Hail to the health heroes

John Randle
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Every January I struggle with writing my New Year’s Resolutions, but I feel that putting goals down on paper is one of the best ways to get started. I don’t believe any goal is out of reach if you try hard enough. Some of the most incredible stories of achievement come from what seem to be hopeless situations that somehow turn around.

I know I’ve been inspired by the brave truckers who undertook the challenge of last year’s Fit for the Road program. From the heartbreaking essays they sent in with their applications to the guts and grit it took to finish, I’ve been affected by their determination to change their lives. In fact, it made such an impact on me that I’ve lost 22 pounds and started a daily exercise program. I’ve got about 70 more pounds to go, but the way I figure it, if I’m going to be behind this program, I better step up to the plate and get losing!

It’s hard to believe a whole year has flown by since Fit for the Road began. This time last year we began following five overweight truckers on their quests to adopt healthier lifestyles by losing weight. Three out of the five made progress toward their goals, but what was most amazing was how their health improved almost immediately. They all experienced improved blood pressure, reduced blood sugar and overall feelings of more energy and better strength. The three who completed the program lost more than 170 pounds among them!

This year, we’ve decided to change the program to spotlight truckers who have overcome health obstacles. An interview with Canadian trucker Dirk van Wyngaarden is the program’s first Health Hero profile. His story is one that shows the triumph of will and spirit over impossible odds.

Now we need your help. Please send us your Health Hero nominations. They can be yourself or someone you know who has adopted a healthier lifestyle by quitting smoking, losing weight or starting a fitness or sport program. Any successful story will be considered for the monthly Health Hero spotlight. If you don’t fit that category, consider taking steps toward becoming more fit.

In addition, the new Fit for the Road program will focus on actual solutions to health challenges. A panel of experts including a physician, a dietician and a fitness trainer will answer some of the most common questions truckers ask about health and fitness. All three have experience with the obstacles truckers face and will offer good suggestions for practical solutions.

This year, join me on the road toward better health.

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