Long Island Gym Owners Wait To Reopen: “It’s Been Devastating”

ROCKY POINT, NY— Edward Darcey has owned and operated Personal Fitness in Rocky Point for 31 years. When the news came from Gov. Cuomo that gyms in New York won’t reopen in Phase 4 of the post-coronavirus reopening plan, Darcey was one of many gym owners who were disappointed. Personal Fitness on Rte. 25A is a full-service gym that specializes in personal training and close relationships with clients.

“Obviously being unable to open my business now for almost four months has been devastating,” he told Patch.

“My gym is like my second family—it’s a comfortable and caring outlet for so many people. It’s very difficult being told I can’t go to work.”

In June, Cuomo announced that gyms, malls and movie theaters won’t be part of Phase 4. Long Island is currently on track to enter Phase 4 on Wednesday. Darcey, like many in the fitness industry, believe gyms should be more of a priority because of the mental and physical benefits of working out on the public.

“Initially we were Phase 3, then we were pushed to to Phase 4, and then last week the governor without any explanation or guidelines or a new date eliminated us from Phase 4, which was heart breaking for myself and my peers.”

It’s not only the financial hit Darcey says he’s taking that is difficult— “My bills have remained roughly the same but my income has been taken away”—but also not being able to provide a service to the community that he feels passionate about.

“Fitness and helping others is our passion. I’m so blessed to be able to help and reach so many many people for over 30 years. Coming to work and helping others also saved me from many tough times in my life. The best healing for anyone is to help someone else. So being shut down without any reasoning is very painful.”

This article originally appeared on the Port Jefferson Patch

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