On the road 250 days, he still finds time to 'tri'
Glenn Keller holds a plank during a strength training session in Atlanta.
April 12th, 2012
06:52 AM ET

On the road 250 days, he still finds time to 'tri'

Glenn Keller is one of seven CNN viewers participating in the 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. At the beginning of the challenge, Keller weighed more than 300 pounds and suffered from sleep apnea due to his obesity.

Little Rock, Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Roanoke, Carlisle, Allentown, Hartford, Boston, New Haven, New York, Dover, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Richmond, Charlotte, Spartansburg, Atlanta, Birmingham, Jackson, and Dallas.

In case you're wondering (and you probably are), those are the places I get to see in any given week.

You could probably say I get around - but that would be an understatement. It is the life of an "over-the-road trucker." Earning a living means being away from home and those you care about most. In most instances it means being away for over 250 days a year - and as many as 290 if you want to increase your profit margin.

Things like weather, road conditions, and traffic can make it dangerous to drive at times, yet we do what we have to do.

Have you ever heard that "if you got it, it came on a truck"? The men and women that do what I do ensure that grocery shelves are filled, those new cars are on the lot and everything else you want or need is there when you want and need it.

I've been driving since the late 1980s and I'm sure I've driven over 2 million miles. Our work weeks are 70 hours and that's because they're regulated by federal guidelines. Couple that with conducting a live prayer line three times a day, seven days a week using my cell phones and one could reasonably conclude that I am a busy person.

When I got the call from the CNN producers one of the very first things we discussed was if I could do the Fit Nation Triathlon Challange and drive my truck. For me it wasn't a matter of if I could or not because I needed to! I knew it would indeed be a challenge but I was already over 300 pounds and counting.

I started off wondering (just like you are maybe doing) where would I find the time? It took determining what was important and not trying to find the time but rather doing everything I could do to make the time.

There were other things in my life I made time for and none of them came close to being as important as my health. It was amazing that I knew obesity could lead to hypertension and diabetes. It appeared I wasn't going to be satisfied until I had to give myself insulin shots and take blood pressure medication. Even then I probably would have done it so I could regulate my medical problems and keep eating everything I wanted to.

Making time meant just that. Making it whenever and wherever I could. Fueling the truck can sometimes be a 30-minute process which is a great time to stretch and do some squats instead of just standing there. At the end of my driving day instead of pulling out the laptop and watching television, that became a great time to do a 30 -to 45-minute workout or walk/jog. One of the truckstop chains thought enough of drivers' health to put fitness rooms in their truckstops. That alone has made an incredible difference for me.

I can't tell you what percentage of 24 hours is 30 or 45 mintutes but I found out it was a very small sacrifice for good health. Making time has at times meant jogging around truckstop parking lots at night with a saftey vest on and there were times it was cold and even raining.

I've made a lot of sacrifices in my life for others. The sacrifice I'm now making is for me. "I'm worth it"– that's something else I've come to realize.

The question is no longer: "will the other things I have to do allow me to get fit and healthy?"

The question now is: "can they stop me?"

soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Denise Castelli

    Glenn, I just got the chills reading this. You inspire me SO much. Every time I think I don't have time to work out, I think of you, what state you might be in, and now you're still finding the time. So honored to know you and call you my friend.

    April 12, 2012 at 09:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. rick morris

    Keep it up, GK. I cant wait to see you in Hawaii.

    April 12, 2012 at 10:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. rich toft

    awesome... i hear way too many reasons people can't... so refreshing to hear the reasons you can!... keep up the great work...

    April 12, 2012 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glenn

      Thank you so much for the encoragement.

      April 12, 2012 at 21:09 | Report abuse |
  4. Steve

    This is truly an inspiration. Those that don't know how much of a sacrafice it is to drive a truck in it's own right have no idea what this man is doing.His dicipline is outstanding. Keep up the good work

    April 12, 2012 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glenn

      I appreciate your kind words

      April 12, 2012 at 21:10 | Report abuse |
  5. Steve

    GK – Fantastic! You are a great example of the 'I don't have time' excuse being nothing more then an excuse.

    Keep up the good work!!

    April 12, 2012 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Metron

    Don't work for FFE Trucking. You'll only bring home $350 a week.

    April 12, 2012 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glenn

      I would be happy to speak with you about Roadrunner transportation or give Mike a call and tell him you spoke with Glenn his number is 972 510 0200 ext 8202

      April 12, 2012 at 21:16 | Report abuse |
  7. Manchester United

    Keep up the Great Work. I think you guys/gals are awesome for getting the things that families want when they want it. Be safe out there.

    April 12, 2012 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glenn

      We appreciate you feeling that way

      April 12, 2012 at 21:17 | Report abuse |
  8. Sabina

    Thanks to the 70 work weeks, a tired, "busy" trucker fell asleep at the wheel and disabled my son for life. Not impressed. Not all of these rosy stories have happy endings.

    April 12, 2012 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • NoSLOBlonde

      A resident physician works more than 70 hours a week and is much more tired than that truckdriver, she could have caused that accident. It could have been a policeman chasing a suspect or some teenager showing off to his friends that caused that accident. Don't categorize all truckdrivers because poop happens in life and we all have our crosses to bare. It's how we handle what we are given. Grace or bitterness. Obviously bitterness for you. And yes, my husband is a truckdriver and my son died in a car accident. At least your son is here for you to love everyday.

      April 12, 2012 at 17:56 | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      NoSLOblonde...sleazy response.

      So you think it is OK for truckers to work 70 hours and thereby increase the rate of such accidents, resulting in more people disabled and dead? Or do you think they shouldn't do that?

      April 12, 2012 at 18:07 | Report abuse |
    • Glenn

      Very sorry to hear about your son and our prayers go out to your son and your family. What is your sons name?

      April 12, 2012 at 21:22 | Report abuse |
    • djpeterson75

      I'm curious how many hours you think a driver should be a allowed to drive in a week? Also, is everyone prepared to pay the higher prices for almost everything you buy to compensate the drivers for the loss of income by limiting how much they can work?

      April 13, 2012 at 13:57 | Report abuse |
    • jadeforn

      I work in the driving industry as a recruiter, and let me tell you, these guys work 70 hours a week to make less money than they deserve, be away from home and family, and have to deal with car drivers who refuse to drive safely around them. And to top it all off, if they get in an accident, 99% of the time it will be chalked up as their fault and damage their career. I have watched as cars will speed up to swerve around a truck right before a stop light or before they make their turn.

      If they aren't able to work 70 hours a week, they won't even make the meager amount they do. I'm talking $40,000-$60,000 (which if you break it down to hourly pay is less than $10-$14/hr) for positions that have them away from home for weeks to months at a time. America needs to respect it's truck drivers more.

      I'm very sorry your son was permanently injured. As a mother, I can definitely understand the anger and resentment you feel towards the person who caused this. But to blame all truck drivers for what one man did is just as irresponsible as the man in Tulsa who blamed black people for his father's death. Truck drivers are hard and dedicated workers, and shortening their work day (and cutting their pay) wouldn't help with accidents as many studies actually demonstrated before the department of transportation recently passed it's law. I pray for your son.

      April 13, 2012 at 14:41 | Report abuse |
    • Glenn

      Ms Sabina my heart goes out to you, your son and everyone that was affected by such a thing happening. Our noon prayer was for a child whose name I don't even know and a mother who I know that is hurting. Okay this may have been one of my rosey stories but I'm 51 years old and all of them have not been rosie. I'm actually greatful to be able to share a rosie one every once in a while. Find my father dead at 5 years old wasn't rosey. Nor was being molested as a child by a family member seem rosie,. Things happen in life and they are not all good and very few have a logical answer. However God sustains us and heals us because if he didn't we would never have a rosie story. Alot of good has risen out of the ashes of our past hurt, dissappointment and tragedys. A rose happens to be one of the most beautiful flowers that we will ever see but even it has thorns. I would love to hear how your son is doing now and how much progress he's made since the accident. I have a teammate who at a glance and if you didn't know you would probably consider disabled. She is a 26 year old amputee but don't tell her that because September 15th 2012 she weill be right alongside of those of us with both of our legs participating in a Triathlon.

      April 13, 2012 at 15:31 | Report abuse |
  9. jimmy stansberry

    nice comment sabina , i bet your a real pleasure to be around , keep up the good work glen

    April 12, 2012 at 17:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glenn

      Thank you Jimmy but i also understand that Sabrina is a mother and I can only imagine her pain

      April 12, 2012 at 21:26 | Report abuse |
    • Sabina

      Just be thankful these things did not happen to you. 70 hours is too much to be driving on the roads. I now spend my time lobbying for safer highways for all of us.

      April 13, 2012 at 12:49 | Report abuse |
  10. Safe Driving


    In the 8 years I have driven trucks, I have remained accident free for the 1,000,000+ miles I have driven. Most 4wheelers out there cannot even do 10,000-15,000 miles a year without putting someone else's life at risk with your lack of driving skills. Most of you zip in and out of traffic while talking on the cell or texting, reading the paper, yelling at your kids in the back, driving 10-20 mph over the speed limit because you do not have enough common sense to leave just a little bit earlier to get where you are going on time. I can not even begin to count the number of times I have had to save a 4wheeler from wrecking on my Truck due to their own stupidity.

    You also fail to realize that yes, by Federal Regulations we are only allowed to work a total of 70 hours in an 8 day period. Roughly 20-25% of that time is not driving. It is time waiting to be loaded/unloaded, fueling, shop maintenance, etc. We are required to take a 10 hour break after 14 hours of combined driving/on duty time of which you can only drive a maximum of 11 hours of the 14 hours.

    April 12, 2012 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sabina

      Thank you Safe Driving; I know truckers that are very good and careful drivers. Keep up the good work and the excellent driving record!

      April 13, 2012 at 12:51 | Report abuse |
  11. Robyn

    Glenn, keep up the good work! There really is nothing like having your health, and I applaud your commitment to bettering your health and subsequently your life. No excuses! I wish you nothing but success.

    April 12, 2012 at 20:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glenn

      Robyn that means a lot to me.

      April 12, 2012 at 21:33 | Report abuse |
  12. Ms.#1

    Hey Glenn,loved your story.I am also embarking on living a healthier lifestyle for me and my family.You are full of inspiration,how would I ever be able to reach you for further support and what's your prayer line number?

    April 13, 2012 at 06:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glenn

      you can reach the prayerline by phone or internet httIp://www.talkshoe.com/tc/112532 the phone number is 724 444 7444 call id 112532.

      If you go to the internet the previous 768 prayer,Bible studies and services are recorded including this mornings prayer. Please let me know you are there so that I can say hello. If there is ever anything I can do or if someone just wants to pray my number is 682 557 6812. God Bless You

      April 13, 2012 at 08:23 | Report abuse |
  13. Sally

    Keep up the good work! Several of us at work here are doing a tri sprint in the summer and your posts are very inspiring!

    April 13, 2012 at 08:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glenn

      I pray we can continue to be an encouragement to each other. Let me knwo how everything goes.

      April 13, 2012 at 10:55 | Report abuse |
  14. Deanna

    Continue the great work you're doing. – God Bless you

    April 13, 2012 at 08:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glenn

      Thank you so much Deanna

      April 13, 2012 at 10:56 | Report abuse |
  15. Deb G

    I gotta say it, KEEP ON TRUCKIN' GK! You are an inspiration, both physically and spiritually. I hope that in your travels your fellow drivers see you excercising and eating healthy and follow your good example.

    And who knew that in the Bible there are inspirational messages for people who want to begin on a healthy path of excercise: "I say to one, 'GO', and he goes" Matthew 8:9

    April 13, 2012 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glenn

      Thank you Deb for being an inspiration to me

      April 13, 2012 at 10:57 | Report abuse |
  16. Dave

    Glenn, I am also a larger guy (250 lbs+) working to do a tri this year. I did three duathlons last year, ending with a nagging hamstring injury. From personal experience, I can tell you that you can do this! Its tough.

    There is the physical aspect, but worse is the mental aspect. When the training gets tough, and its you against the road or the pool/water, you gotta stick with it. Know that many of us are rooting for you. We are all out there, pulling for you on the road while you run or bike, and we're swimming right next to you.

    You must NEVER forget you can do this. The sweat and aches are just paying your dues. Triathletes are great. You will find a lot of support from them, and they will cheer you on. Listen to your coaches, eat right, get your rest.

    We're with you.

    April 13, 2012 at 09:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glenn

      Thank you Dave and I will take your words with me all the way to Malibu

      April 13, 2012 at 10:59 | Report abuse |
  17. Brian

    Keep at it Glenn! You're an amazing guy and certainly an inspiration! Good luck!!

    April 13, 2012 at 10:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Glenn

    Thank you Brian and I will continue to do my best by the Grace of God

    April 13, 2012 at 11:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Michelle

    Great job Glenn! I noticed Dave's comment about injury from training. I suffered a knee injury last year playing soccer mostly because I didn't make time to stretch before that game. Start workouts, especially running workouts, with dynamic stretching (walking lunges, walking squats, more here: http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-241-287–13442-0,00.html) to prevent injury and try to do a few minutes of stretching at the end of the workouts too.

    April 13, 2012 at 11:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glenn

      Thanks for the advise Michelle I appreciate it

      April 13, 2012 at 15:06 | Report abuse |
  20. jbm

    I'm 250+ and trying to get it off. It was inspiring to hear your story and a great reminder that it's up to me how I use my "down time" moments and to quit finding excuses not to be more active.
    I just remembered a 10, 2 letter word saying to live by" If it is to be, it is up to me! Thanks!

    April 13, 2012 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glenn

      And we can do it jbm

      April 13, 2012 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
  21. Jim

    Glenn – thank you for sharing this with everyone. A lot of people, myself included, make excuses instead of making time to do the right things for ourselves or others. You're a terrific inspiration, and I wish you much success!

    April 13, 2012 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glenn

      I appreciate you support Jim

      April 13, 2012 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
  22. jadeforn

    Glenn, this is trully an impressive feat. I understand how difficult it must be for you to be away from your family while driving, and finding the time to do this triatholon while being a otr driver must be incredibly difficult! Bravo to you, and I hope you inspire other drivers and non-drivers to follow your path. We don't get enough time with family as it is. No point in taking away even more time by shortening our lifespans!

    April 13, 2012 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glenn

      Life is indeed very precious jadeforn

      April 13, 2012 at 15:09 | Report abuse |
  23. marshall

    keep up the good work i have been blessed with good health by dna little work my wife is not so lucky she went from having
    to meds for diabetes and bllod presure one day she decied to get control and figured out how many laps around the truck it took
    it took to make a mile it took a while but now no more meds and now i am in better health to i can not walk as far as she can because of inj to my legs stick with it it will pay off

    April 13, 2012 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. John

    Rock on! I am a trucker as well and I keep dumbbells in the truck to stay in shape, I go for walks when I am out on the road, and I eat a healthy diet can cook most of my meals in my truck. I have a home gym in use it regularly when I am home. I am 6 feet tall and weigh 183 pounds, all muscle. It can be done!

    April 13, 2012 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. tankeryanker1

    For the love of Gawd, pay the drivers more (then I might drive again:))

    April 13, 2012 at 21:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Don

    Seems like a blatant lie to me. How about rigging your log books, fraternizing with lounge lizards etc? No mention of that.

    April 14, 2012 at 00:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. hu4jy999

    WOW, this is GREAT! Now you know the sky is your target, anything is possible! Great things are ahead for YOU... Keep up the good work!

    May 1, 2012 at 22:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. glenn c keller

    Thank you so much for those words of encouragement.

    May 17, 2012 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
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    December 10, 2020 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply

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