Local business owners and community leaders share their New Year’s resolutions

by: JASON CHANEY/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Members of a senior fitness class at Norm’s Xtreme Fitness Center warm up with a stair-stepping exercise. Fitness Center owner Norm Smith anticipates a spike in memberships this month as people make New Year’s resolutions to get in better shape.

For centuries, millions of people have chosen New Year’s Day to embark on a new goal or lifestyle change.
   In all likelihood, this year is no exception. Whether those New Year’s resolutions include plans to quit a long-time habit or spend more time exercising and less time eating, today is the day that people will give it their best shot.
   One of the more classic New Year’s resolution choices includes a renewed commitment to physical fitness — something that local fitness center owner Norm Smith knows all too well. Each January, Norm’s Xtreme Fitness Center encounters a surge of new resolution-minded customers who are intent on getting back in shape.
   “Oh yeah,” Smith affirmed. “That’s a pretty common thing.”
   He went on to say that he is encouraged by the larger gym crowd. While he acknowledged that the number of patrons declines in the following weeks and months, some people stick to their workout regimen for the long haul.
   “It’s good to see,” Smith said, “because I know that there is going to be 10 percent that by coming in and actually getting in the activity, they will actually make a change in their life — and that is always exciting.”
   Prineville Mayor Betty Roppe might join the January gym crowd, although she would not necessarily consider the decision a New Year’s resolution.
   “I’m such an optimist that I always think things are going to turn out for the best,” she said, “so I rarely make New Year’s resolutions.”
   At the same time, she admitted to at least one goal as 2013 begins.
   “If I were going to make one (a resolution) this year, it would be to lose 20 pounds,” she said.
   Like Roppe, Crook County Commissioner Ken Fahlgren doesn’t really make New Year’s resolutions.
   “I don’t pay much heed to it,” he said. “It’s another day.”
   Fahlgren did stress however that he works hard to make each day better than the last. To that end, he expressed a desire to improve life for his constituents.
   “I have hope looking forward that we enable others to create other jobs for Crook County,” he said.
   In addition to his ambitions as a commissioner, Fahlgren has at least one personal goal in mind for the upcoming year – if he can fit it in.
   “Personally, I’d just rather go fishing,” he quipped. “Find more time for steelhead.”
   Oregon Representative Mike McLane has made some resolutions for the new year that include “the classic eat healthier and exercise more.” However, he set another goal that should make his spouse happy. This year, he resolves to “not scream so loud at (Crook County) Cowboy football games that I embarrass my wife.”
   McLane was once told by his son, who used to play on the team, that one of his friends referred to him as “Representative McScreamer,” because he could hear McLane’s fanaticism from the field.
   “I’m a fan,” he offered as his excuse, “and I like to cheer loudly and occasionally remind the officials that they are making calls in front of a thousand people, and they should probably be more attentive.”
   Prineville City Manager Steve Forrester has more ambitious plans in mind. A regular New Year’s resolution maker, he has decided to try something he deemed “pretty crazy.”
   “My New Year’s resolution is to learn how to team rope with my son, Chad, as a heeler,” he said. He plans to put those skills to the test in the 2013 Paulina Rodeo.
   For Forrester, New Year’s Day provides an opportunity to focus on something that he wants or needs to do.
   “Whether you are 100 percent successful or not, I think is not as important as the try,” he said.
   That being said, Forrester stressed that he cannot fail at this resolution.
   “I got a horse. I’ve been practicing. I have been taking lessons, and I am going to do it.”
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