By Jean Youkers
There are two kinds of people afoot at HAC in the early morning hours – those who are morning people and those who are not.
Some morning workout-ers practically break the doors down as they wait for the arrival of 5:30 am when the doors open. These folks are eager to mount treadmills and other equipment, taking off at a pace that matches their energy. We morning people are already planning what’s next on our agenda for this exciting new day before dawn even breaks! Some are sprinting downstairs to the locker rooms, gym bags swinging merrily, to change into swim suits and jump into the pool or perhaps depart for a run. Some vault outside to swim laps in the outdoor pool, even on freezing winter days. I’m told by some that they feel invigorated as they dart back and forth, splashing or not splashing, contentedly.
Meanwhile, some of the non-morning people are still at home, bracing themselves with additional coffee before they can dress and remember what to pack in their gym bags. Once at HAC, they will, of course, rally and have a great workout, just like the morning people. One group wakes up to get to the gym while the other heads to the gym to wake up. There is no right or wrong, as people are different in many ways, with different body rhythms and different schedules that require different workout hours.
Jeannie Versagli, HAC’s registered dietitian, explained that body rhythm dictates whether one is a morning person or a night owl. The two groups operate on different cycles. As Jeannie says, we must “nourish to flourish.” Carbs adequately nourish a morning person in the morning, whereas protein is the fuel needed to “jump start” a night owl person whose schedule forces early morning functioning. The morning person hits a low energy point in the afternoon, when they should incorporate protein into their afternoon snack.
Other than the morning, HAC members arrive at various times throughout the day. About half come during the day and half come in the evening, according to Assistant Customer Service Director, Jordan Biscoe, who delights HAC members by greeting each of us by name at the front desk. The daytime visits are heavier before noon, while the night visits peak between 4:00 and 7:00 pm. With more than 12,000 total members, Jordan said, there may be as many as 2,600 visits on any given day. On New Year’s Day, when the club opened at noon, Jordan said 300 people checked in within the first 15 minutes!
When asked if he sees a difference between day and evening members, Jordan said that the people arriving after work are tired and hungry, so they are in more of a hurry, while the morning people (who come in before work or may be retired) often seem more relaxed.
Yet, another group undoubtedly views an evening workout as the perfect way to chill out after a long, busy day. I wouldn’t know, being the morning person that I am.
HAC accommodates the varied schedules and body rhythms of morning people, night owls, and everybody in between, by offering a wide array of activity choices for morning, afternoon, and evening. And it’s a good thing we have all these choices and that we are all so different. Imagine if all 12,000 of us showed up simultaneously, nobody would get a parking place ever. Vive la différence!