It’s resolution time and this New Year feels more symbolically important than ever. After the turbulent year, the idea of wiping the slate clean and starting fresh appeals to many.
Fitness in 2020 faced several obstacles: the stay-at-home order, remote work, and temporary gym shutdowns. Gyms as a whole suffered, and the Community Center was no exception.
In the worst throes of the pandemic, the Center operated at a loss. Kevin Heye, executive director of the Greater Midland Community Center, says they were willing to take that short-term loss for the community.
“We knew if our childcare closed, we didn’t offer summer camps this summer, [and] we didn’t offer some recreation and wellness activities, our community would be in a lot worse spot. People still need to be able to go to work. They still need to be able to meet their health goals.”
Kevin Heye, the executive director of the Greater Midland Community Center, welcomes members back.
Support poured in from the Midland community to keep the Center afloat. The Dow Foundation, Midland Area Community Foundation, Gerstacker Foundation, Strosacker Foundation, Towsley Foundation, and United Way all pitched in.
“That’s what I love about Midland — all you have to do is ask. Somebody will make something happen,” says Heye. “The resources are here, the connections are here. Collaborations between organizations are phenomenal in this community. ... Every day I’m amazed. I’ve been here 13 years and it still amazes me.”
The Center is ready to ring in the New Year
With months of adapting to the ever-changing restrictions, the Greater Midland Community Center is ready to help get the community back on track, safely.
“Our goal really is that all Midland residents are healthy, stable, and thriving,” says Heye. “And we know that that looks different and feels different now than it did a year ago.”
The Community Center developed its COVID-19 precautions by looking at what other organizations were doing and fine-tuning it to this community. Among a few are wearing masks at all times, checking-in at the desk, and booking workout times to reduce capacity.
Even during workouts, masks must be worn. Fitness specialist staff are present throughout the facility to keep members encouraged and following guidelines.
“The protocols and things we’re doing are things that we live every day to the best of our ability,” says Heye. “We want to make people feel as comfortable as we can during these difficult times.”
For those craving a fresh start, the Community Center is offering the Crush 2021 Wellness Challenge. This six-week program is designed to kickstart your wellness, featuring healthy eating tips, mini-challenges, exclusive virtual group workouts, and cash prizes. The challenge runs from Jan. 10 through Feb. 20 and costs $75 to register.
While in-person group workouts are postponed through Jan. 10, most of the Center is open. The pools, courts and the Wellness Floor — which includes cardio and strength equipment and the running track — are open for use. For those not yet ready to return to a gym, there’s a special membership for virtual classes, including live classes and a library of pre-recorded workouts.
“We know that we have to be flexible and that’s why we offer a variety of avenues,” says Heye. “And that’s something that we’re looking at continuing post-COVID because we’ve seen a large number of people go, ‘we like this.’”