Staying true to the new you

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. - -- Grizzled gym rats who have made the gym their second home know what time of year this is: resolution season. The season when there's never a good parking spot, all the lockers are full, and that one person who has no idea how to use the leg press machine just won't get off the equipment.

It can be a tricky time of year for fitness enthusiasts. For those whose routines are the same year-round, it's just like any other day at the gym, except it seems like all they can do is attempt to wade through the flood of "resolutioners".

For "resolutioners", myself included, this season can also be difficult. How do you stay focused when there are so many distractions? Where do you even start? How do you learn to interpret the hieroglyphic instructions on the machines?

We all have a role to play in this new year. For those of you who have fitness down to a science, try working on your patience. If someone looks like they could use a hand, offer one. Ask if it would be all right for you to assist them on their form. Encourage them, rather than post embarrassing videos of them online. Remember, these are your wingmen; you may have to deploy with them one day. Who better to get them to where they need to be than you?

For us "resolutioners", don't be the person who thinks they know it all. Start simple; you'd be surprised at what you can accomplish with a Stairmaster and a couple dumbbells. Ask for assistance, put pride or fear aside and realize we're all in this together. Be aware of your surroundings, learn from those around you, and ask how they got started. But most importantly, don't quit.

For warrior Airmen, we should dream of a day when none of us can find a parking spot at the gym because everyone there is putting forth maximum effort to be as physically fit as they can be. While that dream may be far reaching, it's still possible, with some help and support from one fitness warrior to another, step by step, pound by pound.