Lose weight. Get organized. Spend less. Volunteer. Quit smoking. An estimated 40 percent of Americans made New Year’s resolutions this month. Fewer than 10 percent will keep them.
But that didn’t stop some residents from wiping the slate clean and chalking up a few self-improvement goals for 2014.
And the Medina Community Recreation Center is hopping because of it.
“This week our fitness room attendance is noticeably higher,” recreation supervisor Kurt Gehring said. “People have finally gotten back to their normal routines.
“The kids are back in school; they’re not taking time off to celebrate the holidays. And we’ve got two courts occupied with youth basketball every night.”
Gehring said memberships are up as well.
“This is our big time of year for new members,” He said. “It starts in December and goes through March.”
Experts say the best way to keep a New Year’s resolution is to set small, measurable goals and chart progress.
Lucas Gibbs, 24, a four-year recreation center member, has a solid fitness plan for 2014.
“I’m going to continue in ‘beast mode’,” he said. “I want to push past my plateau.”
Member Jackie Whitaker, 52, said her goal is to “just let things flow.”
Andrew Arbuckle, 16, said he’s resolved to work out at the center several times a week.
His friend Will Kovach, 18, said, “I’m here and I’m hoping to get in shape this year.”
Fitness room attendant Sam Kratsas, 17, said he hopes to increase his grade-point average at school.
Finance assistant Christy Moats said: “I’m going to simplify the clutter. Why have 10 purses when one will do — although I just bought three purses on eBay but only to use as parts.”
Recreation center member Cheryl Bell, a teacher at Medina’s H.G. Blake Elementary School said: “I’m trying to get healthier and exercise to keep up with my second-graders. I just had a birthday and it’s not getting any easier.”
Caroline Fazio, 58, said she will “continue what I’ve been doing. I exercise just about every day. This year I’m cutting down on carbs and eating more protein.”
William Maki, 86, said he works out at the center three times a week.
“I have a heart condition and diabetes,” he said. “But exercise has given me longevity.”
Maki added the center is more than just a place to work out.
“This is family here. I’ve made a lot of friends at the rec,” he said as he finished a 19-minute mile on an elliptical bike before heading to the pool.
Recreation center office administrator Michelle Kwiatkowski said her resolution is to “practice yoga and meditation for a stress-free year.”
Rental coordinator Sandy Tomazic said she hoped in 2014 to “rent our beautiful facility to more of the community.”
Several patrons questioned how the whole business of making resolutions got started.
Blame it on the Babylonians who launched their new year by promising the gods they would pay off debt and return borrowed items.
Two thousand years later, Emperor Julius Caesar called on Romans to honor the god Janus by setting moral goals for the new year. The month of January is named after Janus, a two-headed god who looked forward and backward and was the patron of new beginnings.
But while many resolutions are made at the recreation center, few are kept.
“The next few months will be busy,” Gehring said, “and then it will slow down.”
Gehring isn’t worried about keeping any New Year promises — he didn’t make a resolution this year.
“I’ve broken too many in the past,” he said with a laugh.
Contact reporter Nancy Johnston at (330) 721-4065 or email@example.com.