One Step At A Time


John Quinlivan was a 19 stone smoker. Now, 18 months on and seven stone lighter he reflects on how he changed his life for the better.


In 5 days time I’ll be standing behind the starting line of the Connemarathon ready to take part in my 2nd marathon. I am a firm believer in the fact that whether it’s a mile or a marathon, you get there the exact same way – one step at a time.

I have learned more about myself over the past 18 months than I ever could have realised. I have gone from a 19 stone smoker to a 12 stone marathoner who is seven months smoke free. I cannot tell you exactly how I did it but I can tell you that my determination to exceed my own expectations is what has driven me from my first run right up to now.

I read a quote before that really stuck with me: “It’s not about perfect, it’s about effort. And when you implement that effort into your life every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs”. I could never have imagined how much running could have changed my life. With this in mind, I want to set you a challenge. Now that the clocks have gone forward and there is a ‘great stretch’ in the evening, I want you to commit yourself to doing something more than you are already going. If you go for a walk once a week, make it three times. If you run every day, run further or for longer. Take the lift instead of the stairs.

Only by putting one foot in front of the other, one step at a time can any of us get from where we were to where we want to be. So go on, make a commitment to yourself now and put it in the comment box below and I’ll check back in and see what you have planned.


John Quinlivan blogs at, and you can follow him on Twitter at @ceegy

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