Teko Sellman loves being alive. A tech in Anne Arundel Medical Center’s Emergency Department, he loves living every day to the fullest. So, when he found himself feeling sluggish, unmotivated and depressed last year, he knew he needed to make a change.
“One day I walked up three flights of stairs and noticed I became winded and felt really tired,” said Teko. “In that moment I thought to myself ‘Only three flights? This cannot be good.’ I love being alive and want to stay around as long as I possibly can.”
That was his turning point.
“I was 39, and I had a pot belly. I realized my external appearance was a direct reflection of my internal reality and it had to change,” he added.
Teko noticed the Energize signs posted around AAMC encouraging employees and visitors to take the stairs instead of the elevators, so he started climbing the stairs before and after his shift for exercise.
“I tried my first 30-minute stair climb,” Teko said, “and instantly fell in love. After three months, I had lost 50 lbs. I started eating better and added strength training to my regimen. I look and feel healthier now than I have in many years. Three flights of stairs is just part of my warm up now.”
“I believe working out and eating well makes my life better. It provides my mind, body and spirit with the motivation to achieve the unimaginable.”
Teko, who works nights, finds time to run the stairs 3 to 4 days a week for 30 to 45 minutes. He varies his routine and keeps the intensity high. “I keep my exercise sessions short but intense. This allows me to fit in a workout anytime I have 15 to 20 minutes to spare. I meet a lot of interesting people on the stairs,” Teko said, “That’s one of the reasons I love doing it.”
In addition to stairs, Teko works out at home by running sprints, doing yoga and Pilates and incorporating everyday objects, like those found in parks and playgrounds, into his workouts. “I use the monkey bars for pull ups, and benches for jumps and lunges. I enjoy being outside, and it reminds me of how important it is to play and have fun,” he said.
Teko also keeps “danger foods” to a minimum, but doesn’t deny himself all together. “I eat small portions, prepare home-cooked meals, choose healthier options and drink a lot of water. I allow myself treats here and there as a reward for my hard work.”
Teko encourages others to zero in on what they want from a fitness routine and figure out what works for them. “You must ask yourself the question: ‘What is my ultimate goal?’” he said. “Narrowing down what you really want allows you to fine tune your plan for success.”
“We all possess great instincts for what works for us and what doesn’t. There’s no single plan that works for everyone, so be real with your body and true to yourself. If something does not work for you, try something else. Try a variation. Do not continue to do something that does not produce results just because you were told it works,” Teko added.
In the end, Teko’s commitment to physical wellbeing comes down to his passion for living. “I believe working out and eating well makes my life better. It provides my mind, body and spirit with the motivation to achieve the unimaginable. I believe the energy I give off by looking good and feeling great attracts the same energy in return. I want to be surrounded by healthy and positive people.”