I grew up on a ranch breaking and training horses. My family was cowfolk and bikers so when the day came that I started smoking much too young, it came as no surprise. Everyone I had ever known smoked. Stereotypes aren’t always so far off the mark, and in this regard my proverbial apple didn’t fall so far from the tree.
In middle school and high school I was all about the extra-curriculars. I did band, choir, theater, soccer, basketball, football, and gymnastics. Thanks to smoking, in so many things I fell behind. Despite being larger and leaner than most of the kids in my grade, I couldn’t run as fast or push as hard. By high school I was in the shape of my life and I spent up to 5 hours in the gym every day. Even then, I was the only stacked kid in high school who couldn’t climb a flight of stairs without getting winded.
Post-puberty, my lack of ability to do cardio caught up with me. A few pounds here and there at first, and then all at once. All in a flash, I felt like I woke up one day and put on 100lbs. The first time I looked at the scale and it read 315lbs I knew something had to change. But I couldn’t give up smoking so no matter how hard I tried I hit a wall. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t bike. I couldn’t go on hikes or swim with my friends or play games without edging too close on blacking out. As I grew fatter and smoked more, my ambitions began to fall by the wayside and I resigned myself to a low self-esteem life of little to no achievement or passion. I stopped playing music or going outside and started drinking and playing more video games. Years went by in this state.
Fast forward to age 23. After a bad breakup I had to move in with a friend who was a non-smoker. Out of respect for him, I had begun to whittle my smoking down. Not a lot, mind you, but enough to set the stage. As I had no room of my own I had begun to go out more and spend more time with my friends. During one such outing a friend of mine brought along a girl who worked at a vape shop. She had a high end e-cig she referred to as a mod and offered me a puff. Out of curiosity, I couldn’t resist myself. IT WAS DELICIOUS!
The next day, paycheck in hand, I walked into the vape shop she worked for and told her I needed one of those mod thingies. Over the next month, my smoking whittled down to levels I hadn’t seen since I was a kid. I was amazed at how satisfied I was with my vape! I felt better too! Way better! I started going to the gym again and lost almost 40lbs! I could taste and smell things I didn’t even know existed! Over the next month, that girl and I became very close as well. then came the moment. The final straw. Words I dreaded as I had heard them so many times before.
“I’ll never date a smoker.”
The next day was November 7th, 2014. Nearly 8 months ago on November 7th, I had my last cigarette. I decided I didn’t need cigarettes anymore now that I had my vape and I was never going to let an opportunity pass me by because of cigarettes again. On november 8th that girl and I made our relationship official.
Since then, my life has only improved. That girl and I are still together, I am down to 268lbs and counting, and I am the Assistant Manager of Mt. Baker Vapor’s brick and mortar shop! I love my job! I get to spend my days vaping, building coils, and hopefully bringing the same relief to all of my customers that has found it’s way into my life! I am so proud and happy to be a part of an industry dedicated to helping people. More so to be a part of a company that cares about it’s employees and it’s customers and local involvement. How many people can say that they absolutely love their job? Count me among them!
This retail store is my baby and I hope to keep it going and helping people and connecting with the community well into the future.
Something to think about:
I allowed my weight and my smoking defeat me over and over again through life. Since kicking the habit, My self esteem has improved and I have taken charge over my life. What have you done/can you do to take charge and choose your own future?