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How driver Paul Sedlak finds motivation to reach his fitness goals
Paul Sedlak • Sylva, N.C. • Driving for four years
I was living in Florida and thought about becoming a personal trainer. I went to school and got my certification, but I didn’t really enjoy the work. I didn’t like being tied down to a schedule of meeting clients at a specific time, and then still worry about getting paid.
I had some debts. I wanted to make money. I wanted to see the country. I had a lot of dreams — the most important was to be free and not be dependent on someone else for work. I really needed to make a decision. What will I do as my profession? Trucking fit into everything that I wanted. It was the best option for being my own boss.
I went to school, got my CDL, and found a job with a trucking company. I started with the worst truck in the company — one night in Miami I woke up because there were cockroaches climbing all over me. But I cleaned up the truck and took care of it. Soon the company gave me a better truck, without my asking for it.
I wanted to stay in shape, but it was very discouraging. Other drivers would tell me that there was no way to work out because there is no time to fit it into your day.
But if there’s a will there’s a way. My mindset was that I must stay fit. I’m not going to compromise on my health. I stuck some dumbbells and my bicycle in the truck and made time to exercise. I learned to be disciplined, and keep four or five healthy foods in the truck for snacking.
You have to have a “why” to motivate you, so I always put a deadline to my goals. I’ll sign up for a triathlon and pay for it right away. I’ll pay for a vacation trip.
When I was younger I was overweight. I didn’t like exercise. Then, as a teenager I became friends with someone who cared about fitness and who always had a book with him. I started to read. Stories about successful people inspired me to go after my goals. Now every day I spend 30 minutes reading or listening to or watching something that is positive and motivational. The more you focus on the good stuff, the more good comes your way.
In trucking there is always huge potential to grow. I started with no experience, as a company driver. I saw that I could make more money driving flatbeds. I learned and became valuable to my company. Now I am going to the next level and buying my own truck. One day I would like to teach other drivers how to be successful in the trucking business. I want to give them confidence in themselves and help them see how important they are to everyone.