NWPRD2 hires new activity center manager

Published on Wed, Oct 26, 2011
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Rachel Ely found her perfect match. The energetic fitness enthusiast was recently named activity center manager for Northwest Park and Recreation District 2 (NWPRD2).

Many know Ely as the perky dynamo who motivates the bleary-eyed in the early-morning boot camp classes at Whatcom Physical Therapy and Fitness, where she has taught aerobics, power pump, and core, cardio and weight training for the past six years.

Others may know her from Ely Chiropractic, where she managed her husband’s chiropractic office here in Blaine. Ely’s ties to the Blaine community are deep. She’s the daughter of Murray and Kathryn Goff, and her grandfather started Goff’s Department Store in downtown Blaine in 1913. She’s the mother of four adult children and five grandchildren, all of whom live in the community.

Ely, who has worked as a medical assistant, went back to college when her youngest child finished high school. She graduated in August with a bachelor of science in kinesiology from Western Washington University and expects to receive her health fitness specialist certification from the American College of Sports Medicine later this week.

Her interest in health and fitness was sparked by a family history of heart disease. Ely knew she couldn’t change her genes, but she could change her life. She embarked on a healthy eating program, which led to an aerobic step class, resistance training, hiking and then a half-marathon six years ago at age 45. “You can pretty much do anything you set your mind to, if you do it one step at a time,” Ely said.

Ely brings that same optimistic spirit and mindset to her new position as activities manager. Although she’s only working part time, she has a ton of activities planned for the center and the community – fitness conditioning for kids and seniors, organized games, CPR training, family fitness hours for parents and kids, local hiking and running clubs, kickboxing, nutrition classes, badminton and dodgeball, for starters.

Ely’s eyes sparkle when she talks about the future. “We will create excellent programs, improve our parks, and build trails and facilities that will meet the unique needs of our community,” Ely said.