As I write this, I am starting my 46th day of not having a cigarette. I started smoking in 1992 at the age of 24 (old enough to know better) and what started as a social habit developed into a pack a day habit for 26 years. I was a slave to a habit. As I got into my forties, I made a few attempts to stop and could go just three weeks at a time. Until now. I started feeling stressed and was having trouble catching my breath. I thought it was just from working out too hard and age. On a whim, I stopped at a blood pressure kiosk in a local store. I have never had a problem with my blood pressure my entire life. I tested myself and it was 141 over 90 and the machine told me I should consult a physician. I tried this again a few times in the next few weeks and it was the same result. I work in a hotel and we had doctor staying with us, I told him about my blood pressure. He told me that it was rather high and retrieved his blood pressure kit from his room. He tested me and he looked alarmed. He said "I don't want to scare you but this is what heart attacks are made of." My blood pressure was 145/98 and beats per minute resting was 93. This really got me. I had had friends who had heart attacks and one had died. Every little pain meant something. I had to stop. One evening before work, I looked and saw I had two cigarettes left. I said to myself "I can stop by the store on my way to work." I got to the store and realized it was Sunday and the store was closed. I thought "I have two left. I'll get some in the morning." I smoked my last two and was really in the mood for one the next morning. I got in my car (where I would usually light up) and started driving to the store. I drove by and kept driving. Instead I went to the grocery store and bought some nicotine gum and came to the YMCA. That started day one. The most important thing about quitting smoking is deciding to do it, really wanting to. But I got lucky that I had the YMCA to help. Every morning when I arrived I got into the hot tub and able to relax and take away the tension that quitting smoking brings. Then get into the sauna and accelerate the nicotine withdrawal. Then my Activtrax workout gave me a guide that I had to finish. Left up to me I might have quit workouts in the middle. I felt my body returning to normal. The withdrawal symptoms subsided, finding other things to do instead of smoking came easier. I could taste my food and smell things better. My lung capacity has grown. I have also given up smoking triggers (i.e. coffee and alcohol). But the best of all, I went back to the kiosk that gave me the warning just three weeks after I quit and my blood pressure was at 114/80 and my beats per minute were at 61. I sleep so much better and I have more energy than I know what to do with.