Volunteer Member of the Month: Sue Gaoa

Rainier Health & Fitness Volunteer

Volunteering with Rainier Health & Fitness’ childcare for almost two years, RHF member Sue is a favorite among parents! She has a gift for calming little ones, perhaps the result of raising 6 children and now loving on 12 grandchildren! She works out at the gym regularly and has even motivated other volunteers to get more active! In fact, we've featured Sue's workout buddy Rachel here who she met through an unusual chain of events when volunteering at RHF. 

When did you begin volunteering at RHF?

Sue: I began volunteering in 2013 for awhile but then my car broke down so I had to take a break.

What made you want to join and volunteer with RHF?

Sue: It was something to do and to get involved in the community since I was unemployed at the time.

Your workout buddy is another RHF volunteer—how did your teamed up workouts come about?

Sue: Rachel and I volunteer on different days but I needed coverage for Tuesday so traded with person who normally works with Rachel. While volunteering together that week, Rachel told me that she had been volunteering for 3 months in order to workout and hadn’t used the gym. I suggested she needed accountability and Rachel said “you.”

Rachel: I was telling Sue about my upcoming milestone birthday on February 28th and that I need to lose a bunch of weight fast, not just for my birthday but as an ongoing change.

Our goal was pretty sporty at first—aiming for 6 days per week and we did it the first week. We’ve averaged about twice per week, but we started right before the holidays and my daughter got sick after that. Yesterday I was tied up with my kids but made it because of the accountability call Sue gave me. I feel re-committed.

Can you give us a sample of your fitness routine?

Sue: We’ve been working out together since the week before Christmas. We do 25-30 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical then about 15 minutes on the leg lifts, leg strengthening and rotate to arm strengthening. We also go on the mat and try out weights and cable machines. We switch it up so our workout isn’t the same every day. Right now we’re concentrating on arm and leg strengthening so basically using everything in the gym. I also take the MixxedFit® and ZUMBA classes. 

What kind of results are you getting? Do you see a difference in your mood when you don’t go to the gym?

Oh yeah, big time! I feel like we’ve accomplished and half the time we go over the hour we had planned on working out and say to each other, “Oh, we already passed the time.”

What would you tell someone interested in joining the gym but might be intimidated?

Rachel: Don’t be.

Sue: Everyone’s here for the same goal especially to lose weight

Rachel: And to heat healthy. It’s not a hott body gym.

Sue: People aren’t staring at you.

Rachel: It definitely has a community feel. Accountability really does help. I’m getting to the place where it’s not fun but drudgery is going away. Yesterday our ab exercise was from laughing so much!