So I Can't Run Marathons

Joel
Joel

June 30th, 2002, 9:12 pm #11

I was watching a family member at a 5K race yesterday that had 2,000 runners in it. I kind of hung around the finish line afterwards and watched people as they crossed the line and went through the water and food lines. I was only there about 15 minutes, actually got paged by a smoking clinic person and had to get to a quieter place to hear--but the whole time I was there I didn't see one person drink their water, eat their food and smoke a cigarette. I watched several hundred people in this time frame. Didn't see many people smoking in the crowd family members and supporters for that fact either. The ads out there (see Anti-smoking ads from the past, I am going to attach a post to that one today too addresssing this) and still sometimes the perception of many people is that smoking is an activity done by healthy active people and that it is a lot more prevelent than it really is--at least here in this part of America. The way to look healthier and actually be healthier is by always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

July 11th, 2002, 8:00 am #12

We have a reporter looking in for information on ex-smokers and exercise. I thought this would be a good article for her to read.
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John Gold
John Gold

September 5th, 2002, 8:32 pm #13

Last edited by John Gold on July 29th, 2009, 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

February 24th, 2003, 12:01 pm #14

For a clinic graduate looking likely looking in.
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phiwho40 GOLD
phiwho40 GOLD

February 25th, 2003, 5:41 pm #15

I alway wanted to run a Marathon and thanks to Freedom, Joel, and all others here I finally did!!!

Feb. 7th 2003 I completed my first marathon in 3hours 26 minutes.....only missed qualifying for the Boston Marathon by 6 minutes. (a goal for next year.)

After 22 years of nicotine addiction I finally stopped: 10 months, 1 week, and 4 days ago. Though the length of my smoking addiction was relatively short (less than 9 months) I had been using smokeless tobacco for the previous 21 years and had begun smoking in an idiotic attempt to quit using snuff.

Fortunately I found Freedom, increased my running, and began training for a marathon about 7 months ago. I also used the "So I can't Run Marathons" article as motivation during training and to remind me of why I never need another puff.

During the 26.2 milesof the race I thought of many things. None more intense or pleasing than the recognition that the race was a celebration that I was now nicotine free and accomplishing something I had thought impossible as short as one year prior.

Thanks to Joel and Freedom!
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Joel
Joel

October 14th, 2003, 9:44 pm #16

I just got this email this morning. I thought it seemed appropriate to put it in this string here.

Joel - I completed your quit smoking seminar in May 1996, relapsed in September 1996 and tried again in February 1997. I have not smoked since quitting in February 1997 following your approach.

This past Sunday I completed the Chicago Marathon with a time of 5:01:48! I credit what I learned in your stop smoking seminars with playing a vital role in my having been able to "stay stopped." Another factor has been a simple change in mindset - rather than thinking that I am denying myself something I want (i.e. a cigarette) I adopted the thinking that I am rewarding myself with something I want *more* (i.e. my good health.)

I am enjoying my good health. I would be thrilled to participate in any upcoming "stop smoking" seminars as an alumnus. I wish you continued success in your mission.

Best regards,

Karl
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Joel
Joel

November 6th, 2003, 7:49 am #17

For Andrew: Look two posts up, you will see another clinic graduate who had also ran his first marathon this year.
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John Gold
John Gold

November 24th, 2003, 8:30 pm #18

Young smoker gets 2nd chance

Erie Times-News (Penn. USA)
By David Bruce - [url=mailto:david.bruce@timesnews.com]david.bruce@timesnews.com[/url]
November 24, 2003


Ten years of heavy smoking has turned William Powell's lungs dark gray. He can't run a block without gasping for breath.

Still, the 21-year-old Clearfield man sneaks onto his family's porch and lights up whenever he feels stressed.

"My mom yells at me constantly. She says, 'If you want to die, just die,'" Powell said. "Every time I pick a cigarette up, I know it could kill me."

Doctors have diagnosed Powell with emphysema, a smoking-related disease that destroys the lungs' air sacs and makes it difficult to breathe. Most people with emphysema are diagnosed in their 50s or 60s.

No cure exists for emphysema. A landmark national study recently determined, however, that lung-reduction surgery helps people with severe emphysema function better than those who undergo traditional rehabilitation.

"Removing the most diseased portion of the lung improves the efficiency of the rest of the lung," said Christopher Strzalka, M.D., a Hamot Medical Center cardiovascular-thoracic surgeon who removed a quarter of Powell's right lung in July to help him breathe easier.

"Of course, the patient needs to stop smoking or else the emphysema will worsen," Strzalka added.

Powell didn't realize he had emphysema until he was nearly killed in a car accident while driving home from work July 1. He fell asleep at the wheel, and his car tumbled over an embankment and struck a tree.

His right lung collapsed, and doctors had trouble reinflating it. Powell was transported by medical helicopter to Hamot, where scans revealed that his lungs were damaged by smoking, not the car accident.

"Small, dark gray bubbles had formed under the surface of both his lungs," Strzalka said. "Air could still go into his air sacs, but not enough oxygen is making it into his bloodstream. It's unusual to see this kind of lung disease in a 21-year-old."

Most 21-year-olds haven't been smoking for 14 years. Powell was just 7 when his sister offered him a Newport as they walked to the store.

Powell said the cigarette didn't make him feel lightheaded or nauseous. Four years later, he was smoking regularly.

"I was stealing my mom's Dorals," he said. "She never caught on, until someone followed me down under the garage. By that time I was smoking about half a pack a day."

By the time he turned 20, Powell was smoking up to three packs a day. He cut back in October 2002 but couldn't stop smoking altogether.

Strzalka told Powell after the scans that he had emphysema. The diagnosis shocked him.

"He said that my lungs were so black that it looks like I have worked in a coal mine for 20 years," Powell said. "How could this happen? I have a friend who has emphysema, and this person needs oxygen 24 hours a day."

No one in Powell's immediate family has emphysema, but Strzalka said it's not that uncommon for a young man or woman to develop what is typically viewed as an old person's disease.

"If you have the ability to put a camera inside the lungs of a 20- or 30-year-old person who has smoked since they were a kid, you would often find the beginnings of lung disease," Strzalka said. "It is unusual to see this advanced of a case, though."

Powell will fight the effects of emphysema for the rest of his life, including shortness of breath and an increased risk of chronic bronchitis and other lung-related illnesses.

He said he felt better shortly after the surgery.

"I was able to breathe easier and I was able to get off oxygen shortly after the operation," Powell said. "I'm breathing fine now. It's like a breath of fresh air."

The lung-reduction surgery is not without risks. People with particular emphysema-related complications are six times more likely to die from the surgery than from traditional treatments, and don't usually benefit from the surgery.

Powell did improve. If he quits smoking, Strzalka said, Powell could live a long, relatively healthy life.

"He could have a normal life span, if he stops smoking," Strzalka said. "If he continues to smoke, I believe that if he lives to be 50, he will be severely impaired."

Powell vowed he would try again to quit. He used the nicotine patch for a while, but he said it irritated his skin. Nicotine gum made him feel nauseous.

"I wished I had never picked up smoking in the first place," Powell said.
Last edited by John Gold on July 29th, 2009, 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MsArmstrongKIS
MsArmstrongKIS

August 18th, 2004, 8:58 am #19

Since I quit smoking, I attempted the Honolulu marathon--had to bow out at mile 17 because my knees were killing me. After that I completed an 8 mile running race and a 10.8 miler. On Sunday I ran a 15k. I'll be running the Honolulu marathon again this December and am optimistic about completing it.

When I was a smoker I could barely run a mile. Now I run 6 miles almost every day, and usually between 8 and 12 miles on the weekends.

My best friend used to run with me, but she has not been able to quit smoking and now she can only walk. She is 23, people. This is one of the saddest things I have heard of. I hate smoking. I hate what it takes away from people, and I hate how the addiction makes it easy for them to turn a blind eye until it is too late. I hate how too late can be as early as someone's twenties. Every time I catch myself thinking of having a cigarette (it almost never happens anymore, but I can't lie. Once in a while I do get the urge) all I have to do is remember what a terrible thief a cigarette is.

Alex
1 year 7 months nicotine free
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Joel
Joel

October 10th, 2004, 10:58 pm #20

Today is the Chicago Marathon. I have had some clinic graduates run marathons since quitting and I do think a few Freedom members have done so also. I figured if any of them are here they may want to chime in on this one.
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John Gold
John Gold

December 14th, 2004, 10:14 am #21

From: LordlyCrayon (Original Message) Sent: 12/13/2004 4:55 PM
It's true. Yesterday I finished my first marathon in 5 hours and fifteen minutes. I was a pack a day smoker for five years and quit exactly one year and ten months ago.

You could not pay me enough to take even one puff of one cigarette today. The sense of accomplishment I felt as I crossed the finish line was huge. My thoughts were many as I ran the last few miles, but very prevalent in my mind was how lucky I am that I stumbled on this website all those months ago, desperately trying to quit in order to save money.

Did you know I could hardly sleep some nights as a smoker because I had such a hard time breathing? I wanted to be an athlete but every time I would try to run I had to stop to catch my breath. I could never run more than two miles at a time as a smoker.

I breath easy, now. Hold on to those quits, people. The dividends it pays are huge.


Oh yeah, I'm Alex, also known as justme, and I have been nicotine free for 1 year and ten months
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GoldenDivamom1972
GoldenDivamom1972

May 1st, 2005, 10:51 pm #22

It's interesting that this comes up today.

See, yesterday I did my first 5K. Today, I'm hurting, but triumphant. There's no way I would have even tried to do this as an active nicotine addict.

I ran most of it, did my first mile in under 10 minutes. I finished the thing in 39 minutes and change. And guess what, I didn't even come in last in my age group! Go me!!

There are more running events going on in my area this summer, some of which my company will pay the entry fee. I'm kind of excited now. It makes me want to really get out there and run instead of walk! Maybe not today though...today is *definitely* a rest day.

Blessings, and cool runnings,
Amy--Bronze!!
118 days
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CarolJJ3
CarolJJ3

May 2nd, 2005, 12:01 am #23

Oh, Amy! I'm so proud of ya! Go YOU! ...for sure.

You've inspired me! Everybody on Freedom has inspired me. I won't be running marathons any time soom (I'm sixty, smoked for 47 years, have been quit for 19 days and 15 hours), but as soon as I catch this pooch I'm gonna take her for a slow stroll around the block. Baby steps, right? The dog is hiding from me cuz when she sees me with the lead she thinks "VET".

Carol
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GoldenDivamom1972
GoldenDivamom1972

June 8th, 2005, 1:23 am #24

Can't help but use this thread to brag just a little bit.

I took up running about six weeks ago, just after a local 5K run. I finished, but boy, was I hurting afterward!

Well, just like with nicotine cessation, progress comes with practice. Yesterday I went to a local state park and ran on that trail. I totalled 10 miles, 8 of it running. That's the furthest I have run in I-don't-know-when. The only reason I didn't run the last two miles was because my legs quit. My lungs were perfectly capable of continuing, but the legs just weren't up to the task...*this* time.

Now, as I prepare for my next 5K event, I feel even more blessed that I took the NTAP challenge. Every day I NTAP means another chance to break personal records.

Blessings,
Amy--Bronze+Double Green
155 days
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mslindy6
mslindy6

June 9th, 2005, 12:48 am #25

Amy
Brag away, I know how great it feels to do something you never thought possible
You did an awesome thing! Congratulations girl! That is so great.

I too am bragging away to all my friends about my trek to Yosemite - I even out trekked some never smokers - I wrote the details in my diary link here The first post - finally message #51

I feel that what ever the accomplisment - conquering a flight of stairs, getting out of a lazy boy chair and walking to the kitchen or running the 5k or trekking 12 miles it is all good and all part of us getting free from nicotine forever - the more accomplishments we can see that are directly smoking related the more we can see the value of NTAP and when and if a trigger comes we can shoot it down with so much ammunition!

I have been quit for 3 Months, 6 Days, 10 hours and 46 minutes (98 days). I have saved $787.58 by not smoking 1,968 cigarettes. I have saved 6 Days and 20 hours of my life.
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GoldenDivamom1972
GoldenDivamom1972

June 19th, 2005, 12:32 pm #26

...YET. I can't run them YET.

Now that I've deactivated my nicotine addiction, I've completed yet another 5K. I cut about 3 minutes off my previous time, ran the whole thing, and finished it feeling like I could do it again. Which I will.

There's no WAY I would have even tried to do this while I was still smoking. I'm loving it now, though. It's definitely NOT a crutch, but I wouldn't be able to run long distances and run faster if I still smoked.

Running madly towards silver,
Amy
166 days of freedom
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Starshinegrl Gold
Starshinegrl Gold

June 19th, 2005, 3:06 pm #27

Wow, Amy, I still don't like running BUT you will certainly run a marathon one day!


Gitte
205 days and a bit
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Joel
Joel

June 21st, 2005, 7:03 pm #28

From: Joel. Sent: 8/9/2000 8:18 AM
Again, one of the benefits is all the things you will once again be capable of working toward. Not smoking doesn't mean you can automatically run, cycle, or do some other fun activities further or faster, just that you have the ability to train for it. As a smoker, cigarettes robbed you of that training effect to some degree and for some people, totally wiped them out or even made certain activities dangerous. Life can become fuller in many ways if you decide to pursue other options.

But be careful in the beginning. It wouldn't hurt to get checked out by your doctor, let him know you have quit and make sure everything looks OK from his or her perspective before incorporating any new major exercise activities. You have been assualting your body for many years and you just want to be careful that things are intact to train. But once you get the OK, the sky may be the limited. Odds are you will see your legs will be your limiting factor early on, before it was probably your lungs and heart that lost their steam.

Joel
From: Joel. Sent: 1/9/2001 7:00 AM
I saw in an earlier post of how one person is taking up running again after eight years. I thought this article would hit home with the person. It is amazing the things that people give up to sustain smoking. Basically, people give up breathing in order to sustain long term smoking even if they don't recognize that is what they are doing.

Exercise is something that is not an easy option for many people while they are smokers. Ex-smokers often have an exercise option opened up to them, but they also have an option not to exercise too. Ex-smokers may develop the ability to train to become an olympic class athlete or work real hard at becoming a total couch potato that doesn't have the interest to stay awake long enough to watch an olympic competition. It is just as an ex-smoker your body is more able to accommodate a more active and vigorous lifestyle if you choose.

But be careful of feeling you have to exercise not to smoke. Your ability to exercise is a bonus of quitting, not a tool for it. Check out the article on Crutches to Quit Smoking to further address this issue.
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Joel
Joel

August 25th, 2005, 1:43 am #29

From: Joel. Sent: 8/9/2000 8:18 AM
Again, one of the benefits is all the things you will once again be capable of working toward. Not smoking doesn't mean you can automatically run, cycle, or do some other fun activities further or faster, just that you have the ability to train for it. As a smoker, cigarettes robbed you of that training effect to some degree and for some people, totally wiped them out or even made certain activities dangerous. Life can become fuller in many ways if you decide to pursue other options.

But be careful in the beginning. It wouldn't hurt to get checked out by your doctor, let him know you have quit and make sure everything looks OK from his or her perspective before incorporating any new major exercise activities. You have been assualting your body for many years and you just want to be careful that things are intact to train. But once you get the OK, the sky may be the limited. Odds are you will see your legs will be your limiting factor early on, before it was probably your lungs and heart that lost their steam.

Joel
From: Joel. Sent: 1/9/2001 7:00 AM
I saw in an earlier post of how one person is taking up running again after eight years. I thought this article would hit home with the person. It is amazing the things that people give up to sustain smoking. Basically, people give up breathing in order to sustain long term smoking even if they don't recognize that is what they are doing.

Exercise is something that is not an easy option for many people while they are smokers. Ex-smokers often have an exercise option opened up to them, but they also have an option not to exercise too. Ex-smokers may develop the ability to train to become an olympic class athlete or work real hard at becoming a total couch potato that doesn't have the interest to stay awake long enough to watch an olympic competition. It is just as an ex-smoker your body is more able to accommodate a more active and vigorous lifestyle if you choose.

But be careful of feeling you have to exercise not to smoke. Your ability to exercise is a bonus of quitting, not a tool for it. Check out the article on Crutches to Quit Smoking to further address this issue.
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GoldenDivamom1972
GoldenDivamom1972

April 30th, 2006, 1:55 am #30

...but I *can* run half a marathon!

About a year ago, I did my first 5K, almost 4 months after I quit smoking. I ran, walked, and staggered my way through it.

Today I ran 13.1 miles. As I got to the section that meets up with the 5K course, I marvelled at the fact that it was just so much easier this year. I ran the last 5K of the half faster than I ran the 5K last year. Pretty sweet.

No, not everyone will want to take up running after quitting, and it's still definitely *not* a crutch. Quitting just made it a heck of a lot easier. It's kind of hard to run when you can't breath properly. I can't imagine running these kinds of distances as a smoker. There's just no way.

Blessings,
Amy--Gold N' Bronze
481 days running
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Joel
Joel

December 26th, 2006, 9:40 pm #31

I saw a new member noting the difference already in his endurance when walking his dogs. It made me think of this paragraph from above:
Unfortunately, many fail to consider that giving up strenuous activities today means possibly giving up essential capabilities in the future. Today, jogging may not be possible, but tomorrow, getting up stairs, walking, and eventually getting out of bed may be more than the smoker can handle.

Again from above:
Consider what activities you can do now. They may seem insignificant or unimportant. But what will life really be like when you can no longer do them. If this type of life, or more accurately, slow death does not appeal to you, then - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
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Joel
Joel

May 4th, 2007, 11:31 pm #32

From: [url=http://content.communities.msn.com/FreedomFromTobaccoQuitSmokingNow/profile?Type=MEM&Page=1&user=Joel%2E&ru=%2FFreedomFromTobaccoQuitSmokingNow%2Fmynewlife%2Emsnw%3Faction%3Dget%5Fmessage%26mview%3D0%26ID%5FMessage%3D16702%26LastModified%3D4675316936621904083%26nopost%3D1][color=#000000]Joel.[/color][/url]
Sent: 8/9/2000 8:18 AM
Again, one of the benefits is all the things you will once again be capable of working toward. Not smoking doesn't mean you can automatically run, cycle, or do some other fun activities further or faster, just that you have the ability to train for it. As a smoker, cigarettes robbed you of that training effect to some degree and for some people, totally wiped them out or even made certain activities dangerous. Life can become fuller in many ways if you decide to pursue other options.

But be careful in the beginning. It wouldn't hurt to get checked out by your doctor, let him know you have quit and make sure everything looks OK from his or her perspective before incorporating any new major exercise activities. You have been assualting your body for many years and you just want to be careful that things are intact to train. But once you get the OK, the sky may be the limited. Odds are you will see your legs will be your limiting factor early on, before it was probably your lungs and heart that lost their steam.

Joel

[/size][/font]

 
From: Joel.Sent: 1/9/2001 7:00 AM

I saw in an earlier post of how one person is taking up running again after eight years. I thought this article would hit home with the person. It is amazing the things that people give up to sustain smoking. Basically, people give up breathing in order to sustain long term smoking even if they don't recognize that is what they are doing.

Exercise is something that is not an easy option for many people while they are smokers. Ex-smokers often have an exercise option opened up to them, but they also have an option not to exercise too. Ex-smokers may develop the ability to train to become an olympic class athlete or work real hard at becoming a total couch potato that doesn't have the interest to stay awake long enough to watch an olympic competition. It is just as an ex-smoker your body is more able to accommodate a more active and vigorous lifestyle if you choose.


But be careful of feeling you have to exercise not to smoke. Your ability to exercise is a bonus of quitting, not a tool for it. Check out the article on Crutches to Quit Smoking to further address this issue.
Last edited by Joel on January 27th, 2010, 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

September 19th, 2007, 6:12 am #33

I thought I would attach this new string here: Too old to quit ? Too late to benefit ?
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John Gold
John Gold

September 23rd, 2007, 9:15 pm #34

Nicotine to Fit

Bill Vilona [url=mailto:bvilona@pnj.com]bvilona@pnj.com[/url]
September, 22, 2007 - The Pensacola News Journal


Ron Heifner made a promise to his mother 25 years ago that he would give up smoking.

He took up running.

He never stopped. And he never started smoking again either.

"I still wear the same shirt size, too,'' Heifner said. "I got down to 160 pounds, and I still weigh

160 pounds.''

If that's not impressive enough, consider this feat:

When Heifner, a Pensacola resident, completes the annual

Seafood Festival 5K Run this morning in downtown Pensacola, he will surpass 50,000 road miles.

That's more tread life than the best tire on your car.

"I'm excited,'' said Heifner, 67, who works at Mike Ryan's Professional Window Tinting. "Of course, it's been awhile since I have run in one of these races. I hope I finish.''

To help celebrate, Heifner's

pastor at Cokesbury United Methodist Church will be running with him, along with Paul Epstein, owner of Running Wild on Palafox Street, who plans to run the final mile. There will be other friends, too.

The Seafood Festival 5K caught a break with the weather. Fears of a tropical storm never materialized, so race organizers opted to continue the event as planned. The race will finish in front of the Wentworth Museum on Jefferson Street. Approximately 600 runners are expected to participate in the event, organized by the Pensacola Runners Association.

Heifner has been a member of the PRA since moving to Pensacola in 2000.

"The first race I ran in Pensacola was the Seafood Festival,'' he said.

Heifner started running in 1982. His first race was the America's Finest City Half-Marathon in San Diego. Heifner still has the T-shirt, dated August. 22, 1985.

"My mother asked me to give up smoking before she died, and that's what got me motivated to start running,'' he said. "She saw it happen before she died.

"I've run in 41 marathons. The last was the Catalina Island (in California) Marathon in 2000.''

After completing a recent workout run, Heifner recorded 49,997 miles on his log. That leads right into the Seafood Festival 5K.

"I've been getting close without going over,'' he said.

That happens today.

Story source link:
Copyright © 2007 The Pensacola News Journal. All rights reserved.
Last edited by John Gold on July 29th, 2009, 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John Gold
John Gold

February 19th, 2008, 1:53 am #35

A message from a non-posting member ....

Good afternoon, managers and members of Freedom!! In September 2006 my employer decided employees would not be allowed to smoke around the facilities or on the property! I was upset, how dare they impose these restrictions on my right to smoke. So I decided I would take control and quit smoking on my own before the January 2007 deadline. How ironic that I thought I was in control, when nicotine had been controlling my life for 25 years!

So October 31, 2006 at 6:00 PM I smoked my last cigarette. I had no idea what was in store for me. During my search for answers, I found WhyQuit and Freedom. Wow. I was so excited to understand what was happening to me and why. From the blood sugar changes, to the craves, to the triggers, the smoking dreams, and the light bulb moment for me, the realization that I am an addict. How simple, how true, how powerful this knowledge became to me!

I also learned that beating my smoking wife with this newly discovered wisdom would not help her see the light. We have to do it for ourselves, independent of others. So I chose to set the example, to show her and others there can be life after smoking. She still smokes, but when she is ready to quit, I will be here for her. And as I realized this was indeed a life changing journey, I decided to make other changes at the same time. Simple changes, like eating smaller, healthier meals during the day, and why not exercise a little too? They all go together, like a chain around a sprocket. Healthier eating, exercise, no smoking, all are lifestyle changes.

I feel a connection to all members who post on the boards, even though we have never met. I thank you all for sharing your struggles, victories, feelings and thoughts. You have been a light on my journey, a rope I can hold on to, and the wind that pushes my sails. I am so proud of you all, and I am proud of myself. This has been the hardest thing I have ever done, but it is the most rewarding.

Within a few weeks of my anniversary, I completed my first ½ marathon. Two weeks ago I completed my 1st marathon in Miami. I am confident to say this would not be possible without you all sharing your experiences, and allowing me to visit, read, secure and protect my quit. From 2 packs a day for 25 years, to running 26.2 miles, anything is possible when you find Freedom!! And it keeps getting better, I can't wait to see what's next! To once again borrow a priceless phrase, It's simple but not always easy: Never Take Another Puff.

Thanks,

Jeff

Free and Healing for One Year, Three Months, Eight Days, 20 Hours and 59 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 40 Days and 10 Hours, by avoiding the use of 11647 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,187.27.


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