What a difference a New Year’s Day makes. As expected, the Resolution Mob descended upon Bally.
The evening aerobics class—which has routinely been canceled or featured as few as one participant—was actually full. Members manned every single treadmill, stationary bike and stair machine. The weight-lifting machines creaked and clanked like hyperactive pile drivers. Personal trainers resembled Bangkok hookers, working the crowd for clients. The indoor track streamed with joggers, speedwalkers and the strange folks who lunge forward like they’re heading toward Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks.
It’s easy to spot the health club virgins by their distinctive physical characteristics and exotic behavior. Here’s the Field Guide to Bally Newbies:
The Bag Lady A woman with an aversion to lockers who carries her belongings—street clothes, pumps, full-length coat, purse and bulging messenger bag—from machine to machine.
The Narcissist A man or woman unaccustomed to environments with mirrored walls who spends the time checking themselves out from all angles.
The Neon Flash A man sporting an ultra-shiny, brand new track suit. There is often a sale tag or size sticker still attached.
Frankie & Annette A man or woman with a large, colorful beach towel.
The Sampler A man or woman who literally tries every machine on the floor, frantically readjusting the seats and weight amounts.
Mister Salty A man unfamiliar with basic equipment operation who twists his body in impossibly frightening pretzel-like ways.
Enjoy your workout.