Today I did my first early morning, pre-work swim of 2014.
I haven’t been too hard on myself up to this point. The dark, cold mornings are difficult enough to deal at the best of times. Having thoroughly enjoyed the long relaxing Christmas break, getting up for work has been enough of a shock to the system without trying to get to the pool. I therefore gave myself a little time to ease back into the routine. Given most of December was spent trying to fight off colds and sniffles, it’s been a while since an early morning swim was part of the routine.
The pool was very busy. Some say it’s a myth that January is the busiest month at gyms, but I put the new faces down to New Year Resolutions that are yet to fall by the wayside.
If you are planning a “get fit” campaign, I would strongly recommend you do not start in January. No wonder people find it difficult to stick with their Resolutions… everywhere is crowded, it’s really not pleasant!
Apparently Gyms rely on over-subscription and a significant drop off in attendance as the month / year goes on, If people only experience a gym or swimming pool in January, I can completely understand why they don’t enjoy it.
Wouldn’t it be great if, rather than doing New Year Membership Promotions, your gym focused on its existing members. They could re-open admissions in February. I know New Memberships are 50% higher in January, but it would send a good message.
To existing members it would say: “We care about you. We want you to have access to the facilities you have paid for,”
To Prospective members it would say: “We want you to take your membership seriously. We know that if you join in January, chances are that we won’t see you again. Wait a bit. Think about it. If you’re serious then we’ll welcome you with open arms… Oh, and when you are a Member, we will look after you too!” *
Of course, (in the Northern Hemisphere, and particularly in Scotland) the issue is exacerbated by the winter weather… heading outside isn’t exactly the most appealing of propositions. The weather is made for a onesie, a roaring fire, a box-set and a glass / mug of something to warm the insides.
Instead of January, I’d suggest you start your fitness campaign in September. Get the Summer holiday out the way and then get yourself fit. The gyms will be quiet, the weather temperate, the days long. You’ll have a natural head start, you’ll feel great and you should be in the swing of things by the time January and the winter blues come around.
Anyway, I managed to fight my way through the crowds for a reasonable swim. With a Turbo Trainer session this evening I’m feeling tired but satisfied. Time to kick back in my onesie!
* I recognise this is selfish and elitist. It is also largely irrelevant for me and the many thousands people that use Public Facilities. We just have to suck it up and make the most of it.