Meet the Fitness Club Board – Equipment Expert, Hanns Ullrich
Hanns Ullrich has lived in Oakmont for 22 years and has been on the Fitness Club Board for 20 years.
Have you always lived in the North Bay?
No. I was born in Germany and lived in Hamburg as a child. When our family had to leave Hamburg after the bombing raids, we were evacuated to North East Germany for relative safety. As the Soviet Army approached from the east near the end of the war, we returned to Hamburg.
When did you come to the States?
In the 1950s, after completing an apprenticeship as an auto mechanic, I had a job offer to emigrate to Canada, where I lived until 1964. At that time, I got a job guarantee as an auto mechanic in San Jose, CA allowing me to emigrate to the USA. Shortly afterward my lifelong dream came true when I landed a job as an aircraft mechanic with Pan American Airlines.
I worked for Pan Am as a mechanic at San Francisco Airport. I really wanted to be a pilot, but I was raising my family and could not take time out to get into a flight program. Working on planes was the next best thing. I loved everything about the planes and learned everything I needed to know on the job. I worked for Pan Am for 30 years until they shut down operations in 1991.
When did you move to Oakmont?
After getting married and raising a family in Burlingame my wife Margaret and I decided to retire to Oakmont in the year 2000. I had been active all my life; I played tennis, hiked, and golfed. But I had never been in a gym in my life. I started going to the Fitness Center so that I could continue to be active. Then I met many of the early founders of the Center and helped to transform the Center into its current configuration.
How did you come to be on the Fitness Center Board?
I joined the Fitness Board around 2002 and enjoyed being in charge of the mechanical aspects of the fitness equipment for many years
My knowledge of mechanics was a great asset as we needed to keep the machines running. I have always been able to tinker with an engine of any kind and figure it out. It was the same with the fitness machines. I could see when a piece of equipment was needing a tune up and I could usually do it. And many of our machines were hand-me-downs or donations so maintenance was important to keep them running properly.
What’s your fitness routine like today?
I get up early and am often the first one in the Fitness Center. I work on staying strong and flexible. It’s the best way to start the day – get moving.
What’s one of your favorite machines?
I really like the inversion table. I think it’s great for circulation and it