Column: Turning letdown into triumph

by Walker John

(Photo: Cullen Johnson)

It is not uncommon for students to enter college and undergo significant changes in their lives. For freshman Cullen Johnson, change has defined his time here.

For most of his youth, baseball has given Johnson some of the best memories of his life. Naturally, he tried out for the Franklin Pierce baseball team in hopes of continuing this passion. However, after missing the cut twice, baseball began to feel more and more like a dead end

“That was it for me, all the work I could’ve put it was used up and baseball wasn’t fun anymore – it was a day job,” Johnson said.

He didn’t let the end of his baseball career stop him, though. After having already put in so much work to try and make the team, Johnson continued the momentum towards a new goal: getting healthier.

This goal wasn’t completely new. Johnson had struggled with his self-image in the past and decided now was the time to do something about it.

“Constantly seeing myself appear the way I did, physically, when I looked in the mirror everyday was not something I enjoyed,” Johnson said. “Along with being displeased with how I looked, I was displeased with how I felt too. Always being out of breath when doing some of the simplest of things such as walking up a flight of stairs really put it into perspective of what I needed to do to improve my quality of life – physically and mentally.”

Johnson began significantly improving his eating habits by cutting out junk foods and high amounts of sugar. This new diet, coupled with regular weight-lifting sessions and running, led to big results.

As of March 29, 2017, Johnson has lost approximately 80 pounds.

“Losing this much weight has allowed me to have an energetic feeling about life again,” Johnson said. “I can do so much more and it’s uplifting to know that I could do something to this degree with just a little extra hard work.”

Although this process was not easy, Johnson developed a new sense of discipline and began running daily. As running became an important part of his life, Johnson worked hard to improve both his health, and his abilities as a runner.

This hard work did not go unnoticed and opened more doors for Johnson. Zach Emerson, head coach of the Franklin Pierce track and field, saw him running and gave him the opportunity join his team. After a couple of months of training with the team, Johnson has now begun competing in middle-distance events as a Raven.

Based on his impressive achievements this past year, Johnson looks to the future with a lot more confidence and ambition.

“I like where I am right now with how I feel, look, and where I am with track. I feel comfortable and maintaining that in the future is definitely a goal of mine,” he said.

One Response to Column: Turning letdown into triumph

  1. Great job. I’m very proud of you. It wasn’t an easy feat to loose 80Lbs.
    Keep up the running it will keep you fit and healthy.

    Not making the baseball team must have been a crushing feeling. I’ve been there myself in high school. I made up for it by coaching baseball and playing in the Connie Mack League. ( Similar to the Babe Ruth League). It’s still a great game. I hope you try out again.

    Uncle Richie

    Richard (Baseball Honey) Flaherty April 1, 2017 at 8:03 am Reply

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