There’s no turning back once you’ve achieved fitness

Living Well: a column about fitness, motivation and how to feel better about yourself.

I grew up in Ashcroft. After high school I moved to Alberta and worked in the Oil Patch running chainsaw and surveying. I didn’t work out or “exercise” – as my job was so physical, I didn’t really need to. When my first child was born I got a job at a coal mine so I could be at home more often. In only two years my metabolism slowed right down, and I became overweight, lazy, and depressed.

I started my new job five years ago at Highland Valley Copper. With my new job, I wanted to make a big change in my lifestyle – to lose weight and feel better about myself. I figured I’d work out with weights at the gym for half an hour, and then go for a half hour run.

That was working really well. My metabolism was increasing, and I was feeling pretty good, but I needed to take a look at what I was eating. I was a candy junkie, so I eliminated sugar from my diet. I read that it takes about 10 days for the sugar cravings to go away. That’s about how long it took, and I felt great.

Two years after doing my daily weights and running routine, I entered a 10 km running race in Kamloops. My goal was to cross the finish line without having to walk. I was ecstatic after accomplishing my goal. I loved being around hundreds of people who were a lot like me, just trying to stay in shape and feel as young as they could. Everyone had so much vibrant energy.

I bought a road racing bicycle shortly after that race and started cycling as well as running. Then one day I decided I’d like to try doing a triathlon. A triathlon is a race that combines swimming, bicycling, then running. My wife said, “but you’ll have to swim, you don’t know how to swim!” I learned how to swim and completed the triathlon. I was hooked. Triathlons were awesome, the people were so fit and I wanted to be a Triathlete. Since that day three years ago, I have raced in over 20 triathlons, marathons, some bicycle races, and ran many shorter distance trail races. My training now always has two purposes – to stay fit, and to finish as well as I can in the next race coming up.

I will be writing a monthly column in The Journal regarding topics such as fitness, motivation, nutrition, weight loss, training, and basically just how to feel better about yourself.

Wayne Little