Monday, December 13, 2010

Change your lungs, ride a bike.

I was pretty happy to hear from this personal story about trading the pack of smokes, for a a pack of tubes. As a previous smoker myself and still fighting the jumping demon on my shoulder quite often, I enjoy hearing from others and how they left the habit and turned it, in his case into a cycling obsession (name of his blog!). From Iowa, we have received his inspiring story:

From one of Courtney's previous posts
Well this is the 3rd Anniversary Smoke-free (Feb 23) but since I'm on night shift this week I am a day ahead of everyone else. So a little background is in order I guess for people that bore easily just tune out now.

 For some stupid reason I started smoking in Highschool. I then continued this till I was 27 and 100lbs overweight. In 2006 it was late July I had some car troubles and was working 100+ hours that week. It was a 3 hour break in a 16 hour shifts and the oil pump went out of my Jeep. I thought about it and decided I only live 3 miles from work or so I'll go to my parents and get my old mountain bike and ride to work. So I got a ride over there and air up the tires (5 years or more since I rode) and took off home. I took 8th street too work. I really had a great time doing 12 mph and not able to breathe. Upon arrival at work I sat down in the smokers room and lit up my prework smoke. 5 different people asked if I needed medical attention I was pale white and couldn't breathe. After 45 minutes I recovered enough to work the night. After the next 2 weeks of riding it was getting alot easier and I felt a bit better. I had decided to keep riding since my Wife had done the weight watchers thing and I was feeling the push there, I thought if I keep riding I can skip the diet. Some time around February I decided to trade off smoking for a new bike (trek road bike). I lost 85 pounds haven't smoked in 3 years and went from a new road bike to ride to work to 10 bikes, racing, joining a race team.

 So I think even though cycling cost far far more than smoking (at the moment double) I do have some cool bike to show for it after 3 years and am in the best shape I've been in since freshman year in high school. All I had to show for the years of smoking was nothing. My original goal was to not gain anymore weight and be able to walk up 3 flights of stairs without resting at the top, and to save a couple hundred dollars a year in gas. I now have done a 200 mile ride (13.5 hours) Many 100 milers, 5 crit races, 2 mountain bike races, 1 cross race, A lot of rides, 2 running races, and many miles to go. My goals have changed a lot I'm starting mountain bike racing this year (jumped in head first) and still would like to hit 10k miles in a year.

 If you think you can't then don't try, because success is for the positive. Stop talking about goals and just go win.
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From his blog is: 
Thanks for sharing Courtney and ride on!!


  1. Great inspirational story. I was a smoker in high school and stopped smoking at the age of 23 and never looked back.

  2. ride, don't smoke! Thanks for the story, Courtney!!

  3. Great story! I was dumb enough to smoke also, but I quit in 2005. I hate the smell of smoke now. I can climb the stair now, run on the treadmill, ride a bike without running out of breath. Feel absolutely great about kicking the habit!

    Thanks for sharing the nice story w/ all.

    Peace :)

  4. That is a great Story,I am delighted he managed to stay off them and never looked back . I gave up Smoking myself back in 1989,I said that is my last Cigarette and that was it no turning back.

    Like an Alcoholic I knew if I just took one Cigarette way back then I was a gonner and be back to Square one so I did not Succumb to the dreaded Weed.

    I did the same thing before a Year previousely I just gave them up for a Year and took one Cigarete and I was off Smoking Ten a Day. So back in 1989 I said no more and I do not have the Craving for them now . I gained Weight but got Rid of it after awhile When I stopped Smoking.

  5. great story, an inspiration to us all

    go u!