Cover Story: Preparing for a Packed Ping. This was an editorial I wrote directed at Ping Employees to stay positive when the fitness center is at it’s busiest time: Resolution Season.
EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT THE FIRST COUPLE WEEKS BACK
are a couple of tough ones for Pingers. We’re trying to fight the sickness of
winter blues, the sadness of leaving our adorable dogs back home and the
stressfulness of new schedules and profs. On top of that: The Resolutioners.
Every January, Ping is packed with the
kids who spent every fall night at the South
Green courts that don’t feel like hooping in
the winter wind anymore. Those who haven’t
put foot to elliptical pedal their entire tenure
at OU come crawling out of the woodwork.
Everybody’s made a January 1st commitment
to that beach bod by Spring Break
(which by the way is a gracing us a little early
this year…woo!) Ping is going to be packed.
My advice for dealing with this often
dreaded extra crowd? Stay Positive.
As a Pinger, you are not only swiping cards
and sanitizing sweat stains. Take this New
Year as an opportunity to make someone’s
resolution become his or her way of life.
It takes some guts to push oneself
into shape, and if a patron feels even a
little motivated by the Ping Staff, they
will be more likely to stick around.
New Year’s Resolutions have become
the bane of January— pretty much a joke
to a lot of people. “Another thing for me to
start and not finish” we say (subsequent eye
roll included). It’s a snapshot into the human
condition—the constant drive we have
to turn ourselves into better people, yet the
ironic constant laziness we welcome into
our homes with failed attempts at Resolution
Greatness. Ask someone in the middle
of July how their New Year’s Resolutions
are going and he or she will call you a name.
But for the last couple years, I’ve attempted
to make my resolutions count. I’ve thought
of things I want to do: spend less money,
eat fewer cakes, shower more, road rage
less. But what’s made me keep them is finding
a tangible way to really reach my goal.
For 2012, I decided I wasn’t going to
spend a single dollar at a fast food establishment;
my goal was to eat healthier and
spend less money, but I also found this to be
a way to not support an industry I didn’t really
like. I could have made my goal something
like this: “Don’t eat burgers and fries,
but chicken is okay and salads are okay and
if you haven’t had a Frosty in a while that’s
okay too and also if it’s McDonald’s Monopoly
then you can have one medium soda
a week in case it’s Boardwalk and if there’s
a full moon or you’re really stressed you can
have burgers and fries too.” That’s a lot of
gray area. So I just cut out any spending. If it
had a drive-thru, I wasn’t driving through it.
And here I am twelve months later and still
fast food free! (I probably won’t eat it this year
either, but now it’s really just out of fear that
my body isn’t used to it anymore and I will die.)
New Year’s Resolutions can be legit. They’re
just like goals. I’d encourage you Pingers to
not only set them yourselves, but to promote
them to patrons. If somebody checks out a
plyo box and starts banging their head against
it, maybe give ‘em a tip or two on exercises
they can do with it. If somebody’s in the corner
of the weight room crying in a ball because
they’re so lost and ‘JUST WANNA GET IN
SHAPE AGAIN’ maybe direct them to a machine
(One can only pray that this doesn’t
actually happen). Be supportive and positive!
It’s okay to complain to other Pingers
(in the privacy of the Sup’s office) about
the crowds, their cutoffs or the reek of your
new Ping sweatshirt (that you patiently
waited three months for) after an hour in
the weight room. Business can be stressful!
But I would encourage you to set a
little work goal yourself: Be encouraging
to the Resolutioners. Make a difference!
Chances are, as history tells us, Ping
won’t be as busy by the time February
rolls around, but that’s okay. If a few
people have felt encouraged and excited
about the awesome feeling from a great
Group Fitness class or an excellent workout,
I think we’re doing something right.