T minus five days to resolution day – and extreme demarcation between the fitness haves and have-nots at the gym.

To the fitness haves, the uber-fit, the regulars of the regular – be patient and realize no one intentionally took ‘your’ machine, or locker, or shower stall, or blow dryer. No dirty looks, or scowls, or comments under your breath.

To the fitness have-nots, rather, soon-to-be-haves – be assertive in getting your gym legs under you. Use your complimentary training session to become familiar with the equipment and make notes to remember. Of course don’t waste any time if you plan to hire a trainer. The more you act like you are a regular the quicker you will become a regular.

To the gym community – we draw motivation from each other whether working out as a have, or soon-to-be have. Pay it forward regardless. First, a smile, a friendly hello, a nod, a heads-up about a machine that’s not working goes a long way toward lifting spirits and creating an all-for-one-one-for-all environment. Second, understand your ability to positively influence others. Even with less fitness capacity, others can be lifted observing your effort or persistence. After our own past success, seeing someone else do what you are attempting to do is the next strongest source of motivation – ‘if s/he can do it, I can do it.’ And, don’t be fooled by headphones. Even though most of us are seemingly insulated, we all watch each other!

My gym undeniably lives its ‘mecca of body building’ reputation. Any given day it’s full of professional bodybuilders, and current and former professional and Olympic athletes – the best of activity’s best. But, it’s also THE most inclusive gym I have ever belonged to. There are as many seniors, under-fit, newly fit, sort-of-fit, will-never-be-fit-but-still-trying, as uber-fit; and a virtual united nation of race-color-creed-preference, those who wear the most technologically advanced (sponsored) fitness wear and others who wear – cotton!

The intermingling is respectful, fluid and effortless. We commoners do our thing – but aren’t afraid to say hi to a ‘big’ or offer congratulations for a recent achievement. The bigs use the equipment as any other, waiting their turn or working-in (and wiping it down after).

In an environment that has the perfect storm of ingredients for tension between haves and soon-to-be-haves there is none. We CAN just all get along.