At press time, it is December 29, and this means the countdown is on for two very important dates: December 31, when Mike and I go to bed at 9:30 and hope the new year gets rung in somehow without us, and January 2, when the annual influx of eager new members begins at the gym. (Perhaps your gym is open on January 1, but mine does not open again until January 2. At least, I think that’s true. We’re going to assume that it’s true, because a day that the gym is closed is a day you don’t have to feel guilty for not exercising, because it’s not even an option. Assuming you don’t want to go for a run OUTSIDE, which of course you don’t, because this is Canada and it is January.) I have nothing AGAINST the resolutioners (it would be pretty ridiculous of me to begrudge people an activity that I myself participate in regularly) but I am not a patient person and do not wait in line very well. I especially do not wait in line very well for activities in which I only participate reluctantly for my own health and well-being and as such don’t particularly enjoy. I mean, I don’t HATE the gym (my feelings pretty closely resemble this cartoon) but I’m kind of a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am person when it comes to my workouts — get in, get out, and then take a really long shower while the baby is still in the gym daycare — and I hate waiting in line enough that I probably wouldn’t wait in line to eat cookie dough cheesecake while Colin Firth complimented me on my shiny hair and used the words “less” and “fewer” in their appropriate contexts, so the chances that I’d wait in line for an elliptical trainer are … well, they’re not good. Not good at all.

So. You know. January and February are not my favourite time of year to work out (just to be clear, this is due entirely to a character flaw of my own, not because I think these new members shouldn’t BE at the gym, because I’m quite happy they’re there and I wish them all the success in the world with their resolutions, and I enthusiastically cheer them on in theory if not in practice) and in previous years the situation has become dire enough that I was convinced on almost three separate occasions to go to the gym at 6 a.m., and you know who is at the gym at 6 a.m.? NO ONE. Well, no one except me, and some crazy people, and my gym buddy, who was kind enough to keep up a steady stream of chatter while not expecting me to add anything more to the conversation than an occasional confused nod or pitiful moan, because it was still dark out and I was running on a treadmill, so I could barely keep from dying and any leftover brain capacity was devoted to seriously questioning my own sanity.

However, we were telling some stories over Christmas about the wacky things we’ve seen at the gym (as you do) (mine featured a lady who was KNITTING on a recumbent bike) and someone I know (identifying details removed to protect the clumsy) shared that they were once on a treadmill in a public place and were so focused on an exciting/tense moment in the t.v. show they were watching that they FELL COMPLETELY OFF THE TREADMILL. Now, I have done some basic calculations and realized that the more people there are at the gym at any given time, the more likely I am to witness something like that, and that would be pretty cool. (Not cool enough to get there at 6 a.m., let’s not kid ourselves here, but possibly cool enough to brave the crowds at noon.)