- Posted November 17, 2011 by
Canton, North Carolina
This iReport is part of an assignment:
CNN Fit Nation: Triathlon Challenge
I Want to Live!
My name is Rick Morris. I'm 43 years old, living in Canton, NC.
I'm 24 years married, with 5 children.
I run a home-based web development business.
And, for the past 3 years, I've volunteered at our local fire department.
By the time you see this, I may already be dead from heart attack or stroke.
After my career in the Army, I started smoking, and quit exercising.
And, for the past 12 years, I've mostly eaten only the things that taste good. You know... food that comes from a box or a drive-up window.
Today, I smoke a pack and ½ a day...
drink 6 or 8 sodas a day...
eat whenever and whatever I want...
go to bed at 2 or 3am...
and get up at 9 or 10 in the morning.
Yeah, like many Americans, I've become lazy and relaxed.
I never get a good night's rest anymore.
Within 3 years of leaving the military I've seen 6 relatives die from heart disease, lung cancer and throat cancer.
Including my father, my brother, and my son.
I'm worried that if I don't make some life-changing decisions about my health, I'll soon join the family statistic.
I rarely have the energy to play tennis with my 9-year old daughter as often as I would like.
I can't climb a set of stairs without becoming winded, much less fight a structure fire alongside my fellow firefighters.
In high-school, I wrestled in the 126-pound division.
In the military, I weighed around 160 pounds and ran 5 miles every morning.
Today, I'm 210 pounds and feel like crap.
I feel like I'm letting my family down. I don't have the lasting energy I should have.
I feel like I'm letting my fellow firefighters down. I don't last 10 minutes in an air pack.
And, I know I'm letting myself down.
I'm ashamed to admit that smoking, poor diet, and lack of movement are my poisons.
I think the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon will be my cure.
In the military I learned that it's an honor to die for your country.
But, not like this.
Not while sitting on my ass behind a computer.
Not by leaving my family at such a young age.
In years past, the American Dream was always about home ownership.
Today, I believe the American Dream is about health ownership.
I believe its to Get Motivated! Get Moving! Get Healthy!
I don't want my children to see what I saw as my 63-year old father took his last breath battling lung cancer.
I don't want to die young from controllable circumstances.
I want to live.
I want to continue giving back to my family, my community, and my country.
Please help me, Dr. Gupta.
Show me how to kick the cancer stick.
Show me how to eat right.
Show me how to Get Motivated, Get Moving, and Get Healthy.
I humbly ask you to please select me as a member of CNN's Fit Nation 2012 Triathlon.
P. S. - I was born on leap year. On February 29, 2012 I turn 44, but technically, I'll be 11 years old.
So, it sure would be nice to feel 33 years younger!