*Note from MCM Staff: Tony and his wife recently moved to Claremore. If you haven’t met him yet, you should! He’s kind enough to let us post writings from his new blog. Give him a follow.
1. If I didn’t lower my cholesterol by 5 points I was going to have to go on cholesterol medicine.
2. If I didn’t lower my blood pressure by just 1 point I was going to have to go on blood pressure medicine.
3. At nearly 217 pounds, I was obese.
The horror! What had I become? I had been a cross country runner in high school. In my mind I still believed that I could still run a 6 minute mile…surely a 7. But the truth was that after 20+ years of smoking and disregarding my health, I had fallen far from where I once had been. I asked the doc to give me until my next visit to turn myself around and he agreed.
On the way home my mind was racing. I had so many bad eating habits at this time that I had no idea of how I was going to turn it around. I had stopped smoking years earlier but due to that my weight had shot up. I came home and told Sherrie (wife) and Paul (son) that we were changing everything. We were going to exercise, we were going to eat right…everything. But how? When I was young it was easy. I could eat three plates of mom’s spaghetti and go out run 10 miles and not flinch, not gain a single ounce. Like most people do now, when I don’t know something I go to Google. For the remainder of that day I searched the internet for how I could fix myself. I had been a runner, I LOVED to run at one time. The one thing that kept coming to the surface during my internet search was my old friend running. I found a program called the ” Couch to 5K” and it sounded perfect. It started with running only 60 seconds at a time alternating with 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. It sounded so easy at the time. Because I was/had been an athlete right? It wasn’t easy, and I struggled, and I wept. I cried because of how far I had fallen. The tears flowed because I wasn’t sure that I would ever regain my health…but I finished, I ran for 60 seconds and then another, and another. The program lasted for 9 weeks. Slowly it would add seconds to the running time and subtracting seconds from the walking time until at the end you either ran for 30 minutes continually or for 3 miles, whichever came first. Shortly after completing the program I signed up for my first 5K in over 20 years and ran a 29:22. The feeling was amazing and I was hooked again! The time didn’t matter, I had ran over 10 minutes faster in high school. What mattered is that 9 weeks ago a grown man stood on a lonely country road and hid tears from his wife. A 42-year-old man gasped in an attempt to run for 60 seconds…but on race day I was ALIVE!
If you are inclined to know the rest of this story and learn how I have fallen off track but plan to get back, please subscribe. Thank you for taking time out of your day to take a peek into my life. God bless.
-by Tony Tucker