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John Lamb, Published January 08 2013

Lamb: Quitting in the new year

FARGO – Just one week into the New Year and people are already struggling to keep their resolutions.

One of the flip sides of that are the gym regulars complaining about the January joiners bottling up others’ workouts.

Happily, this year I’m in neither camp.

This year, or actually last year, I decided I was going to be so productive in the New Year, I wouldn’t wait until Jan. 1 to make myself better.

Instead of cursing the January joiners, as I’ve done in the past, I became a December Deserter. I closed my account at the Y and am at peace with that decision. A post-workout high is nice, but they were few and far between as I went to the gym less and less. More and more the highs were replaced by feelings of guilt that I was paying for a membership I was only periodically using.

Yes, I may have temporarily lost a spring in my step, but I gained a little extra ka-ching in my checking account, with no more membership fee. It almost makes up for more tax deductions taken out of my pay check.

Plus, now I don’t have to wash clothes as often, and my sweat pants are nice and clean and ready for what they were meant for – watching TV.

The gym wasn’t the only thing I cut out of my routine. After a year of futility on eHarmony, I closed that account as well. I know other people have luck meeting matches online and maybe I would’ve – if I’d been willing to grab my passport, my handy book of “French Phrases That Won’t Get You Slapped,” and drive to Winnipeg to meet some of the fine women eHarmony suggested.

I think the site is actually run by the Canadian department of tourism, but the last time I went north of the border during a stoppage in the NHL season, I was nearly bludgeoned with a frozen Labatt and a stale Tim Hortons’ honey cruller.

D’oh! Canada!

Joining gyms and meeting people seem to top resolution lists, as does reading more. Not me. Another thing I quit this year is subscriptions to three magazines. I’ll still read, but without me getting all sweaty and stinky in a gym a couple times a week, I really don’t need those perfumed pages to scrub over my body, fashionably masking my funkiness.

That may sound crazy, but when you see someone clutching the New Yorker to their chest, you think, “That guy really likes to read thoughtful, long-form stories. Why can’t I meet guys like that at the gym? Sacré bleu!”


Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533