To The First Time Exerciser
From Joel Potter
Welcome to my gym. If you feel out of place, that’s okay. I know I sure did the first time I walked into a gym. I was a very unlikely exerciser when I started working out in 1976, but I quickly recognized the benefits of what I now know as fitness. Jack LaLanne, the world famous diet and exercise guru was also an unlikely exerciser. As a kid, he was addicted to sugar and junk food. Jack suffered from blinding headaches and had no energy. He was so sickly that they kept him out of school for 6 months. His mother finally took him to a health seminar that planted the seed that would become his life’s vocation. All the way up to and into his 90’s, Jack exercised 2 hours a day!
You may not be the next Jack LaLanne, but we need to get you exercising either way. I probably would have never started if I didn’t have a comfortable and reasonably friendly place to work out. Part of the reason my first gym was friendly was because it was nearly empty. There were few exercisers, very few gyms, and the equipment was mostly homemade. Many looked down on the fitness industry. They thought it was a fad or a scam. But I saw the value of diet and exercise so I decided to venture into the gym business in 1989, despite what the “experts” were saying at the time.
The opportunity to introduce first-time exercisers to fitness is the biggest reason I got in the gym business. Today it is my goal to provide you with the kind of facility where you feel welcome. I am going to do my best to make you realize that you are important to my staff and me. I am sincere when I tell you that I get more excited when we enroll a first-time exerciser than any other type of member. I believe fitness can change anyone’s life, but he or she must get started in order to experience the almost endless benefits of exercise.
You are not expected to know everything and I encourage you to ask others for help. Everyone who works out today started somewhere, so we know what it is like to feel overwhelmed. Those who are truly knowledgeable tend to enjoy helping others, so don’t be afraid to ask for assistance.
You have some responsibilities, too. You are expected to be polite and respectful towards yourself, others, the equipment and the facilities. You are expected to share equipment, pick up after yourself and wipe down equipment when you are done using it. If that doesn’t happen, we won’t get along and eventually you will be asked to leave.
I’m willing to bet that if you stick around awhile that you will make a few friendships that last many, many years. I’m proud to say that I know many people who met in my gyms that have gone on to become lifelong friends. There have been many romances, marriages and children come out of people meeting in the gym, too. But don’t think of this gym as a meat market, because it isn’t. It is okay to think of it as “meet” market. You can “meet” many great people here.