Where Are They Now?

Need inspiration? These Rockwell Automation employees prove that once you find a physical activity you love, you’ll stick with it. They first shared their stories with us years ago. We enjoyed learning how they got started, stayed motivated, improved their health and earned incentives. So we decided to follow up to see where they are on their fitness journeys now.

Kevin Jones

Senior Sales Engineer (Spokane, WA)

Then: Despite a hip replacement and back surgeries, Kevin remained an avid mountain climber, leading several groups up Washington’s Mount Rainier and climbing several peaks. When we last spoke to him, he was training to climb Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain.

Now: Kevin made it to Everest, but a potentially life-threatening blood clot prevented him from reaching the top. Although he dreams of returning to Everest, he’s focusing on other activities while he rehabilitates after a second hip replacement. “I still work out every day, and I’m on my bike three or four times a week,” he said.

Kevin-image 2

In fact, Kevin just completed a 100-mile bike ride and plans to ride from his house in Spokane to the Space Needle—a 300-mile trip he says will take him two or three days to complete. “I love fitness, and I love a challenge. I always want to feel like I have a goal,” he explained.

After his surgery, Kevin is able to play tennis again. “I’m getting back to myself and starting to feel like I did 10 years ago,” he added. For anyone dealing with an injury or any other obstacle to exercise, Kevin says to not give up. “When you’re hurt, you have to fight that tendency to let that one injury ruin your goals,” he noted. “You can adjust to injuries, time management, work stress, family management. It’s a matter of discipline to find reasons to do it and stay healthy.”

Bob Chesla

Senior Project Engineer (Mayfield Heights, OH)

Then: After receiving a bicycle for Father’s Day, Bob got in shape by riding on every street in his city. Along the way, he lost 6% of his body weight thanks to the cycling, diet changes and walks with his wife.

Now: Having explored his city, Bob now spends his free time riding along Ohio’s iconic Towpath Trail. “My goal is to complete the sections from Lake Erie through the Cuyahoga National Park and then through several counties,” he said. This time, Bob has company. “My wife and three sons now have bikes, and we ride together when we get the opportunity.”

Bob Chesla Hiking Blue Ridge Parkway 1

Bob has also started hiking. He and two of his sons even took a three-day hiking trip to the Shenandoah National Park up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. When winter weather kept him off the trails, he and his wife stayed active by remodeling their house. “Working with a contractor, we ripped out everything from our master bathroom and took it down to the studs. We’ve started from scratch with doing plumbing, electrical wiring, concrete work, subflooring, tile, drywall, waterproofing, ceiling and the fixtures,” he said. “It’s proven to be quite the workout for us.”

Looking back, Bob says these activities helped him improve his health screening numbers over the past two years. But more importantly, they’ve created bonding experiences with his family that he’ll cherish forever.

Steve Smith

Editorial Content Manager (Milwaukee, WI)

Then: A couple years ago, a group of Rockwell Automation employees—including cycling enthusiast Steve Smith—joined the National Bike Challenge, a program that encourages biking for transportation and recreation.

In just three months that year, the team logged 52,007 miles commuting to work—enough miles to circle the earth two times!

Now: Steve is still racking up those miles. A busy father of three teenagers, Steve says bicycle commuting is a great way to fit physical activity into his day. It also provides an excellent foundation for his competitive pursuits. “Riding to work (20 miles round trip) up to four times a week gives me great fitness,” he said.“I posted my fastest time in the Chequamegon Fat Tire 40 mountain bike race this past year (after 20 consecutive years riding the race) and had my best finish in the American Birkebeiner cross country ski marathon in February!”

Your Turn!

We’d love to hear your story! What are you doing to stay active, eat better or relax more? Let us know by completing this form. (Don’t worry. You don’t have to answer every question.) Just tell us what motivated you to take action, what you’re doing now to keep it up and any outcomes you’ve seen so far. If you’re up to it, upload a picture, too.

Published: April 10, 2014