At 258 pounds, Monty Seidler (MIRAGE727) saw people who worked out regularly as obsessive, so when a physical therapist suggested that he look into triathlons it seemed crazy. Soon, though, he would find that the triathlon life was the only life for him.
By 2000, after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes high blood pressure and high cholesterol, Seidler had already spent years ignoring his health. "I overate, started to drink alcohol more [often] and fell into a sedentary lifestyle with total disregard," he says. In October 2010, his wife introduced him to SparkPeople and he started to change the way he thought about food and exercise.
"My goal was always to enjoy watching my granddaughter grow up and live on the beach with my wife for a long time," Seidler says of his motivation to make a healthy change.
Having found his spark, Seidler wasted no time getting started. Just one month later, he started walking 5Ks, then advanced to running them six months after that. By the time the word "triathlon" was presented as a viable option, Seidler was intimidated, but intrigued. "[My physical therapist] had seen me come out to support him and others during a mock triathlon. I was still giddy at the fact that I had [even] become a runner at my age!" he said. "Little did I know that I would be invited to join a triathlon team at 63."
For Seidler, the triathlon offered a new challenge and, after his initial surprise wore off, he jumped at the opportunity. He started with the water, visiting a local open water session for his first taste of training.
"I'm not going to lie, I was intimidated. I swam about 200 yards doing a breast stroke and it wore me out!" Seidler says. "It was worth it. The experience was exhilarating. Everyone was encouraging, welcoming and I could not wait until the next session. I found myself in the learning process again at my age and loved it."
Suffice it to say, he was hooked. As his swim sessions continued, his distances got longer and his level of intimidation decreased as his confidence grew. At 63 years old, Seidler was discovering a fortitude and determination that he had not experienced before. He found a camaraderie with his teammates that keeps him motivated, inspired and in a positive state of mind, which continues today at age 65. As of today, he is down to 175 pounds, has competed in 10 triathlons, three duathlons and is a member of a local team, in addition to his position as team leader for the SparkPeople Triathlon Team.
"I want everyone to find out what they are capable of doing. It's within us all and can change your life for the better." Seidler says. "I have role models who are still triathletes at 85. I want to be like them when I grow up!"
On the successful journey to healthy living, exercise has a way of becoming a part of you. Home Is Where the Workout Is is a series featuring members like you who achieved their goals by getting hooked on exercise. Discover what can happen when people struggling with weight loss find their passion and change their lives.