The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Retired restauranteur Lin Louie finds exercise is great fit


April 25, 2017

If you’re ever looking for Lin Louie, Steelhead Fitness is a good place to start.

She’s a regular, there for at least a few hours a day, six days a week.

After her gym workout, the 72-year-old typically heads to the Sweet Home Community Pool for lap swims or water aerobics.

Louie started this routine after she and her husband Steve retired from ownership of the Hong Kong Restaurant in 2011.

The couple moved to Sweet Home from Cottage Grove about 40 years ago, and owned the restaurant for 33.

“When I worked at the restaurant, I was on my feet all day long,” Louie said.

Back then, she would follow her work day with a 45 minute walk.

She and her husband still go fishing together, usually at Green Peter or Foster Lake.

Louie’s active lifestyle has impacted their two children, she said. Their son is a personal trainer and their daughter also exercises regularly, cycles and participates in races.

Louie ran her first race last year after one of her aerobics instructors, Miriam Swanson, announced the Sweetheart Run to her class, the majority of whom are 50 or older.

“I said, “Oh, that’s fun!’” Louie said.

So she did it.

“Last year I didn’t get a crown because I didn’t try hard enough,” Louie said.

This year, she came in first in her age category.

“Next year I hope I will get better,” she said.

Swanson encouraged her students to participate, even if they walked.

“There’s a ton of energy when you do races,” Swanson said. “It inspires you when you show up to the event because everyone there is trying to keep fit.”

That encouragement is something Louie appreciates about all of her fitness class instructors, she said.

“The instructors are wonderful,” Louie said. “(They) make you feel like you want to go. I think I’m addicted to it.”

She thinks of the gym like a second home and the staff and her classmates are like family to her.

“I go on my own but I see a lot of friends there,” Louie said.

Swanson said Louie always shows up enthusiastic, in the front row, and typically with a smile.

Anyone who is reluctant to start exercise should give it a try, she said.

“At first, everything will be hard,” Louie said. “You’ll feel differently. Give it time.”

Swanson encourages people to choose classes appropriate to their fitness level and not to compare themselves to what other people are doing.

While Louie takes many classes at Steelhead, she decided to pass on spin class, in which participants ride stationary bikes, after her first try.

“I thought it was too hard for me,” Louie said.

She avoided it for a few years, then gave it another try. It’s now part of her Saturday morning routine.

An obstacle she could not avoid was the lung cancer she was diagnosed with a few years ago.

Doctors removed part of her lung but her oxygen capacity is good now.

She was in recovery for about three months, and didn’t mind the break, she said.

“My husband cooked for me, (he would) bring food to me,” she said. She was treated like a queen, she added, chuckling.


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