by Tori Tarter

A new record was set last month when we welcomed our oldest guest ever! Norm Olsen, 93 years old from South Dakota, set the record for the oldest guest to ever participate in our fitness program.

“I usually go to California this time of year, but I’ve never been to Utah before and my family was coming here, so I decided to come along,” said Norm.

The staff was thrilled to have him, but I don’t think any of us realized how much of an inspiration he would be – for all of us! Norm never missed a hike. He made it to almost every class – including kickboxing!

“Norm was very inspiring to the staff as well as all the guests,” said Robin, Movara’s Program Director. “He went out on the hikes every day and was willing to try something new each day. It was wonderful to see him participate in the program. He didn’t let his age or a ‘number’ stop him from trying new things.”

As a former pastor and missionary, he says that for him, faith plays a big role in his life. Shortly after serving in the U.S. Army in 1946, Norm went to college and became an ordained pastor. In 1951, he and his family went to Japan where they were missionaries for almost 20 years. Norm continues to be an active volunteer through his church and several church organizations and according to his wife, Barb, it’s one of the many things that keeps them active and motivated.

 “We volunteer a lot, mostly through our church and we go for walks and eat pretty well on a regular basis. We also love to be close to family,” said Barb, “I think that not just being healthy but also being active in different ways is what keeps you going.”  

Barb and Norm also like to take advantage of some of the things their local health club offers like stretch and balance classes as well as water aerobics. They also enjoy being active with their family; their trip to Movara for example, was actually a family vacation!

“We came with my son, his wife and my daughter. My daughter is the one who really convinced us, because we wanted to go on a family trip, but her requirement for a family vacation is that it be an active vacation. She really loves this place and now we do too,” said Barb.

All of us at Movara thoroughly enjoyed having Norm here. We all hope to live by his example, and to never let a number get in our way.

“I am so blessed to have good health,” says Norm, “because it’s fun to be healthy and be able to do a lot of things and be able to keep going as you get older.”