Trading Cigarettes for Running Shoes

A B.C. woman's new addiction

By Christine Blanchette

Meet Kathryn Walks, a BC resident who traded in her pack-a-day smoking addiction for a pair of running shoes. Kathryn once had a passion for running and when she learned about Run to Quit she signed up in a heartbeat. Since going smoke-free, Kathryn reports feeling healthy and fit.
Speaking with Kathryn, she is passionate about how Run to Quit helped her overcome a powerful smoking addiction and how the program gave her so many benefits from not smoking, including increasing her ability to be more active.
Kathryn joined the Run to Quit in-store training program last year. “I really wanted to quit smoking and I was tired of all the other things out there for quitting that I heard of.
It seemed to be all about deprivation or taking something away and nothing sparked my interest”. Kathryn continued, “I was a runner before I became such a heavy smoker. Running was something I wanted to get back. When I saw Run to Quit I thought it was different from other ways to quit smoking. I would get something more out of the program in the form of exercise and running.”
“What inspired me about Run to Quit was meeting all the other people who were trying to quit. The social part of the program kept me coming back. At first it was pretty hard to quit smoking but the camaraderie kept me motivated.”
Kathryn set her quit day during week five of the program and made a commitment to stop smoking completely. After setting this goal she felt confident to tell others about the clinic.
Since graduating from the Run to Quit program, Kathryn has been enjoying a smoke-free life. This includes lacing up her shoes and experiencing the freedom that comes with not smoking. Kathryn has noticed her sense of smell returning, more energy and easier breathing, especially when running. Kathryn no longer identifies as a smoker or is constricted by the behaviours involved “I used to go out and get cigarettes before the store closed. I didn’t realize how much of my routine was revolved around smoking.”
Kathryn encourages people to sign up for Run to Quit. “Just show up because you are going to get so much out of it. You don’t have to quit the first night. You can pick your quit day as you get into the program. That was a big relief because I didn’t know I could do it.”
For more information about the Run to Quit program visit the webpage –
or check out the 30 sec commercial:


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