The Commit to Be Fit team had an excellent showing in this past weekend's 8K On the Parkway Run/Walk. We had fun walking, while others ran, but for some of our team, participating in the nearly five mile trek was much more than fun. It was a milestone.
Hundreds of runners and walkers challenged themselves and each other early Saturday morning for the 8k On the Parkway. It was a fundraiser the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Camp Kandu. WLBT was well represented from every department including my 10pm co-anchor Maggie Wade, who clearly stated her goal.
Wade said, "My goal is to finish. I don't have to finish first as long as I finish."
And finish, she did. My wife Deborah and I also crossed the finish line.
So did photographer Eric Fowler and his wife Phyllis. Producer Galean Stewart's daughter, Lauren, won a medal for finishing first in her age group.
It was easy to spot members of the Commit to Be Fit team thanks to editorial cartoonist Marshall Ramsey, who designed T-Shirts, like this, for us. One member of the team, Diane Jones, has lost sixty pounds since she's been on the St. Dominic's Healthy Weight Advantage program. She presented me with this plaque after the race in recognition of WLBT's effort to help fight obesity in Mississippi. Joseph and Melissa Tucker, from Kosciusko, were among the first to join the Commit to Be Fit team because they've been on a weight loss plan for a year now.
Joseph Tucker said, "I've lost 108 pounds since last year. Started out at a program at our gym. It was like a biggest loser program; kind of got me motivated to exercise."
Melissa Tucker said, "I got high blood pressure and that was the jumping point there. I do have a strong family history of cardiac disease, so I knew it was time to do something."
She continued, "I've lost 188 pounds. More than half my body weight."
Joseph Tucker said, "And my motivation is her, my family and, of course my God."
Perhaps the most impressive competitor on the Commit to Be Fit team was Thomas Hodges. You first met him in an earlier report. He didn't finish the race but he completed half of it. Keep in mind, less than a year ago, Hodges was so morbidly obese, he couldn't walk down the aisle of the grocery store he managed without running out of breath. Now, he's pumped up.
Hodges said, "I feel good. I feel great. I feel like I've walked 10 miles and I feel like one of those marathoners that just won the big race."
Asked if he will do 10 miles next year, Hodges replied, "Well, hopefully, before next year."
Join the Commit to Be Fit team by going to our website, wlbt.com and let me know how your weight loss mission is coming through Facebook or Twitter or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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