cancelled classes over New Years I’d missed 10 days. I was looking forward to getting back into it by the time I headed for the gym. As I walked through the door one of the staff said, “Are you here for Pump?” Her hair was askew and mascara was smeared below her eye. Apparently it’d been a rough day. I still had no clue. (I’d make a lousy detective.)

“Yes,” I replied with innocence. “Why?” “Well,” she leaned in. “It’s probably not full yet…but classes are filling up quickly now with…” she leaned in closer, finishing her sentence in a whisper, “you know, the new people.” It was code. She was really screaming “Hey Regular, might not want to wait until 5 minutes before class to waltz in because the RESOLUTIONS MAKERS are here and they’re gonna crowd you out. Get your butt in there.”

I had the advantage. I’d done this before. So, when the door opened I knew what to do. I quickly claimed my floor spot with a bench and then headed for the weights. Having been one myself once, I knew the newbies would pause with uncertainty. They’d watch doe-eyed to see what they were supposed to do. I grabbed the mix of weights I needed, a bar and clamps. Then I headed for the mats and, with lightening speed, was back in my spot. Most were still wandering around. The instructor was saying, “Come on in…we’ll make room.” Where, I thought? I looked at the weight stand and all the small weights were gone. It appeared as if everyone was set, but anyone else coming in was out of luck.

Apparently, I should have made a resolution to be kinder because, I’ll admit, I wasn’t thinking about helping…anyone. Any other time I would have said hello. Offered to help the new person get set up. Been willing to share weights. But this wasn’t one or two new people trying out a class along their journey toward wellness. This was a crowd who obviously felt entitled to crash my favorite class and stress me out. No, this was not the time to be kind. This was my health and wellness, after all! (I’m not the only one…another blogger almost punched the woman who got her spot at a Body Pump class.)

A month, I told myself. I’ll have to put up with this for a month and then it’ll be fine. Jodi, the instructor, explained how to lift the bar and where your elbows should be. How your weight should be in your heels, not your toes. The first song started and the guy way up front was doing dead lifts so fast I thought he was making fun of “the women.”  He’s going to hurt himself, I thought. Throughout the whole class he continued lifting at double speed, bending when he should have been leaning and staring at himself in the mirror instead of studying the instructor. I wanted to scream, “Hey Jodi…glance right and get a load of this guy.” 45-minutes in we were doing clean-and-presses (an overhead lift). Jodi told everyone to keep the bar close to the body. He was, of course lifting away from his body the whole song and clenching his teeth like he was passing stones. He had five pounds on each end of the bar. Seriously?

Another newbie was grinning the whole hour, seemingly on the edge of a laughing attack. I liked her, though. At least she wasn’t faking it. A 20-something woman brought her dad to class. They stood in the back and she proceeded to shout instructions to him so he could hear her above Jodi’s microphone. By the end of the class dad was goofing off, bending when told to straighten and generally defying the whole experience while his daughter who finally got a sense of humor, started laughing, bringing an end to both of their workouts.

My guess is that the dad never comes back. The dude with no rhythm may hang in for another class but I predict this isn’t his thing. The smiling woman has potential, but we’ll see. More than likely, I’ll have my sacred space back soon and things will be normal again. And maybe next year, I’ll be prepared. I’ll remember to get to class earlier in January, so I can…help the poor resolution makers. Yeah, that’s it, so I can help.

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