Weight-loss success story delivers message to Swenke students

May 25, 2017

IRONMAN finisher and guest speaker Marcus Cook speaks to Swenke Elementary School students on May 23 while standing beside a cutout picture of himself before he lost 260 pounds.
IRONMAN finisher and guest speaker Marcus Cook speaks to Swenke Elementary School students on May 23 while standing beside a cutout picture of himself before he lost 260 pounds. 

May 25, 2017—Swenke Elementary School third- through fifth-grade students heard an inspiring story from guest speaker and IRONMAN finisher Marcus Cook, who visited the campus on May 23.

Cook told the story of how he lost 260 pounds and finished four sprint triathlons and two Olympic-distance races in 2016. In 2017 he finished IRONMAN 70.3 Texas on April 2, followed by IRONMAN Texas on April 22.

Cook was invited to speak by Swenke PE teacher Katie Proko, a triathlon coach who previously consulted Cook as a certified nutritionist through the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

IRONMAN finisher Marcus Cook displays a medal from his first competitive race after losing 260 pounds to Swenke students on May 23
IRONMAN finisher Marcus Cook displays a medal from his first competitive race after losing 260 pounds to Swenke students on May 23

“It was a tremendous honor and privilege to have Marcus Cook come up to Swenke and speak to third, fourth and fifth grade. His presentation was relative, inspirational and entertaining!” Proko said. “Everything he had to say brought to life what we teach in PE class about healthy habits enhancing quality of life. His story also affirmed what we teach about the power of perseverance, growth mindset, positive attitude and integrity. Students were inspired to set a goal for something they cannot do right now and to take it one step at a time. They learned that we are all a work in progress and there is always something in our lives that we can work to improve. Instead of focusing on the product and the total amount of work and effort it takes to get there, focus on the process and do something new (related to the goal) every day!”

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