Change is inevitable, like taxes and unpredictable weather. We all go through different changes in our lives, and the most important thing that one must remember when change comes around is not what happened, it's how you dealt with it that counts.
Charlie White, a Sales Associate at Art Hill AutoGroup, has gone through many changes in his life, health-wise in this case. But that never stopped him from continuing to be active and find different ways to take care of himself.
The following is written by Charlie White
I have always been active from early on in my life. I ran track and cross country in high school and college and I also played other sports but I was more successful in track and cross country. I was a three-time state champion in the 880 yard dash and mile relay in high school. In college I was a three-time All American and had success as an individual and as a team member at The University of Illinois. There were times I was not active due to injuries where I could not do anything for several months. I had stress fractures, torn ligaments, torn hamstrings, and tendonitis -just to name a few. These took time to recover from and during those down times it was easy to become inactive and gain weight.
I wanted to stay active especially after college. I continued my training in track and moved to California to try out for the 1984 Olympic team for the 800 meters and 1500 meters. I was on the US team a few years earlier and felt I had an outside chance of making it to the Olympic trials. Unfortunately, due to injuries I was not able to realize my dream and I moved back to Illinois. There, I took some time off to heal and managed to put on some weight and get out of shape. I tried to run again but I could not stay healthy.
Despite the many running injuries I could not get rid of, I felt it was important to become and stay active. I joined a gym and started weight training. I enjoyed seeing the transformation from an out of shape body to a more in shape body. I took it to the next level and became a competitive bodybuilder. I did several local and regional competitions with some success. I did it all naturally but, had a tough time staying competitive due to a strict diet regiment and weight training for several hours four to five days a week. It became a full-time job. I still do some weight training now and try to watch what I eat but, not nearly at the level I was at before. I believe you have to enjoy life and food also, but in moderation. I started running again with the encouragement from a friend of mine named Barb. She helped me train for my first marathon that also qualified me for the Boston Marathon. Four of my friends qualified but only three of us went in 2011. This November two of my friends and I are competing in the New York Marathon. I enjoy running now and hope to continue running for many more years.
Being active in NWI is great because it has so much to offer. We have running and bike trails, the dunes and beaches. There are also parks for people and dogs when the weather is nice. In the summer there are many festivals and outdoor concerts to go to. I am able to go out on the bike trails and run and bike when the weather is good. In the winter there is cross country skiing and ice skating facilities.
Becoming and staying active has changed me in positive ways. I have more energy and am able to enjoy the fun things that NWI has to offer. Being active has kept my weight down and improved my health. Diabetes runs in my family so I am conscious of staying active and watching my diet. Running and biking as well as a good diet have helped to keep me healthy and active.
My advice to those who are looking to get active is to get a check up and start out slowly. Enjoy the simple things and take it a little at a time. Make adjustments to your diet, lifestyle, and social life and your outlook on life will improve. It may open new doors and you may do things you never thought were possible. The saying "if you believe it you can achieve it" is so true.