If anyone understands this, it’s Erin Alderette, the longtime mayor of the Chelsea Piers Sports Center in New York. She began her term back in 2009 after joining Foursquare on a whim and, a few brief challenges from other gym members notwithstanding, she has held onto the post ever since.

One person she briefly battled for the title was Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist who provided much of the original funding for Foursquare.

Foursquare Mayor for Life?

“My competitive drive, it’s really strong,” Alderette said in what is undoubtedly an understatement. “The thought of someone checking in and bumping me as mayor really motivates me to get in there every single day, sometimes twice a day. I don’t like taking weekends off. I don’t even like going on vacation.”

Bragging rights aside, Alderette’s mayoral tenure does have other perks. She’s entitled to a free guest pass every day of her term, something she didn’t know about until recently and that she doesn’t find especially important.

More exciting is the level of respect she’s earned from her from fellow gym goers. When an instructor recently announced that he was pleased to have the mayor attending his Yoga class, everyone turned around expecting to see Mr. Bloomberg in a spandexed downward dog, Alderette included. Once the class realized he was referring to Alderette, she swears there were more murmurs of awe than snickers of ridicule.

when i bumped her, she accused me (on twitter) of using my investor status to get the mayoralty. i told her that i had earned it fair and square and she needed to go to the gym more often. then i followed her on foursquare and twitter. a week later, she had it back and pulled away from there.

Social ‘Networkouts’: Surprising Ways Social Media Motivates You to Exercise - ABC News (via naveen)