It was December 2016 when Christopher Guzman, Sr. decided it was time to do something that was long overdue.
The overweight Bronx native said he was tired of the way he felt and wanted to make a change, not just for himself, but for his son, Christopher Guzman, Jr.
The Concourse resident had no major health problems yet, but he was not happy with how he looked and was struggling with problems he associated with his size.
So the south Bronx native decided on a workout plan and started exercising regularly and eating healthier.
In August 2017 Guzman Sr. was introduced to a local fitness group called the Boogie Down Bronx Runners.
After joining one of their weekly open runs, he was hooked and his journey to a healthier self took on new strides.
On top of his regular workout regiment, Guzman joins the group every Tuesday for a three-mile run along Pelham Parkway.
For as many miles as his sneakers accrue, the 34-year-old said running has not only been a great method of exercise, but has also become therapeutic for him.
Guzman said his weekly runs with the group help him de-stress, de-compress, and relax.
The activity is less a chore and more of a fun challenge, according to Guzman who looks forward to each time he gets to lace up and put on his running gear.
Guzman Jr, who is now 13-years-old, even accompanies him on some of his weekly runs.
“He always tells people how proud he is of me,” added Guzman Sr, who mentioned his son was even more inspired by his father after watching him run in the NYC Half Marathon on March 18.
The half marathon was the elder Guzman’s first run of that type, but he plans to compete in the Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 19.
Much of the success Chris achieved while on his continuing health journey, he attributes to his trainer, Darren Conyers.
Almost a year and a half later and 150 pounds lighter, Guzman’s journey has taken him right around the corner of his home, to Yankee Stadium.
On Sunday, April 15, Guzman is slated be one of many participating in the Runyon 5K, a charitable race that sends all of the funds raised to the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.
The race, Guzman imparted, was special to him because he had lost a member of his family to cancer, so running for the cause was an absolute no brainer to him.
But getting to participate alongside his running group and the company he works for, Krasdale Foods, inside the stadium of his favorite baseball team, has only made the 5K that much more appealing.
Guzman’s advice for others looking to make health changes, is simply to take the first step.
“It could be scary to think how far you have left to go, but little things lead to bigger goals,” said Guzman.
Of all the races Chris has run and all the training he has gone through, the Bronx native said it will all be for his ultimate running goal, which is running in the New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 4.