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Heather Vanderpool, 47

Posted: December 2, 2016
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“I have been approaching health and fitness as a lifelong process since my early 30s…This allows me to be more accepting of my journey. There will be detours and changes in direction, but I adjust and keep going towards two long-term goals.

Member Of:

Farmgirlfit Spokane


Child Wrangler – boys are my specialty

Tell us about your fitness journey. How did you come to Farmgirlfit?

I have always been active since I can remember. I had to try everything when I was a kid, which drove my parents crazy! Just when they thought I found something I would stick with, I was on to the next. In my past lives, I have been a runner, aerobics nut, and a yogi. A big turning point came when I returned from living overseas for 9 years. All of a sudden I had to think about and schedule exercise time. I didn’t drive all those years – I walked, which kept me very healthy without me realizing it. I got married, bought a house, started driving a lot, and became a parent at 40. I was getting sick more often and hurting.

I had been driving by Farmgirlfit for a year, not sure what it was. My niece talked me into trying a class. I showed up, did the workout (thanks Liz!!) and went home. I then hobbled up and down my stairs moaning and groaning for a couple of days. At one point I was slowly going down on my bum when my husband laughed at me and said, “You are going back, aren’t you?” I said “OH. YES I AM!!”

What has been your greatest fitness/performance accomplishment so far?

My knee no longer hurts, and I am not as unbalanced in my strength as I used to be. When I came to Farmgirlfit, I had very unbalanced strength in my shoulders. One definitely stronger than the other, and I had been compensating for many years. FGF has made me realize the value of being strong, AND being balanced in that strength. I learned to acknowledge the imbalance, and work with my body instead of against it. Sometimes that’s meant starting all over again…and that is just fine!

What are your next health and fitness goals?

I have been approaching health and fitness as a lifelong process since my early 30s. I honestly don’t make short-term goals because like New Years resolutions, I don’t stick to them. This allows me to be more accepting of my journey. There will be detours and changes in direction, but I adjust and keep going towards two long-term goals:  

  1. To be healthy and active enough to enjoy my boys as they grow. I don’t want to be the older parent sitting on the sidelines or staying at home.
  2. To keep my eye on the last New Year’s Resolution I made over 15 years ago: To be healthy and fit enough to walk a few miles without pain when I’m 80.

Who/what inspires you to be fit?

Besides my husband and my kids it is my 83-year-old mother-in-law Ruth. Ruth is such an amazing example of how to age gracefully, healthy and fit. She swims three times a week and is always out walking or working in the garden. This year she is going cross-country skiing with the boys.

Favorite exercise at FGF is?

I really enjoy almost everything with kettlebells but my all-time favorite is – Slamballs!!  The best way to work out my aggression.

Least favorite?

Overhead weight bearing movements. My wonky left shoulder just doesn’t want to cooperate all the time.

My favorite thing about Farmgirlfit is:  It is a place that welcomes women of all shapes, sizes and ages. It’s just plain fun without pretense. Always a challenge and never boring.


How has the rest of your life been impacted by Farmgirlfit?

I approach fitness and health not only for my sanity (something for myself), but also as an example for my family, showing my boys that health and fitness are fun and rewarding. It is something we value as a family, and over the last few years, I have seen my boys become more aware of fitness simply by being allowed to watch me enjoy it.

When you're not pumping iron at FGF, what does the rest of your life look like?

Currently, I spend a lot of time volunteering at my sons’ school and trying to find a quiet moment at home.

My happy place is:

A quiet house sitting in my reading chair with a good mystery and a cuppa tea.

Words that inspire me?

I use this quote with my boys and it really resonates with them:  “There will always be someone who is stronger than you, who is faster than you, but no one who works harder than you.”  Wise words from Ken Griffey Senior to Junior

Guilty pleasure:

Dark chocolate covered almonds and cookies

Any advice for new members or your fellow farmgirls?

Every one of us knows what it is like to be new, feel inadequate and wonder what we are doing here. We are here because it is a warm, welcoming and fun place, and you are part of it too!

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