RYAN BAKKEN: An early start to New Year vowsThe New Year means it is New Year’s resolution time, so those vowing to lose weight will be flocking to Grand Forks’ new fitness center to sign up. Historically, the first of the year finds a surge in health club memberships.
By: Ryan Bakken, Grand Forks Herald
Starting Wednesday, the busy Choice Health & Fitness is likely to get even busier.
The New Year means it is New Year’s resolution time, so those vowing to lose weight will be flocking to Grand Forks’ new fitness center to sign up. Historically, the first of the year finds a surge in health club memberships.
The more the merrier, I say.
I jumped on the Choice bandwagon in early October, three months before my normal pushback from the bathroom scale’s reading. Despite a long history of workout enthusiasm waning after a month or two, I’ve stuck to the regimen.
I credit my shocking persistence to the energy in the building. It’s contagious.
Choice is to predecessor Center Court as a Cadillac is to a 1997 Mercury Mystique, as Arnold Schwarzenegger is to Pee Wee Herman and as Ed Schultz is to Scott Hennen. For comparisons, they’re all blowouts.
Choice offers seemingly endless options. Each option has plenty of room and/or equipment to handle the traffic. That’s despite interest lapping expectations, as the number of memberships already has exceeded projections for 2015.
Even before the impending resolution rush, Choice has 11,000 members, a stunning 19 percent of the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks population. With the anticipated membership rush in January, the building will have even more energy.
My workout is done on Choice’s second floor, where I can simultaneously watch people play basketball, volleyball and tennis, lift weights, use machines and circle the jogging/walking track. All are good diversions, tedium breakers and motivators.
The diversity of the activities is equaled by the diversity of the ages. At Center Court, the Park District’s institution-like former fitness center, the vast majority of members were in the 40-65 age group.
At Choice, all ages are represented. The grade-schoolers add to the energy. And the facility offers more family activities.
Choice also can be compared to Ralph Engelstad Arena. UND hockey was big before the new Ralph, but it’s even bigger now. The new Ralph adds amenities — including beer — to the experience for those who aren’t hockey diehards. It offers fun for the sports fans and for those who just want a night out. I’ve long described it as half-arena, half-nightclub.
The Ralph has made UND hockey even bigger. And, Choice appears destined to make fitness bigger, even if its amenities don’t include beer.
I plan to take part. But I need to walk before I run and run before I do Zumba.
Reach Bakken at (701) 780-1125; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1125; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.