Fittest Loser: One goal down, a lifetime to go

  • 2020 Daily Herald Fittest Loser contestant Dick Quagliano works with trainer Joshua Steckler at Push Fitness in Schaumburg.

      2020 Daily Herald Fittest Loser contestant Dick Quagliano works with trainer Joshua Steckler at Push Fitness in Schaumburg. John Starks | Staff Photographer

By Dick Quagliano
Posted4/12/2020 6:00 AM


I have been surrounded by them all my life, as have all of us.


They may have begun while learning to read "GO, Dog, GO." Or, for some people, as complicated as solving the great mysteries of the universe.

When I began the Fittest Loser Challenge, people knew it was a weight-loss competition. Many would ask: "What's your goal?"

Josh Steckler, owner of Push Fitness and the trainer I am working with, asked me the same question when we first met in person just over eight weeks ago. I proudly told him it was to lose 30 pounds. I remember his smile when I said that.

Well, I hit my goal. I am officially down 31 pounds. Is it time to quit?

Not a chance.

I also remember what Josh told me right after I mentioned the 30 pounds. He said if I followed his instructions, I could do better than that. That's just what I am doing.

We have four weeks remaining in this Challenge and I am going to make the most of them. It would be easy to coast home from here. I also know I will have plenty left to do to keep the weight off, long after the Fittest Loser ends.

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That's what real goals are. Accomplish one, move the finish line.

So, I have. The workouts continue with Josh, who sends them to me twice a week. They are quite strenuous, but I feel great when I am done, especially knowing I could not have done even one rep of these 10 weeks ago.

With the weather seemingly improving daily, I have also begun to walk longer with my wife Debi. We have gone on walks as long as five miles all around the neighborhood. We keep our social distance and wave to our fellow travelers as we pass.

I've learned about goals in sales, which I have been doing for more than 30 years. That drive has made me successful in my field. I want that to continue with the Fittest Loser.

I also stressed goals when I coached. I always wanted my players not to be satisfied.

Yes, we had fun. Yes, we played well. Yes, we won. But tomorrow brings new opponents and new trials. So be ready to accept that challenge.


That drive made my players successful on and off a football field. And it has made an old coach proud.

We are coming to a time when things are getting difficult for all of us. We do see a light and the goal is in sight.

However, now is not the time to be satisfied. We need to take care of ourselves with a healthy and nutritious diet. We need to get some exercise, which will be good for our heart and mind. And most importantly, we need to take care of each other.

John F. Kennedy, in one of his most famous speeches, said: "Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal."

Be safe.

• Dick Quagliano coached youth football for 32 seasons and has been a freelance high school sports writer for more than 40 years, the last seven with the Daily Herald. In addition, he maintains a full-time day job as a packaging salesman. He and his wife Debi have two adult sons, Michael and Anthony.

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