The “heartbreaking” struggle to rehome abandoned New Year’s fitness gear

Despite their annual pleas to forgo exercise equipment as a New Year’s resolution purchase, thrift shop proprietors say they are once again inundated with unwanted fitness aids. And in what has become a sad seasonal ritual, they are scrambling to find new families for the deluge of treadmills, barbells, and yoga mats arriving on their doorsteps.

“People just get caught up in the spirit of the season,” lamented one shop owner, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of backlash. Shaking his head at the piles of steel and rubber overflowing in his doorway, he complained, “They don’t think about the long-term responsibilities of fitness equipment ownership. We hear reasons ranging from lack of space to time constraints, but people need to think about these things before buying these machines.

“It’s not a gosh dang puppy,” the owner continued in frustration. “I wish people would stick to pets as holiday impulse purchases.”