Local triathlete Ed Rusk likes spending his lunch hour on a heart-pumping bike ride up and down Lookout Mountain.
Pedaling up a mountain had never been a goal until six years ago when his older brother died unexpectedly.
“It was a wake-up call for me to take care of myself because I don’t believe he did,” said Rusk, director of finance and administration at Chattem Chemicals in St. Elmo. “I wanted to force myself to get healthy.”
So he ran his first triathlon five months after his brother’s death. Rusk said he chose the sport because he had background, although it was years behind him, in swimming, running and biking.
“I was a lifeguard in high school, so I could swim. I had biked for recreation, and I used to run a lot in high school. But over the years, I let myself get fat and lazy.”
That’s no longer the case. He now weighs 185, down from the 225 he weighed when he jump-started his athletic life.
“I’m back to wearing the same size pants I wore 20 years ago,” he said.
But it’s not just his own health he whipped back into shape. Rusk started a wellness program at work to encourage the chemical manufacturing company’s 78 employees to start living their own healthy lifestyles.
Read more, including an interview with Ed Rusk at the Times Free Press website