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Paula Nordgaarden, 69

Posted: July 6, 2018
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“After just one workout, I was hooked. I felt 20 years younger. Within 6 months I had dropped 30 pounds, gone off one cholesterol med and my blood pressure was perfect.”

Member Of:

Farmgirlfit Spokane


Social Worker (Retired)

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

When I was in my 20’s I became a certified Rhythmic Aerobics Instructor. Yes, the leotard and headset. I taught fitness classes through two Junior Colleges. I have tried to maintain a good level of fitness since then. I started lifting weights in my 50’s after reading Strong Women Strong Bones. Just handweights though, nothing like the barbell work that goes on here! However, shortly before Farmgirlfit opened, I was experiencing an “I let myself go” phase.

At 62, overweight, with high blood pressure and cholesterol numbers off the charts, I walked into FGF the week we opened. I worked across the street as the leader at Wishing Star Foundation. Have I talked to you about stress? After just one workout, I was hooked. I felt 20 years younger. Within 6 months I had dropped 30 pounds, gone off one cholesterol med and my blood pressure was perfect. At 65 some Medicare plans allow for free gym membership and I tried so many of the gyms around town, coming back here two years ago. There is no place like this place.

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

I think that coming in and working as hard as I can each time is an accomplishment in itself. I love when we lift to our 1 rep max. The young girls are always motivating me to do just a bit more. Thank you.

What are your next health and fitness goals? 

I will be able to enjoy nature, walking on uneven terrain into my late 90’s.

Who/what inspires you to be fit?

My mother didn’t exercise and her last few years of life weren’t very pretty. I probably will live into my late 90’s and I want to enjoy every minute.

Favorite workout song?

Burning Down the House by the Talking Heads 

Favorite exercise at FGF is? 

I never thought I would say this, but the functional exercises like flipping the tires and dragging the sleds are my favorites. Makes me feel like I can accomplish about anything around my house and yard.

Least favorite?

Just about everything else.

When the Grind is kicking my butt, I’m thinking…

I’m alive!!!!

My favorite thing about Farmgirlfit is:

Making friends with so many strong, young and delightful women. As we age we encounter fewer opportunities to make new friends. This has been a wonderful community for me.

Do you have a funny Farmgirlfit story, or favorite memory?

Katie was coaching and leading us through a jump rope warm up. She was having us do every imaginable way to jump rope. I finally said, “Okay Katie now do the pony!” And she did. I can barely do singles and there she was doing the pony and never missing a beat.

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

I continue to get younger each year with the help of all the coaches.

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

I love being outdoors!!! I am a huckleberry picking addict and this gym trains me well for the short picking season. I love to quilt and do intricate needlework projects for people I love.

As a kid I dreamt I would grow up to be:

A very kind and loving adult.

You might not know this about me:

I have ADD. Duh!!!!

Words that inspire me?

I won’t grow up. Never grow up. Not me!!!

Guilty pleasure:

Gin & Tonic

I’m proud…

To be the oldest Farmgirl!

My trademark dance move:

The Pony

My favorite holiday and why:

The Fourth of July!! My birthday!

My spirit animal and why:

Morning Dove, soothing coo.

My healthy indulgence: 

Is there such a thing?

Any advice for new members or your fellow farmgirls?

It’s a lot easier to accept and love yourself when you are fit. Life is a wonderful journey, and so much better when you feel good.

Anything else to share?

If I can do The Grind at my age, anyone can. Tell your moms to come give it a try!

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