New Ipswich man celebrates three straight years of working out every day

  • Cliff Parhiala, 58, of New Ipswich, has been working out daily since the start of 2017 at Be Fit in New Ipswich. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Cliff Parhiala, 58, of New Ipswich, has been working out daily since the start of 2017 at Be Fit in New Ipswich. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Cliff Parhiala, 58, of New Ipswich, has been working out daily since the start of 2017 at Be Fit in New Ipswich. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Cliff Parhiala, 58, of New Ipswich, has been working out daily since the start of 2017 at Be Fit in New Ipswich. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Cliff Parhiala, 58, of New Ipswich, has been working out daily since the start of 2017 at Be Fit in New Ipswich. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Cliff Parhiala, 58, of New Ipswich, has been working out daily since the start of 2017 at Be Fit in New Ipswich. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Cliff Parhiala, 58, of New Ipswich, has been working out daily since the start of 2017 at Be Fit in New Ipswich. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/10/2020 10:32:58 AM

With the passing of the new year, Cliff Parhiala, 58, of New Ipswich celebrated a major milestone – three straight years of working out every day.

Monday marked day 1,100 for Parhiala, far surpassing his original goal, set on Jan. 2, 2017, to work out every day for 40 days – a challenge several members of Parhiala’s gym, Be Fit in New Ipswich, took up that New Year.

“Originally, it was just a challenge from Marla,” Parhiala said, referring to Be Fit owner Marla Somero. “There was a challenge to work out every day for 40 days. Well, that went by, and I said, ‘I think I’ll keep going.’”

And going, and going.

After passing 100, his wife mentioned a friend had taken a similar challenge and had been going for a year. Parhiala took up that gauntlet too, and after passing that milestone he decided he would simply continue for as long as he was healthy enough to do so.

Parhiala works at D.D. Bean in Jaffrey, and despite his early shift start, he makes a point to go into the gym for at least a half an hour to start his day – which means he’s typically in the gym as early as 2 a.m. 

Be Fit members can access the gym 24-hours a day with their membership card, and while the hour means he’s almost always the only member in the gym, he said it’s become a quiet, meditative time for him before starting the workday, where he works long shifts.

“There goes people who say they’re too busy,” Somero joked.

Parhiala said he’s tried working out at other times of the day, but has found he enjoys the empty morning hours where he can watch videos or listen to books while he works out. It puts him in the right frame of mind for the day, he said.

He also made that time a time for self-improvement, he said, often choosing to listen to financial advice to help him with his goal of paying off his debt – which he’s accomplished in the last three years. 

While Parhiala was already a member of Be Fit before he took up the consecutive day challenge, but Somero said January, right after New Year’s, is a boom time for the gym. This year, by Jan. 3, the gym had eight new members and eight other people who were interested in gym rates, Somero said. She easily gets twice as many new members as any other time of the year, though membership slows down in the warmer months as people switch to outdoor routines or drift from their New Year’s resolutions. 

It does take commitment, Parhiala said. Even though he has regularly worked out since he was 18, there are days he has to talk himself into going for his daily workout, particularly on the weekends. But once he’s there, he’s always glad he’s kept his streak going.

“The bigger the number gets, the more willpower I seem to have,” he said.

He switches up the routine for himself, dedicating a day a week to his chest, back, shoulders, arms and legs, with the remaining two days a week for cardio. Every few months, he switches up his routines to keep them from getting stale.

His commitment is so strong that he doesn’t let anything get in his way, including weather, and went to the gym during December’s major winter storm – with snow that came down fast enough that his car became stuck in the parking lot, and he had to walk the mile back to his house. 

And during a recent freezing rain storm, Somero said when she later checked the visitor log, she wasn’t surprised to find that no one had come in that day – except for, of course, Parhiala, at his regular time.

Parhiala said he has no set end to his challenge – he simply wants to see how far he can take it.

“I said at the beginning, I would do it unless I got sick and wasn’t able to come that day. Well, I haven’t gotten sick yet, so I guess I’ll keep going,” Parhiala said. “Anyone who wants to try to beat the record, come on down.”


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