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THURSDAY, JUNE 6, 2019

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Why I Started Running Again

Why I Started Running Again

Gerardo Monroy
Gerardo Monroy
Chief Marketing Officer, CNO Financial Group

Growing up in Mexico City, sports were a family activity. My parents played tennis, one of my brothers ran competitively (400m and 800m), and my other brother played soccer, so I picked up all of those sports. As the youngest of three boys, I had to apply myself and work very hard to keep up with my older brothers. So running was something that I started doing when I was young.

As time went by, I got busy with life, first with college, then with work, and finally with marriage. With more work and more commitments, my exercise discipline started to fade, and slowly but surely I started to gain weight and become unhealthy. Even though I did not like the new me, I incorrectly justified this by saying to myself that it was OK, it was because I had so much work to do that I did not have time to exercise, and that gaining a few pounds was just part of becoming “older.”

An Important Family Change and My First Marathon

In mid-December 2003 we learned that my wife, Ivette, was pregnant with twins, and I realized that my health was not only important for the two of us, but NOW extremely important for our daughters. That gave me the motivation to start running and exercising again.

I signed up for the 2004 Chicago Marathon before the end of the year. I bought several books and put together a training program that combined running as well as a new diet. As you can imagine, the first few months were very tough. However, I had the greatest motivation to keep going, working hard and being disciplined with the program.

Slowly, but steadily, I started to see progress. I was able to run up to 10 miles and started losing weight.  Each time we visited Ivette’s doctor and received good news on the babies’ progress, it gave me extra incentive to keep going. My long runs were now up to double digits. My weight continued to drop and I felt much better, had more energy, and was more productive at work (win-win-win).

Isabella and Regina were born on August 11, 2004, bringing tremendous joy and a true blessing to our lives. In October, I ran the marathon but did not complete it, which was perfectly fine because I had achieved my most important goal—improving my health for me and my family.

Running for Life

Ever since that first event, I have continued running and training for multiple races and have completed many short races, 5+ marathons, and 10+ half marathons, including last year the CNO Financial Monumental Half Marathon for the first time. Running gives me the chance to maintain good health, to see and experience nature (beautiful sunrises and sunsets), and it provides me with time to reflect, think and thank God for the many blessings that my family and I have.

And I can’t wait to complete my first full CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental Marathon this November.