Advice That Changed My Life and The Lives Of My Team

Kelly Schols runningBy Kelly Schols - President CPI Plumbing, Mount Vernon, WA

As owners and managers how many of us actually take time each day to get away from our businesses and busy lives and do something for our health and wellness of our bodies and mind?

Six years ago, 30 lbs heavier and a lot more stressed out than I am now, we had to have our life insurance policies updated through the company. When I got the physical exam back from the life insurance company my cholesterol was thru the roof. With a history of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart issues in my family I decided it was time to take control of my life and take care of my health and my body.

While talking to a friend who has always been an avid runner I asked him how he would help someone who despises running and only exercises on occasion. His suggestion he had given to many people before was to set a time each day and put your workout clothes on and just walk to the mailbox for one week. After the first week if anybody returned for more advice he would tell them to do the same thing except to run to the mailbox.

After the second week, when even less people would return he would tell them to run a half mile every day. After the third week if anybody would return he would tell them they are now on their own and that they had formed a habit of putting on their workout clothes and doing something for themselves.

After hearing this advice I quickly started the habit transformation and every day after work I would come home and put my workout clothes on immediately and then would exercise in some form or another for a minimum of 30 minutes up to 60 minutes.

For 4 years I tried to get my wife to join me in working out and to take some time for herself. She also owned her own business. She would not take time for herself away from her business and busy life to exercise and take care of her mind and body. Although she appeared to be healthy and looked amazing, the stress and pressure she put herself through eventually caught up to her. She passed away unexpectedly 2 years ago from a heart issue which has never been diagnose by some of the top cardiologists in the state of Washington.

I cannot say that had she been exercising on a regular basis she would still be with us today, but can tell you from all the conversations I had with the doctors following her death it wouldn’t have hurt and could have helped prevent her death.

The day after she passed away, my best friend came to my house with his workout clothes and told me to put mine on, that we were going running. Every day for about 2-3 weeks he would come and go on a run with me. To this day I thank him deeply for keeping me going on my exercise routine. That routine helped me get through her death and get my mind and body straight to be able to get back to my business and care for my 2 daughters.

As I was writing this article I asked 4 team members who I have noticed have lost weight in the last 2 years how much they have lost and the total is 162lbs.

Am I directly responsible for their weight loss and healthier lifestyle they are living now? I don’t know. What I do know is, as owners and managers the influence we have on our team members can be a lasting and positive impact that can affect generations to come.

Taking 30-60 minutes each day to exercise in some form or another is the best thing you could do to keep your mind and body in great shape, relieve stress and be there for your family and team. It may even save your life.


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