Time was, like about a month ago, when 24-Hour Fitness Hawaii Kai was pretty mellow on Thursday mornings about 4 a.m., fondly known as The Butt-Crack of Dawn. That was December and there were usually about seven of the dozen or so of us who would be the hard-core Thursday crowd. A lot of people, for some reason, sleep in on Thursdays.
But now this is January. New Year, sales pitches and quotas, resolutions, muffin tops, beer bellies and thunder thighs. It’s new member palooza. I think a little orientation is due for the disoriented new members. Honestly. I’ve been there. I feel your pain. Here are a few tips:
1. Wipe down your machine before you start. Paper towels and a spray bottle of disinfectant is hanging on the wall. You cannot miss it. DON’T. MISS. IT.
2. Don’t change the TV station, or ask for it to be changed by the staff, until you’ve taken a consensus. FOX is on the TV really far away from me. I’ll be happy to feast my eyes on the boy candy of ESPN, but I prefer CNN or HLN, not the Housewives of Some Other Planet.
2. Do not wear old dumpy T-shirts and shorts as an indication of your not-so-sure you’re going to commit to this new lifestyle change. WTPho? Make a commitment! Besides. They stink. Did I mention THEY STINK?
3. Do get yourself some clothes with the Cool-Max or Dri-Fit tags. These are clothes manufactured to wick sweat and stink. And believe me. You stink. Get some pride.
4. Wear deoderant.
5. DO. NOT. WEAR. COLOGNE.
6. Wash your work-out clothes well. Use detergent.
8. Do not wear your work-out clothes again and again.
9. Use a towel to sop your sweat. I use bandannas. They work, too, but they are not enough to cover an ab bench.
10. When using an ab bench, put down a towel. Then wipe it down when you’re through.
11. When through with your machine, or the weights, or the ab bench, remove your garbage.
12. When through with your machine, or the weights, or the ab bench, WIPE IT DOWN. Did I make myself clear? It’s so uncool to get up and walk away punching the air and high fiving yourself while trailing body fluids.
13. Remember that roll of paper towels on the wall and the disinfectant? They are NOT decorations. Nor is there a coin slot. Use often. That’s what your dues pays for.
I don’t take any classes, so I can’t weigh in on class etiquette. But be advised, there always seems to be a pecking order, so watch your step. You don’ t wanna be messing with any one’s zen in yoga class.
When I was a newbie some four years ago, I experienced that “dazed, deer-in-the-headlights” sensation that is quite common among the newbies. Walk in, pop in your 10-digit code, scan your finger, take a deep breath and enter the room. Stop. Calm down. Find an empty machine. Find a friendly face. Maybe reach out to the staff. Don’t forget your manners. Soon you’ll be a regular, too. Your friends will be the ones who say, after you’ve missed a few days, “HEY! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN YA SLACKER? DROP AND GIVE ME 50!” That’s when you know you’re a regular, well loved by others suffering for fitness, too.