Michael Morozov is a Toronto-based entrepreneur who balances work as the CEO of his window-cleaning company with being a father of a young child. Though active in his youth, he gained weight in university while studying and starting up his business. The demands of work and family life didn’t help matters, and Morozov found himself quite overweight after not prioritizing his health and making unhealthy food choices. Inspired by a triathlete friend, Morozov recently made a commitment to himself to lose weight and get back on track through training for his first triathlon in his hometown, Toronto, this summer.
With the help of Toronto Triathlon Festival race ambassador and Olympic champion Simon Whitfield, Morozov set a goal to lose 80 pounds in 150 days while training for the TTF sprint distance triathlon taking place this weekend, on July 23.
Scheduling workouts for multiple sports is difficult for those who work full-time and have jam-packed schedules, but Morozov has managed to fit in his daily and sometimes twice-a-day sessions.
“I treat all my sessions like a meeting for work, which I would never miss. They go in my calendar, and that way I don’t skip the routine of just getting there,” he explains.
On busier days, Morozov doesn’t make excuses for not getting his training in.
“If I have to get the session in at 4 AM, then that’s what I do,” he says.
As a beginner triathlete, his biggest challenges have been learning to swim with proper technique, and running off the bike. Whitfield’s most helpful advice to him has been “slow and stead wins the race”, so Morozov remembers this in his toughest workouts to get them done.
Through dedication to his training and adopting healthier eating patterns, Morozov is feeling ready for his first triathlon and as of last week, had lost around 60 pounds since the beginning of his training. He told TMC he feels confident he can lose a total of 70 by race day.
Morozov has some extra motivation to lose the weight he committed to at the start of his program. He is raising money for the Princess Margaret Hospital Cancer Centre, personally donating $100 for every pound that he loses and getting several other donors on board, too, to help him towards his goal of losing weight and ultimately raising $50,000 for the organization.
“I recently lost my Grandma to cancer. We were extremely close, she basically raised me,” Morozov says. “I can’t think of a better charity to support because everyone has been touched by this disease.”
Morozov believes that triathlon will help him keep up a healthy lifestyle long after this challenge is over.
“I want to complete a triathlon every few months, as it forces you to be in shape. It’s a deadline that forces you to work for it,” he explains.
He’s hoping that his story inspires others to take up triathlon as a way of getting in shape and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. He emphasizes that setting small goals, like simply completing a race, gives you a deadline and ultimately the motivation you need to get it done.
“I have every excuse on the planet to not work out,” he says. “Family, work, everything gets in the way. The bottom line is no one has a good excuse to not prioritize their health. Make going to the gym an appointment in your calendar and treat it like something you can’t miss.”
The Toronto Triathlon Festival takes place this weekend in downtown Toronto. More information can be found here.