A few years ago I was living in Vermont, and I started noticing this pain in my feet. It got to the point where I didn’t want to go anywhere. I didn’t feel like getting out of bed because it hurt so much, and I was sinking into a depression. My girlfriend, Marissa, encouraged me to move out west in 2018. That was my first step in making changes. 

Once I moved out here and started walking a lot more, the pain started going away. 

We do a lot of walking and biking together now. I noticed that a lot of the depression I was feeling came from my pain, and once I started getting more active, my entire mood changed. 

I first heard about the Thrive Challenge from my co-worker, Tami. 

She heard about my progress and thought I should share my positivity with others by joining the Thrive Challenge. Then my Team Lead said he wanted to start walking again. And I said, “If ever you want a walking buddy or anything, just let me know and I’ll be right there by your side.”

What’s keeping me motivated is my family, my co-workers, and my girlfriend.

I need their encouragement to help me get through when I need motivation to go that extra mile. I work the 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. shift but I try to get to Walmart at around 3:00 a.m., and before I start work I’m walking around the building and doing my daily cardio. My co-workers really have been encouraging me and I’m getting a lot of emotional support from them. 

My goal by the end of the year is to walk an entire marathon. 

Since moving here in 2018, I feel more confident and proud about the work I’m doing. I’ve also started saving at least $400 every two weeks. That way, in case of an emergency, I have the money to handle it. It’s given me some insight on how to budget properly and keep tabs on upcoming bills. 

The biggest change for me has been breaking out of my shell. 

I suffer from depression and I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone now that I’m in an area where I’ve never lived before. I’m trying to branch out and be different from how I was in Vermont. I want people to say, “There’s something inside him that makes me want to do something better in my life.” I try to lift others’ spirits and try to be a positive influence to my co-workers and friends. Without the people and the place I work at now, I wouldn’t have felt the pride I feel today.

I feel that I am strong enough to change my life for the better. 

The Thrive Challenge has helped me realize that you don’t need to be lucky in life to have good things happen to you. If anybody thinks that they can’t do anything, that’s just simply not true. You just have to have the courage inside of you to go out there and get it.

—Kyle Wheeler, Walmart Supercenter #4203; Fort Mohave, AZ; $5K Winner

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