ORANGE PARK – Millions of people around the world will ditch their resolutions by now and Clay County YMCAs want to help prevent that from happening.
Jan. 19 is known as Ditch Day because statistically, it’s the day when people are most likely to give up on their New Year’s resolutions. Adam Jorgensen is a Clay County resident looking to be the exception and he’s doing it with the help of his local YMCA.
“Of course, I’ve wanted to quit,” Jorgensen said. “I think about quitting multiple times a week and I don’t and that’s possible because of the support I’ve got surrounding me.”
Jorgensen has spent years of his adult life focused on growing his business, leaving little room for fitness in his life as a result. He and his wife had their first child last September and he soon decided to make some changes in his lifestyle. After a coworker challenged him to participate in a fitness event in Vermont known as 29029 Everest that sees participants summit a mountain over and over again, Jorgensen signed up for a membership at his local YMCA on Fleming Island.
A reason many people give up on a gym-related resolution is their lack of knowledge on a fitness and a shyness that stops them from asking for help.
“It can be tough,” Jorgensen said. “You’re new. You might not know what you’re doing. You don’t want to get in anybody’s way and you’re nervous to ask for help. It’s easier to just go home at that point.”
Jorgensen said the YMCA prevented him from using that excuse because at any given point, there are a number of trainers perusing the gym area with the sole task of helping those in need. Making a point to meet these trainers and talk with them about your struggles or areas that you need help is critical to your gym success, according to Jorgensen.
Jorgensen said he is a big guy and requires special maintenance in his training. When doing certain exercises, he must take into account his joints and other parts of his body. He said the YMCA is great at accommodating his fitness needs.
“We use the pool all the time because it’s a great way to work out and take it easy on your joints,” Jorgensen said. “I remember one time the pool being closed but because my trainer knew I needed to do pool workout that day, she convinced a lifeguard to join them so that we could do what we needed to do.”
After going through training regiment, Jorgensen said he was ready for the 29029 event. Jorgensen spent five hours climbing and re-climbing to the top of a mountain. He reached the summit, take the ski lift down and climb again.
“It was the hardest physical thing I had ever done but it was also one of the best things I’ve ever done,” Jorgensen said. “It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the people here at the [YMCA].”
YMCA Operations Director Burn Cannon said the key to pushing past Ditch Day is setting yourself up for success. People too often set goals far too lofty and then when they fail to reach them, they get discouraged and give up, Cannon said. Fitness is about the bigger picture and to get there, you have to set little challenges you can complete, he said.
He also said it’s important to link up with the community.
“Fitness alone works for some people, but some people need that support and we always recommend at least three,” Cannon said. “Two people together can talk themselves out of a gym day but if there’s a third person, usually one of those three people will say, ‘no, we need to go to the gym.’
“You’ve heard it before but it’s about holding people accountable. That’s the key.”
As Jorgensen clears past Ditch Day, he said that while the thought of quitting has crossed his mind many times before, he wasn’t sweating Jan. 19. He holds onto two things to keep him going: an attitude of no zero days and “remember tomorrow.”
“No matter what your day is like, you can’t have a zero day,” he said. “You don’t have to run five miles every day but you have to do something. Walk a mile. Do some pushups. Just do something every day and you’ll feel all the better because of it.”
“Remember tomorrow” is something Jorgensen tells himself every day as a way to remind himself of how he’ll feel tomorrow if goes to the gym or skips the day.
“Remember how you’ll feel tomorrow,” Jorgensen said. “Will I feel good about what I did today tomorrow or will I feel bad about it?”
The No. 1 thing Jorgensen tells himself and others who feel like giving up is “nothing changes if nothing changes.” If you want something in your life to change, in this case fitness, you have to make a change, he said, otherwise you can’t expect something to be different.
Jorgensen and Cannon encourage everyone to check out a local YMCA to get the fitness training and help they need. If someone has made it past Ditch Day, Jorgensen and Cannon said the YMCA can help them continue that trend and determine what their next goals are and if someone said goodbye to resolutions on Jan. 19, they encourage them to get back up and try again.
“There’s no shame in it,” Cannon said. “We’re here to help get you back on track.”