Run to quit

Ryan Denneny

Whitby, Ontario

Run to Quit Participant

Ryan Denenny was addicted to smoking and would smoke 14 cigarettes per day.

Worried about his health, the Whitby, Ontario resident knew he had to make some changes but didn’t know how.

When Ryan’s girlfriend, Chelsea asked him to join the Canadian Cancer Society’s Run to Quit program hosted by their local Running Room store, he thought if they did the program together they could be successful. Run to Quit is incorporates learning to run or walk 5 km while at the same time quitting smoking.

Ryan enjoyed the group support and the running part of the training program. Week five of the program is the quit smoking week, and Ryan had a difficult time. “I was pretty addicted to smoking and the first three weeks of being smoke-free sucked. I felt like something was missing in my life. Smoking was part of my routine and who I was,” he recalls. “The most challenging part of quitting was the cravings.”

Run to Quit helped Ryan get over his cigarette cravings by providing him with an outlet. “Every time I had a craving or got grouchy, I went for a run. Through Run to Quit, I learned that running took my mind off of the cravings,” says Ryan. He also started to feel better. “After you quit smoking, your body starts to heal itself and that’s why I can breathe again. When I played baseball, I used to have trouble running the bases and that’s not a problem anymore.” Ryan soon realized that there were other benefits to being smoke-free. “I saved over $200 in one month from not buying cigarettes!

Ryan has been smoke-free since May 2016 and says there is no looking back for him. His girlfriend, Chelesa is also smoke-free and the couple completed a 5 KM race in June 2016.