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Jim Pahlow is a 1999 graduate of the UW system and has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering; in 2014 he earned a Masters in Business Administration. In 2013 Jim also earned his LIVESTRONG certification and Small Group Exercise Training certificate through ACE, then in 2020 Jim earned his Personal Training certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). He is currently in the process of completing his ACE Health Coach certification.

Jim was born and raised on the family dairy farm in Oshkosh, WI.  As a young boy, activity had always been a big part of his life. He loved being outside, showing steers, pigs and sheep at the county fair, playing with Duke and exploring the family farm, riding his bike, or playing baseball. He played many sports throughout middle school, high school, college and still plays volleyball and softball. After college Jim found that his work life as a professional recruiter took over, and his job took center stage.  With each year and each promotion, Jim found himself working more and more and taking care of himself less and less. Rising through the ranks and increasing responsibility also meant increased stress. Jim found himself tired and unhappy, so he didn’t work out even when he had the time to.

After a malignant melanoma cancer diagnosis, drug addiction, the loss of his “MAMA”, and spending six months being incarcerated, Jim had a God-sent revelation. This revelation was a major turning point in Jim’s life, as it marked the point where he decided to focus on his own health and happiness after spending several years doing the opposite. Even though exercise made him feel better, pressure and lack of proper nutrition left Jim exhausted, unmotivated, and burnt out.  Desperate to feel better, Jim tried what he thought was a last resort: holistic health. After researching and finding mentors in the holistic health field, he finally started to get better. This experience is what led Jim to become a personal trainer. His experience in the fitness industry and passion to truly feel his best, allows him to create the perfect storm of successful results for clients in a sustainable way.

Jim was first introduced to LIVESTRONG at the YMCA as a cancer survivor, but he loved and connected with the program so much that he decided to become a LIVESTRONG trainer. This also led to the inspiration for both the StayStrong and INSPIRE programs at the YMCA of the Fox Cities. Because of Jim’s own personal journey, he is fully aware of the healing power and strength that encouragement and support can bring to individuals battling a cancer diagnosis. His own first-hand experience made him aware that any program should offer comprehensive emotional, social, and educational support. Jim is able to motivate, encourage, and inspire others to live life to their fullest and to be an ear for others walking through similar situations.  

2017 was a year that challenged Jim physically, mentally, and spiritually and shaped his passion and commitment to health. After losing his mother to cancer and then becoming a cancer survivor himself, Jim suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm in May 2017 where he spent weeks in a coma. Then in September he lost his father and his main supporter to a sudden heart attack. To cope with the shock and grief, Jim turned to his addiction and in 2019 sought help for this, in addition added a new member to his family, his loyal sidekick, companion and best friend Deuce (his Great Dane). He helped Jim discover a whole new level of love and responsibility. 

These experiences caused Jim to commit to his overall health journey, one that focused on all aspects of wellness, including mental, spiritual, and emotional in addition to physical health. 

The GYMFarm was a vision Jim made into a reality. His mother always said “The Lord puts us in situations, and through things, so that we can help others that have to go through those same things.” His parents worked hard and smart to be able to provide for not only their family, but also their tight knit community. Always helping others, never passing judgement on anyone, simply holding out a hand, and just wanting to help lead the way if only for a short time. 

Jim’s deep belief in his Faith, and surroundings, was able to help him walk through his physical, mental, and spiritual awakenings with his trust in GOD. Leading him down the path to THRIVE in the life he has been given. Allowing his vulnerability to be exposed and accepting of who he was and who he needed to be. The Lord put Jim in many situations for a reason and now more than ever he can THRIVE.

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