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SCHILLER PARK, Ill. April 30, 2009 – After being addicted to cigarettes for 10 years, Debbie Johnstone decided to quit the habit when her friend bet her that she couldn't. Competitive by nature, Johnstone was up for the challenge and decided to replace the bad habit with a good one—running. Secretly, the 33-year-old from Alberta, Canada, had always wanted to be a runner but never had the time to pursue the activity.
Within a year, Johnstone became hooked and ran her first half-marathon and a year after that, she participated in her first marathon.
"When I first started, I couldn't run longer than five minutes, but I was determined to try," said Johnstone. "I loved it, but hated it as the same time because what looked so easy proved to be so hard."
Unfortunately her running regimen had to change when Johnstone was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Johnstone was angry; she had given up all of her bad habits and had started living a healthy, active lifestyle. As a new mother, she was determined to beat the disease.
"I soon came to realize that despite my anger, I had to get better for my family and myself," said Johnstone. "All those training miles on the treadmill taught me that nothing is more exhilarating than the feeling after a run. I run now because I can."
As a result of Johnstone's dedication and determination, she was recognized by the company whose treadmill she used, Life Fitness, and was awarded as a finalist in the company's annual "I Live It!" campaign.
This program celebrates individuals who demonstrate a commitment to lifelong health and well-being.
"Debbie clearly deserves the award for her perseverance and devotion to fitness," said John Stransky, president of Life Fitness. "We hope that others will be inspired to take the step towards a lifetime of fitness just as Debbie did."
Johnstone continues to work out six days a week while undergoing treatment.
Life Fitness is currently accepting applications for the 2009 "I Live It!" contest.
About Life Fitness
Life Fitness is the global leader in providing fitness equipment. The company manufactures and sells strength and cardiovascular equipment under the brand names Life Fitness and Hammer Strength and distributes its equipment in more than 120 countries. Headquartered outside Chicago, in Schiller Park, Ill., Life Fitness is a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC).
Life Fitness and Lifecycle are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Brunswick Corporation Life Fitness, 5100 River Road, Schiller Park, IL 60176. Phone: 847.288.3300, www.lifefitness.com