Published: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 6:02 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 6:02 p.m.

HED: Getting there

As I write this, it's January, and my newly minted New Year's resolutions still feel fresh and doable.

In fact, I'm downright optimistic about this "balance my life" plan for 2010, in which I will lose weight, rediscover the gym, declutter our house, unleash my inner artist and become a better baker. (Hmm ... possible conflict with Resolution One.)

But if this year is like every other, by the time you're reading this, those New Year's resolutions may have started to fray a bit - excuses stacking up like so many unread magazines on the night table.

So if, like me, you could use an inspirational kick-start to keep you going down your road of good intentions, you won't want to miss our cover story. We chronicle the amazing three-decade journey of Joseph Cirulli, whose local fitness empire is a true Gainesville success story.

Cirulli, who arrived here virtually penniless in his early 20s, built his 30,000-member, three-location Gainesville Health and Fitness Center by creating his own set of resolutions - which he calls "The List" - and doggedly adhering to them even when he was literally down to his last 12 cents.

If you've been around Gainesville for awhile, you probably know a bit about Cirulli, the third of seven children born to a tight-knit Italian family from Elmira, New York. But in this profile by Gainesville Sun business editor Anthony Clark, you'll follow his ride from fitness-loving 20-year-old to internationally known health club entrepreneur - and discover the influences that shaped his business strategy.

As you'll see, Cirulli's story is a case study in envisioning a plan and sticking to it. It should prove instructional for anyone with a goal, no matter how unlikely. That's why we thought it would be the ideal way to inaugurate Gainesville Magazine's new Getting There feature of in-depth profiles of people who have built highly successful businesses here. You'll not only meet some fascinating Gainesvillians, but they will also share with you the secrets and the steps that helped them realize their dreams.

Speaking of dreams, you will see that this issue also carries our special wedding guide. If you or anyone in your immediate vicinity is planning for the big day, you will find plenty to entice you here - from professional advice from a wedding planner, "garden glamorous" bridal fashions, quick shape-ups for brides, and much more - including a look at some cozy nearby B&Bs, inviting whether you're newly wed or married for decades.

Even though it's a new year, some things never change - there's always so much more I'd like to point your attention to ... a conversation with author Jill Ciment, our recipes for a romantic Italian dinner for two, a young man's story of spreading happiness through soccer.

But now I will thank you, as always, for the support you've given our magazine since it began almost seven years ago. It's been a joy to discover new things about our city as we work on issue after issue, and to share what we learn with you. Your ideas and suggestions keep us going, and we are very grateful for them.

Here's hoping your year is going well!

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