October > UT System Success Story

UT System Success Story

Name:Thomas Harper
Institution:The University of Texas at San Antonio
Email Address: Thomas.Harper@UTSA.edu

Thomas Harper

"I was basically told I would be on hypertensions meds for the rest of my life." "I had to change that, by taking responsability of my health and doing what is best for me!"

Thomas Harper
The University of Texas at San Antonio

Learn more about Thomas's Health & Wellness Success Story.

1. What health behavior did you change?
Hypertension and weight control.

2. Why did you decide to make this change?
I was basically told I would be on hypertension's meds for the rest of my life. On the off-chance this could be changed I explored.

3. How did you accomplish your success?
I joined the fitness program here at UTSA and was haphazardly doing the cardio workout on my own. I had had some success but was not free from the meds. I have stayed with this program and chose a different means. Since my wife has a free gym membership from school district she works for, I began exercising regularly 18 months ago.

4. How did the University of Texas System Living Well: Make it a Priority or your Institutions resources and tools help you?
By joining the Rowdy Fitness program here at UTSA it has been a major inspiration. In fact, amongst the admin staff I am about the fittest person they have working in this capacity.

5. What goals and obstacles did you have?
Today I body build with free weights, intense abdominal's, and use consistent cardio 6 days a week. This is often from the hours of 11:30-2:00 am since my work hours are not conducive to using the on campus gym facilities. This is so since the on campus gym closes at midnite. This has been somewhat hampered since my wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer in January of 2011. Plus being a caregiver for my elderly parents and widowed neighbor. I continue to push myself even with some arthritis and can now bench press with free weight 53% of my actual body weight! It is my goal to lift my totally body weight at least once with no injury. Nonetheless, her dilemma and others have been a driving force for me to continue to take care of myself for her.

6. Who supported you during this experience?
Truthfully, almost no one has except for 1 person in the office next to mine. As a former bodybuilder he as coached, counseled, and inspired me to continue.

7. What advice do you have for others who want to make this change?
Do this for your health! Why, as this saying goes, "ignore your health, and it will just go away". Plus when you have loved ones that are in crisis or invalid care, staying fit gives the energy to be there when they are in most need for assistance and support.