Kenan Advantage Group
Don Gilliam believes exercise is the fountain of youth.
He proves it with his weekly fitness routine: 15 miles
of walking, three miles of running and three hours
of weightlifting. We should mention that Don is
76 years old.
Don’s love of exercise began at the age of 19, when
asthma symptoms that had plagued him as a boy
began to subside. “I decided if I wanted to get back
into any kind of shape, I’d have to put a lot of effort
into it. I started to run and go to the gym,” says Don.
Over a 25-year period, Don ran in more than
200 races and five marathons. “I haven’t run
competitively in over 20 years, but I have a lot of
awards from those days.”
Don still drives full-time for Kenan Transport’s
Apex, N.C., Terminal. He typically arrives at work
between two and three in the morning so he can finish
earlier in the day and have time to exercise.
John Jordan, Terminal Manager, says Don is his hero. “His energy is incredible,”
says John. “To continue to have the work ethic and physical ability to keep up with
guys half his age just shows his commitment to fitness is working.”
These days, Don walks three miles, five times
a week, holding a 10-pound weight in each
hand. Once a week he runs two to three
miles. Sundays are spent at the gym. “I work
each muscle group, and that takes about
three hours,” he says.
This from a man who once broke his back.
It happened in 1988 when a speeding
delivery truck backed into him and sent
him 30 feet through the air. Don was off work
for 18 months and had to learn to walk and
Don says exercise is something that he
consciously makes a priority.
“It’s become accepted that illness comes
with age. I just don’t subscribe to that
theory. My motivation is mental. I believe where your brain goes, your body’s got
to follow along.”
Don doesn’t envision ever retiring from work. “I never took up golfing or fishing.
My comfort zone turns out to be in the cab of a truck. I’ve been driving a truck for
56 years. I passed 4 million miles a long time ago. As long I’m able to contribute at
a high level, this is what I want to do.”
A Lifetime of
Asthma and a broken back couldn’t keep
this Driver down
Don Gilliam has made physical
fitness a lifetime commitment.
“ IT’S BECOME
WITH AGE. I