New Year, New Gym Membership

By Briana DelBuono

The phrase “New Year, New Me” affects everyone in a different way. To the people of Staten Island, it means, “sign up for a gym membership because your love handles are getting out of control.”

To avid gym goers like myself, this is stressful and irritating because I know who is a regular and who is trying to “turn over a new leaf” with a new fitness regimen. Normally, I would have no problem with this, barring the fact that these new members actually stuck to their New Year’s resolutions while they took up all the machines in the process.

There are quite a few gyms to choose from on Staten Island but my gym is, The Young Men’s Christian Association, better known as the YMCA. The YMCA offers a $0 joiner’s fee from after Christmas day until the first week of February. With this not-so-pricey sign up fee, the promotion attracts lots of potential members.

“We usually have the $100 joiners fee but that’s taken away during the promotion,” said Jody McErlean, a staffer at the YMCA. “We try to lure people in right after Christmas.”

For $55 a month, adults can attend any of the 74 classes offered, gain access to the indoor pool, take swimming lessons, use the locker rooms, saunas, and basketball court. This is an opportunity that many New Year optimists cannot pass up. “It’s adults mostly that make those New Year’s resolutions,” McErlean confided.

Members can even sign up for a personal trainer if they are feeling really motivated. Trainers cost $55 per session for members and $65 for non-members.

Though the more sessions you pay for, the better deal you receive (five sessions are $250 for members and $350 for non-members; 10 sessions are $440 for members and $600 for non-members; and 20 sessions will run members $855 and non-members $1150).

This fully loaded gym doesn’t just attract South Shore residents. “We get a lot of people from the North Shore too. Some people like the classes here better,” Watkins said. The amenities at the YMCA are endless. Most people would agree it is worth the pricey fee. Open from 5am-11pm Monday through Thursday, Fridays 5am-10pm, and 6am-930pm on Saturday and Sunday, the YMCA is a home away from home to loyal gym goers.

This time of the year is not all smiles and optimism; do not be fooled! No matter what time of day you arrive, the gym in January is not a place you want to be. “You know to stay away in January,” Watkins said. Parking becomes an issue too. The lot is huge but fills up pretty quickly with all the new members.

January is the most populated time of the year at the YMCA and this is not only due to all its new members. The holidays have a way of putting even the most avid gym goers in a slump. “Everyone’s busy,” ttaff member, Denise Watkins said. “Everybody has overeaten.” January is a fresh start for most people. The New Year offers a clean slate for resolutions.

“New year, new you, I always say,” Watkins chimed in.

This proactive attitude doesn’t last for most people. Once mid February rolls around, the gym becomes a ghost town. “We start to get less busy. People have given up their resolutions by then,” McErlean said. The warmer temperature doesn’t help matters either. “The weather gets a little nicer too,” Watkins said.

Resolutions are nice to have but the fact of the matter is, sticking to something takes real dedication. Save your resolutions for something you know you are going to be able to keep up with and let your “new year, new me” vows last until May, at the very least.


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