Bruce Farrin, stands for a portrait at Somerset Sports and Fitness in Skowhegan on Friday. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Editor’s note: This is the 11th story in our new series “Everyday Athletes,” in which we talk with people who are out and about enjoying some outdoor recreation. Sports is all around us and we’re on the lookout. If you know someone who would make a great “Everyday Athlete” please contact sports editor Bill Stewart at [email protected]

SKOWHEGAN — Around Norridgewock, Bruce Farrin is known as the Norridgewalker. Farrin, who will celebrate his 86th birthday August 23, walks two to three miles almost every day.

Each weekday morning, Farrin works out at Somerset Sports and Fitness in Skowhegan. He’s such a fixture, the gym has a wall decorated with photos of Farrin. There are photos of him working out, and presenting the award named in his honor, the Bruce Farrin Wellness Starts With Me Award. There’s also a photo of a scene from the HBO miniseries “Empire Falls,” which was partially filmed in Skowhegan and surrounding area. There’s Farrin dancing in the background, behind stars Ed Harris and Helen Hunt. Farrin said if you blink watching the movie, you’ll miss him.

“I never thought it was that great a movie. It got awards, but I think that was due to Paul Newman’s fame,” Farrin said.

Farrin spent some time talking about his fitness lifestyle after his Friday morning workout.


Q: Has fitness been a part of your life going back to when you were a kid?

A: No. I never took a fitness class until I retired. The first year after I retired, I sat around. I felt tired. I came in here in ’03, and I’ve been here ever since. It perks you right up… In ’03 I would’ve been 69.


Obviously, you took to it.

I weighed 195 pounds. Now I weigh 135 pounds. My metabolism has changed, and I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, and it doesn’t change a thing. I move quite a lot.



Q: How did the Bruce Farrin Wellness Starts With Me Award start?

A: They blindsided me with this award they put in my name. The award is sponsored by New Balance. Each year, at a yearly meeting, this award is presented to somebody that follows similar guidelines and works to improve their health. This year they may not have it, with the pandemic.



Q: What’s your daily routine like? What do you do to stay fit?

A: After the gym reopened, Mondays I come up here and first class is at 8 o’clock, 8 until 9. Then the second class is 9 until 10. The first class is Fit For Life, the second class is Spinning. Tuesdays, I don’t come up here until 9 o’clock, and I do chair yoga. Wednesdays, I have a class at 8 o’clock and at 9 o’clock. I go home from there and walk a couple miles. Thursdays, I come for one class at 9 o’clock. It’s Fitness Challenge. Friday, at 8 o’clock we do Fit For Life class, then spinning. Then I’ll go home, and I’ll sit in my recliner and have a beer. A cold one. Saturdays and Sundays I walk a couple miles.


Bruce Farrin works out Friday at Somerset Sports and Fitness in Skowhegan. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

During this pandemic, when the gym was closed for three months, I walked almost every day. Two miles, almost every day. I timed myself. I’m a competitive sort of guy. I time myself, and try at least to do as well as the day before. I get my drive because I was in the Marine Corps for three years.


That will do it.

You ever see that movie “Full Metal Jacket?” That’s a lot like what we did (at boot camp).


Q: Once you get into the habit of your fitness regimen, it’s not hard to maintain, is it?

A: No, it is not. I used to do, up until three or four year ago, four classes back-to-back-back. But my age started showing, so I don’t do it anymore. I used to chin ups and push ups and all that stuff, and a lot of weights. I don’t do weights so much any more. Whatever, I try and stay in shape.


Q: When you’re out walking a couple miles, is there anything you’re thinking about?

A: I’m not one to wear these headphones or earphones. I want to know what’s going on. Sometimes I recite those Marine Corps ditties. A lot of people know me in town.


Bruce Farrin works out at Somerset Sports and Fitness in Skowhegan on Friday. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel


You’re the Norridgewalker.

I’m the Norridgewalker (laughs).


It looks like you like that nickname.

Yeah. A little bit. A lot of people, they’ll wave and blow their horn. I’m sort of a fixture. Aug. 23, I will be 86. My goal, is to walk this Corporal Cole 5K. They’re during it virtual this year, but I intend to do it in real time. My son (Bruce Farrin, Jr.) will go along with me to keep the time.


Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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