Hands on the Wellness Wheel

By now, you’re either well into a workout regimen from your New Year’s resolution or haven’t yet ventured to the gym. For Aaron Baker, a Campus Area Bus Service (CABS) driver, living a healthy lifestyle is a top priority.

His decision to exercise came after one of the most tragic times of his life. His father, Jerry, died from a heart attack in 2018, when he was 58 years old. 

“It was devastating and I think about it all the time,” Baker said. “He didn’t have to go.”

Jerry had diabetes and Baker says was hesitant to treat it by sometimes not taking his insulin shot, which subsequently led to his heart failure. 

While there was no way for Baker to avoid his feelings of grief, going to the gym on a regular basis was a healthy way for him to come to terms with the loss of his father. He wanted to stay busy while not at work.

“I just needed to find myself,” Baker said. “Who am I as a person? I feel like fitness helps you mentally.”

Baker works out five days per week for an hour and a half and focuses on his chest, shoulders, arms, back, abs and legs. 

“I block everything out from the world,” Baker said. “I feel relief. It’s like my therapy.”

On his days off, he rests. Healthy eating is also an important factor. Baker fine-tuned his diet, which includes a lot of fish, chicken, vegetables and fruit. 

Working out has strengthened his shoulders, hands and back, which has helped him when driving a bus during his eight hour shift.

It’s not just Baker who has committed to living a healthy lifestyle. Clara Garrison, a recently retired vehicle operator, says Baker often gave her advice when it came to her own fitness journey. As a result, she goes to the gym every day. Baker told her to start off slowly and build up her muscle.

”He has been very helpful,” Garrison said. “He motivated me and I lost 10 pounds!”

Garrison is now getting up early in the mornings to go to the gym. When she drove a bus, she went in the evenings, after work.

Baker has advice for his fellow coworkers, who are thinking about getting into physical fitness for the new year.

“It’s all about your mindset,” Baker said. “Stay dedicated, disciplined and consistent and it will happen over time.”

The health enthusiast has set his own goals for 2022, which is to gain weight. He currently weighs 192 pounds and wants to bulk up to 212 pounds by increasing his caloric intake.

Baker’s long-term goal is to become a body builder and one day participate in The Arnold Classic.