Jerry Randell was the first person to sign up for a membership at the Alegent Creighton Health Lakeside Wellness Center. That was in 1999.
Fourteen years later, Randell is still 'Wellness Center Member #1' and he has no intention of changing that.
"I was just looking to stay active,” he recalled. “I had watched the construction of the building, so I called to see if they were taking membership applications yet and they told me they were. They didn’t even have the equipment set up yet, but I could tell I was going to like it there.”
Randell has found that walking the indoor track and exercising in the warm-water pool suits him best. The walking burns calories and the warm-water therapy eases his joint pain as he talks to his friends.
“I’ve aged 14 years since the wellness center opened, but I’m able to do all the things I could then,” he said. “I’ve lost 50 pounds over the years – and that’s been good for my overall health.”
Randell says he likes the people at the wellness center. Not just the woman at the front desk who greets him by name or the locker room attendant he’s known for years, but also the other wellness center members that he works out with most days.
“The people make a difference,” he said. “The social aspect of the wellness center is important to me. I’ve developed friendships with a number of people there and that keeps me coming back.”
Randell jokes that each year, he and his friends see what they call 'resoluters' hit the gym in January.
“They fade out,” he said. “About 90 percent of them are gone after a month or two."
But not Randell - he says that he plans to keep working out at the Lakeside Wellness Center.
"I don't have any intention of stopping or of joining a new club,” he stated. “I love the staff and the people I work out with here."