Hal Harner has logged tremendous distances on the stationary rowing machine at Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s (YRMC’s) Wellness Center. So many, in fact, that the YMRC volunteer was recently recognized by the rowing machine’s manufacturer for reaching five million meters (3,107 miles). “That’s the equivalent of rowing from Los Angeles to New York and then turning around and starting the return journey,” he said.

Harner’s healthy journey began in 1994. Following open heart surgery, he embraced regular, rigorous exercise that continued when the retired engineer and his wife moved to Prescott in 1999. At that time, he joined the Adult Fitness Program at YRMC’s Wellness Center and began volunteering at YRMC as a courtesy car driver. As part of his fitness routine, Harner used the rowing machine three times a week for 20-minute stints.

In 2001, a YRMC Wellness Center team member suggested that Harner track his distance on the rowing machine. When he reached one million meters (621 miles), the Wellness Center team notified the rowing machine manufacturer of Harner’s accomplishment. But Harner didn’t stop there; he continued rowing to log five million meters.

“We’ve had a few people reach one million meters over the years, but Hal is the first to reach and document five million meters,” said Andrea Klein, RN, CDE, Director, Preventive Medicine and Wellness at YRMC. The rowing machine manufacturer awarded Harner a certificate of achievement and some small gifts.

While he appreciates the recognition for reaching the goal, Harner is most motivated by the results of his workouts on the rowing machine. “It’s great exercise,” he said. “You’re moving your shoulders, arms, legs and also getting a good aerobic workout.” According to Klein, Harner’s fitness milestone sends a positive message to everyone at YRMC’s Wellness Center. “It validates that exercise can be fun,” she said.