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oel Gotlib is convinced it’s true what they say about being on television. And that’s one reason why the CTV Edmonton reporter/anchor makes sure to hit the gym regularly. “The camera puts on another 10 pounds. It’s true. Especially with the wide-screen TVs. It makes your face look even wider,” Gotlib says. “Television is a visual medium. And so it’s incumbent upon me to stay in shape.” However, it’s not just about outward appearances. Gotlib’s family has a history of heart conditions and diabetes. “And that makes it all that much more important for me to watch what I eat and maintain somewhat of a regular exercise regimen,” he says, adding his workouts also help him think more clearly and alleviate stress. The 38-year-old Edmonton resident has been an avid runner for about 20 years. And he’s been religiously pumping iron for almost as long. But Gotlib, who now weighs about 195 pounds at six feet, admits he was about 20 pounds overweight throughout most of his elementary school years. By the time he reached Grade 6, the Toronto native was tired of being the butt of fat jokes. It was then, Gotlib said, that he bugged his mom to take him to a weekly weight-loss program similar to Weight Watchers. Within about four months, the beefy 11-year-old had managed to
T H E E D M O N T O N S U N • T h urs d a y , F e b ru a ry 2 , 2006
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drop 20 pounds. More importantly, he picked up some healthy eating habits along the way. But his weight fluctuated well into his teen years and the teasing persisted. “Kids were very mean. They used to call me fatso,” he says. “Whenever we went shopping for suits, I had to get the husky fit. It got depressing after awhile.” Plagued by a slow metabolism, Gotlib turned to jogging at age 17 to kick-start his body’s fat-burning ability. About a year later, he added weightlifting. Over the past two decades, Gotlib has fine-tuned his exercise regimen and says in that time he has figured out what works for him.
‘Don’t feel like you have to do this massive workout. Do it at your own pace. But do something. It helps you mentally, physically and you just feel better about yourself.’
– Joel Gotlib
These days, Gotlib – who works from about 9 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. with Edmonton’s No. 1 television news station, tries to work out at least three times a week at Club Fit in the west end. His workouts typically include a five-mile run on the treadmill, which he says takes 42 minutes at an average of 7.3 mph. The run is flanked by about five minutes of stretching. Gotlib then does a few hundred sit-ups – including side sit-ups to stave off “love handles” – on an exercise ball, before performing about seven weightlifting exercises. He says he does four sets of 15
By LARRY McSHANE The Associated Press NEW YORK — For James Zadroga, dying was as simple as breathing. The highly decorated New York police detective was heading home from work on Sept. 11, 2001, when the news came across his car radio: a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. He rushed back to lower Manhattan, where the twin 110-storey towers had collapsed into a toxic pile of burning rubble. Zadroga spent 470 hours sifting through the smouldering ruins, a thin, paper mask his only protection. Zadroga barely avoided death when another World Trade Center building tumbled down around him hours after the planes hit. But by the time he was finished at Ground Zero, Zadroga was as much a Sept. 11 victim as anyone lost in the tower stairwells. His breathing became laboured within weeks, his health deteriorated over months, he was on disability in just over three years. On Jan. 5, 2006, the 34-year-old Zadroga finally died. Two years earlier, his wife died of a heart ailment that family members blame on stress created by Zadroga’s fatal illness and his battle with city bureaucrats over its cause. Their four-year-old daughter, born shortly after her father finished work at Ground Zero,
9-11 probe deadly for cop
is the newest trade centre orphan. In the days before Zadroga’s final breath, his little girl came out of her father’s bedroom and spoke to her grandfather. “I knew my daddy was really sick,” Tylerann Zadroga told him. “But I didn’t think he’d die this fast.” As a young man, Zadroga was a nonsmoker and a bodybuilder with a rock-solid physique. He became a detective, earning 31 medals for excellence and seven others for meritorious duty during a decade on the job. He married Ronda in 2000. On the morning of Sept. 11, Zadroga was working in the elite Manhattan South homicide unit and driving home after an overnight tour when he heard the news. He spent the next month digging through the pile of concrete and chemicals and human remains. Day after day, often with just a couple of hours of fitful sleep, Zadroga worked as all hope disappeared and the death toll climbed to 2,749 people in all. When Zadroga returned to his detective squad in October, his breathing was already impaired. When Tylerann was born weeks later, his condition was worsening. By year’s end, he was visiting medical specialists to find out what was wrong, and he was missing work, his father said.
CTV Edmonton’s Joel Gotlib says his regular workouts help him, among other things, think more clearly and alleviate stress.
– PRESTON BROWNSCHLAIGLE, Sun
reps for each exercise in the hopes of staying toned and keeping his pecs from drooping. “I don’t want to bulk up,” he explains. “All I want to do is just be toned. And I gauge all of this by how well my clothes fit.” Gotlib’s workout, which is topped off with up to 10 minutes in the steam room, usually lasts about 21⁄2 hours. Gotlib, who has also worked in TV in Niagara Falls, Kingston and Winnipeg, admits he misses workouts when he’s feeling too run down or his schedule is just too hectic. “But I never allow myself to go more than two weeks without getting back in the regimen,” he says. During those lulls in his training, Gotlib makes sure to cut back on his calorie consumption. His diet includes Special K or Just Right cereal, coffee, granola bars, a limited amount of bread, soup, salad, spinach, salmon marinated in teriyaki sauce and the odd piece of pizza. “The doctor once told me, ‘Stay low on the carbs and eat lots of roughage – keep your pipes clean,’ ” he laughs, adding he stays away from fast food, even when he’s working on a story out in the field and is short of time. “I won’t stop and eat a burger and fries. I used to love it as a kid, but I won’t do it.” Gotlib, who downhill skis whenever he can get to the mountains, advises those who are new to working out to start slowly. “Don’t feel like you have to do this massive workout. Do it at your own pace. But do something,” he says. “It helps you mentally, physically and you just feel better about yourself.” And after all, you never know when you might just be on TV.
If you have an inspirational story for Keeping Fit, e-mail Cary Castagna at email@example.com.
What exactly was wrong? Was there a cure? What would his family do for money now that his overtime was gone? With the first anniversary of the calamity approaching, Zadroga was plagued by a constant cough, a sore throat and an ongoing fight with the NYPD over the cause of his sickness. Zadroga’s eyesight began failing, perhaps from trade centre materials embedded in his eyes, his father said. By the second anniversary, Zadroga was attached to an oxygen tank. His wife, dealing with a new baby and a chronically sick husband, fell ill with what family members insist was a stress-related heart problem. The Zadrogas moved to Florida, where they found good weather but no good news: Ronda, just 29, died there two years ago. Zadroga came back north with his daughter, and moved in with his parents. The NYPD, more than three years after 9-11, finally agreed that he was suffering from pulmonary disease related to his rescue efforts and started paying a disability pension. Zadroga died at his parents’ home on Jan. 5. Although autopsy results were pending on the exact cause, union officials said he was the first city police officer whose death was linked to working at Ground Zero.
Retired New York City police detective James Zadroga, 34, holds his daughter, Tylerann, in this undated family picture. Zadroga died Jan. 5 from pulmonary disease related to the cleanup after the 911 terrorist attack in New York.
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