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January 19, 2021

In the spotlight: John Swedlund

I caught up with longtime valley resident John Swedlund, the San Lorenzo Valley High School shot-put record-holder and the co-owner of Scotts Valley Fitness Club.
Swedlund’s toss of 56 feet, 9 inches at the Elite 8 invitational at Los Gatos High School in 1981 stands as the best throw in school history and the second-best throw in Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League History, behind Don Silva’s throw of 57-4 in 1965.
Swedlund and his brother Jeff, now run their fitness club at 59 Mount Hermon Road in Scotts Valley.
We tracked him down for some informative Q&A.
Interview:
Nathan Beck: “What got you into the sport? Shot put is not a commonly practiced event in these parts.”
John Swedlund: “I actually got cut from the baseball program for throwing the ball from center field over the backstop. When the coach cut me (my brother) pulled me aside and started teaching me the shot put.”
NB: “Was it a passion for you right off, or did you learn to enjoy it over time?”
JS: “I had a great aptitude for it and it came pretty naturally to me. My claim to fame is this (he shows me a gold medal from the 1981 Elite 8 meet.) I had been weight training all my life and it just worked out.”
NB: “Is that what inspired the gym?”
JS: “It was that and it being consistent with my rec major and P.E. minor from Cabrillo, Jeff has a really good business sense so we put the two together.”
NB: “How many members does the gym have?”
JS: “750 or so.”
NB: “What does your gym offer?”
JS: “We have aerobics, cardio, boot camps, free and machine weights, you name it. Really we offer everything but a pool and courts.”
NB: “Thanks for your time John.”
JS: “You betcha.”
For more information about Scotts Valley Fitness Club: www.scottsvalleyfitness.com

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