DENVER -- Half the battle of exercising is having someone to motivate you. Kerry Kuck's someone has four legs, loves chew toys -- and running? It's his life.
Which is good because every day, Kuck is running for his life.
“Right now running is my health care plan. You know running is the way I fight blindness, but even more so, the way I fight diabetes,” Kuck said.
Every day, he completes a 5K in his neighborhood.
"A 5K a day keeps the doctor away," Kuck joked.
His running partner is a 6-year-old, golden-colored life saver named Crosby, one of four guide dogs that have helped him on his neighborhood runs over the years.
"I got diabetes at 13, a doctor told my aunt I`d be dead by 30. I thought I'd be dead by 40. And then I thought I'd be dead I'd be dead by 50, and now I'm 59 and really not thinking much about that anymore," Kuck said.
There was a time it was all he thought about. When life changed forever, about 30 years ago. He lost all vision because of Type I diabetes at age 27. And he lost a lot more.
"When I went blind, of course, you don`t just lose your ability to run, you lose your job, your car, your marriage. At least i did," he said.
But he gained a guide dog, and slowly regained hope.
"That was the epiphany of getting something back and kind of having the freedom to run. My first guide dog just pulled me out of the depression of blindness," Kuck said.
All this running has helped him keep his blood sugar low enough to stay healthy.
"It`s not the answer for everything but it can really minimize health problems and often the health problems people use to say they can`t run are often the reasons they should run," Kuck said.
So instead of spending the day at the doctor's office or on a dialysis machine, he's managed his disease by running. And not just neighborhood jogs. He's done 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, full marathons.
He's run the Boston Marathon three times. Often with Crosby a few feet in front, and his friend Melissa Mincic a few yards ahead, providing the road map, while Kerry provides the inspiration for the other runners.
"I just think that he just really makes them think like 'wow, this is really cool,' and you know, maybe they were having a moment of not feeling so great in the race, and it might make them change a little bit of their perspective and just realize that they`re very lucky to be out here and to have their sight. But I think he just continually makes everybody smile," Mincic said.
Running is life for Kerry Kuck. As he and his motivating partner Crosby continue to reach the finish line -- even though they are nowhere near finished.
"And if someone wants to tell me why they can`t run, you know, or walk, or wheel, my advice to them is shut up and train," Kuck said.AlertMe