When McDermont X Fitness Center in Lindsay opened Monday, friends Jacob Duenas and Angel Perez were two of the first people to come and work out.

Back again on Tuesday, the two said they were happy to be back and getting stronger.

“I don’t know. I just missed working out, sweating, getting gains, socializing with people. Just all that typical stuff. Grinding,” Duenas, 18, said.

Perez, who is going to play outside linebacker for the College of the Sequoias, said that being back in the fitness center meant he could get back to offseason training.

“It feels great,” he said. “Finally get to work out again and working out means getting better for football again.”

McDermont opened its doors to members this week after being closed since March 19, when Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order for California due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The opening of the facility was announced on Facebook this past Saturday and it came with a couple of new rules that are also posted around the facility.

Some of the new rules are ones that have become common with the pandemic such as: follow the social distancing rule of staying six feet apart, wear a mask when entering and leaving the building, wash your hands and clean the equipment you use.

McDermont also added a few others though which are: temperatures are read when members enter the building, no showers, no child care services, no water fountains, no towel service and there is also an additional COVID-19 waiver that members need to sign.

Clint Ashcraft, one of the partners of McDermont Venture that runs McDermont X, said so far they had not had any issues with people following the new rules.

“So far people have been really good,” Ashcraft said. “We added a little bit to our waiver to make sure people are thinking about (things) having that signed.”

Perez said the new rules didn’t bother him and were good for everyone else.

“Not at all actually,” he said. “It keeps the environment where we’re at clean and keeps the gym open for as long as it could.”

On the new rules, Duenas called them “common sense” but drew a line at the idea of wearing a mask while working out.

“I wouldn’t wear a mask working out because it’d be hard to breathe, plus you’re sweating, plus you’re running,” Duenas said. “I mean that’s hard to breathe right there, with a mask on too.”

Ashcraft said masks are not required while working out, only on entering and leaving the facility.

“The hard part is it’s still not the right time to do contact sports,” Ashcraft said. “So soccer and basketball are just not really possible.”

Ashcraft said Wellness Center Director for the city of Lindsay, Lisa Davis, has been a big help in advising McDermont on what to do and allow as the state and county go through different phases of reopening.

“I’ve had conversations with her and she’s really good,” Ashcraft said. “She’s meeting with recreational people all over and kind of giving us feedback. And then my partner Alfredo (Velasco) is really good at kind of keeping up with what the most recent news is.”

Although the fitness center has reopened, the rest of the facility remains closed. Ashcraft said they’ve begun looking into reopening things but it’ll happen based on health guidelines and the demand for the facilities other attractions.

“Our fun stuff is not open. Our attractions, our Flowrider, our rock climbing, for a couple of reasons,” Ashcraft said. “No. 1 it’s hot, this time of year, and we have a difficult time keeping this gigantic facility cooled down. So it doesn’t make sense to just jump in and force it to happen. But the second reason is because we don’t feel like people are quite ready yet to venture out to make it financially feasible.”

When they reopen the other attractions, Ashcraft said they’ll likely have a host system so groups of people can pay by the hour to spend a designated time at whichever attraction they’d like to visit.

“Then that attendant and those people can make sure everything gets sprayed off and cleaned up before the next group rotates to that station,” he said. “So it’ll be this nice little constant rotation of stuff that you’re doing. That’s kind of what we anticipate happening.”

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