Jonathan DeJesus was never a runner, but the health journey that he decided to start in January 2020 changed that.
“My new year’s resolution was to stop smoking and start getting healthier,” he said.
DeJesus, who is from Puerto Rico and has lived in Destrehan for the past year, first started working out at a local park. In February 2020 he decided to tackle the 10k run that was part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.
“I came in 250th place at a 10-minute pace,” he said. “Most people would be disappointed, but to me it was an eye opening. That day I notice that I love to run and I was willing to change my lifestyle so running can love me back. Once I started running I wanted to get better and better … I fell in love with it.”
After DeJesus started to run more and do push-ups at the park four times a week, he saw his 10k pace go from 10 minutes to 8 minutes.
“But I knew I have to give it more to reach my goal,” he said. “By the end of June 2020 I joined Anytime Fitness in Destrehan, and that was a life changing moment for me.”
DeJesus said it was a man he met at the park who had encouraged him to join the gym. The classes, he said, propelled his fitness journey and his running prowess.
“Taking body pump, rpm and body flow classes brought what was once a 8-minute pace down to a 6.25-minute pace,” DeJesus said. “I knew there was no way I could gain more speed without joining a gym. The classes really helped me … they really took me all the way to the next level.”
DeJesus ran his first marathon in October of 2020, and as his running journey continues he is now training to run his second in October of this year.
“The main lesson that I learned is that human mind and body doesn’t have a limit,” he said. “Running really taught me that and I use it in everything else. There’s no limit to what you can do … I see myself improving in running and in all areas of my life. The more you work on yourself, the more you can help other people out. If you want more, you have to do more. “