Jerry will be in the Celebrity Triathlon in South Beach, FL 3/4/2009 12:04:29 PM
Jerry will be in the Celebrity Triathlon in South Beach, FL
South Beach, the sun, help cure cancer with a run (or bike or swim)! On Sunday, April 5, 2009, we invite you to challenge your courage, strength and spirit by participating on a team or as an individual in the 2nd annual Nautica South Beach Triathlon presented by Toyota.
The Nautica South Beach Triathlon is the sister event to the renowned Nautica Malibu Triathlon in Malibu, CA, which has attracted celebrity participants including Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Lopez, Robin Williams, Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy, Jennifer Garner, Minnie Driver, and Will Ferrell, and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity. Like the Malibu Triathlon, the Nautica South Beach Triathlon will be nationally broadcast in a half-hour special on Fox Sports Net, and raise hundreds of thousands to help St. Jude research cures and treat children with cancer and other life-threatening pediatric diseases.
Participating in the Triathlon: You can compete in two ways: 1) in the celebrity division as part of a relay team paired with two world-class athletes, which will allow you to compete in the leg of the race that is strongest to you, or 2) as an individual, completing all three legs of the triathlon. The triathlon consists of a half-mile swim through the warm Atlantic waters (expected water temperature is 78 degrees), an 18 mile bike over a relatively flat course with views of the Intercoastal Waterway, downtown Miami and Miami Beach, and a 4 mile run alongside Miami Beach’s Art Deco District that finishes on the soft, white sands of South Beach.
TransAm trail full of generosity 9/16/2008 10:21:58 AM
TransAm trail full of generosity
Peoria pair get help along bike trek across U.S.
By CATHARINE SCHAIDLE
OF THE JOURNAL STAR
Posted Sep 14, 2008 @ 10:26 PM
Jerry and Lynne Lisenby of Peoria believe in angels - trail angels, that is.
"We would probably never have made it without all those angels who helped us along the trail," said Lynne, who with her husband completed a 5,000-mile bike ride across America.
As any long-distance cyclist and hiker knows, men and women across the country who live along the TransAmerica bicycle trail or the Appalachian Trail have generously opened their homes and their pocketbooks to feed, and sometimes house, these athletes, who often literally tumble into bed after a hard day of riding, walking or rock climbing.
The generosity and kindness of these trail angels shocked the Lisenbys, who are still compiling the lists of all the people and places they saw on their journey.
"It was hard," Lynne said.
"It certainly wasn't a breeze," Jerry added. "It was as much a mental as a physical challenge to get back in the saddle and keep going."
Along the way, they raised more than $7,000 for the Children's Home Association of Illinois.
"Lynne wanted to do something worthwhile and not just come back and say 'I did it,'" Jerry said.
The couple set off on May 1 for their ride of a lifetime on the TransAm trail, which starts in Yorktown, Va., and ends in Astoria, Ore. They returned home on Aug. 22.
At the various small towns they went through, Jerry used his celebrity from appearing on "The Biggest Loser" television show to talk about their quest and to collect donations for charity.
They saw more gorgeous landscapes than they could absorb, more snakes than they cared to see, and experienced more kindnesses than they ever expected. For instance, there was the pregnant woman who was home-schooling her four children when the Lisenbys came to her little shop looking for a campground that apparently had shut down. She took them home and gave them the keys to her house while she set off for a T-ball game with the children.
"She had never even heard of us before and she left her house to us," Lynne said in awe.
In Halfway, Mont., (yes, that is actually the name of a town), Jerry wanted to go on a jet boat ride down the Snake River in Hell's Canyon.
"They have 1,000 hp boats with 335 cc engines," he recalled.
But to get to the point where the boats are moored was about 46 miles out of his way, which on a bicycle using his own pedal power was a bit much. But a man in a shop where he was making inquiries offered to drive them in his car.
Then there was the girl in Denver who told them to look up her parents, who would surely offer them accommodation at their Eugene, Ore., home.
"They (the girl's parents) called us five days before we got to Oregon and we stayed at their house," Jerry said.
It was just as well because after that they rode 78 miles on the last leg of their journey through cold, foggy weather.
"It was not easy and I didn't want to be squashed like a bug by the trucks on my last day," Jerry said. "They fed us and showed us around as we hung around waiting for a train that had a sleeper that we could take home."
Several churches also offered clean showers, shampoo, beds and meals for the hordes of cyclists who attempt the TransAm.
Despite being saddle-weary, the first thing the Lisenbys did upon returning home was take their grandchildren on a 16-mile bike ride and overnight camping trip.
Supporting The Children's Home 8/2/2008 8:16:01 PM
Special thanks to these Contributers:
Below are a list of people who have contributed to the Children's Home
Le Peep Restaurant
McLean County Health Dept
M/M Eric Lusher
Drs. Shawn & Christina Durbin
M/M Ray Price
M/M George Burek
M/M Mark Gindon
M/M Donald Baker
M/M Harvey Leffring
Mike Weingarten, Cincinnati, OH 45255 (Online Donation) - Eastbounders that met the two of you as well as John on the road just east of Wytheville, VA
Mary Frances Haberkorn, Speedway, IN - (Online Donation)
Chris & Lynne Sopher, Peoria, IL - (Online Donation)
Gail Mast, Wilsonville, OR - (Online Donation)
Rich and Pat Brown Washington, IL 61571 - (Online Donation)
The Biggest Loser, passed through Pittsburg Thursday and shared his story 6/29/2008 3:35:18 PM
By NIKKI PATRICK
The Morning Sun
Posted Jun 27, 2008 @ 11:42 PM
Jerry Lisenby is making a journey from York Town, Virginia to Astoria, Oregon for The Children’s Home in Peoria, Illinois. The journey started May 1st and has raised $4,000 so far.
There have been a lot of changes in Jerry Lisenby’s life in the past year.
“I was a 300-pound guy who wasn’t going to live much longer,” he said. “Now I’m a 190-pound guy who’s riding across the United States on a bicycle.”
He and his wife, Lynne, passed through Pittsburg Thursday and shared their story during a stop at Tailwind Cyclists.
Lisenby, who resides in Peoria, Ill., frequently gets interviewed. That’s a consequence of being a contestant in 2007 on the NBC reality series “The Biggest Loser.”
“I’ll be 64 in November, and I was the oldest contestant they’ve ever had,” Lisenby said. “The producer was afraid to have me on the show. He told me that I’d ruin their ratings if I died.”
He was put through rigorous tests before he was allowed on the air. Then he began breaking more records.
“I lost 31 pounds the first week, which is the most anyone has done in one week, then I lost another 10 pounds the second week, and set a record for the most weight loss in two weeks,” Lisenby said. “I did it by eating six small meals a day and exercising 10 hours a day, monitored by a doctor the entire time.”
He also won a race to become a team leader. But, in the third week of the competition, another contestant dropped him and he tore a thigh muscle.
“I was voted off by the other contestants,” Lisenby said. “They were afraid that if I stayed, I’d win the prize.”
But he won more than money — he achieved his weight goal. He had vowed that, if he reached this goal, he would ride across the United States on a bike.
The couple had done some biking before.
“I was a firefighter for 21 years, and owned the Ace Hardware store in Peoria for 20 years,” Lisenby said. “Then Lynne and I spent 2 1/2 years in the Peace Corps in Paraguay. They said we could have a bike or a horse, and we didn’t want to feed and take care of a horse.”
“We’ve been riding on weekends for the past 10 years,” Mrs. Lisenby added.
But her husband still had to convince her to go on the trip.
“Lynne wanted to have a cause to ride for,” Lisenby said.
The Children’s Home of Illinois was a natural. “I’m a social worker, and I work at the Children’s Home,” Mrs. Lisenby said.
“We offer a variety of services for children from infants to age 21, and I work in the behavioral health part.”
“We’re following the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail, and started our trip May 1 from Yorktown, Va., when we put our back tires in the Atlantic Ocean,” Lisenby said. “We’re going to end around mid-August in Astoria, Ore., when we put our front tires in the Pacific.”
The journey hasn’t always been easy.
“I took a wrong turn and got lost in the first two minutes,” Lisenby said. “That’s when I knew this was going to be hard.”
“It would be easier if we had a support vehicle with us,” Mrs. Lisenby said. “But it’s just us doing this.”
“A lot of dogs chased us in Kentucky,” Lisenby said. “We stopped counting at 200.”
They have stayed in churches, backyards, garages and homes. Oscar-winner Ernest Borgnine has invited them to camp in his backyard. Mrs. Lisenby’s father was the actor’s commanding officer in the Navy during World War II.
“Early in the trip, we met a woman minister who prayed for us,” Lisenby said. “After that, every day we’ve encountered what we call the ‘trail angel’. We’ve met some of the nicest people in the world, and you get to see a lot of America at four miles an hour.”
They’ve also collected over $4,000 for the Children’s Home. And, if exercise extends life, the couple can expect to be around a long time.
“Before, I’d have been lucky to see my grandchildren graduate from kindergarten,” Lisenby said. “Now I expect to see them graduate from college.”
Biggest Loser Contestant Visits Ste. Genevieve County During 5,000 Mile Cross-Country Bike Ride 6/29/2008 3:35:07 PM
By BETTY VALLE GEGG
FOR THE STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Peoria, Illinois’ Jerry Lisenby may have lasted only three weeks on the NBC reality TV show, The Biggest Loser, last fall, but with 110 pounds off his previous 300-pound frame, he is more than just a big loser.
The “big winner” passed through Ste. Genevieve County June 18 with his wife, Lynne, on a 5,000-mile cross country bike ride.
Lisenby said he is fulfilling a promise he made for succeeding at weight loss and using the ride to raise funds for the Children’s Home Association of Illinois, a home for abused children, where his wife is employed.
“I was a 300-pounder who couldn’t tie his shoes,” Jerry said, chuckling. “Today, I’m a 190-pounder riding my bike across the United States.”
It was his grandchildren’s boundless energy that encouraged him to slim down. “All of a sudden, I was watching my grandchildren play instead of playing with them,” he said.
Once this trip is over, he plans to load those grandchildren into a van and drive the route he and Lynne are taking by bicycle this year.
At 62 last year, Lisenby was the oldest contestant ever selected for The Biggest Loser. He became a standout the first week for his dramatic 31-pound weight loss, a record for the TV show.
The weight fell from his 5’11” frame as he spent eight to 10 hours a day at the gym. He continued with another 10-pound loss during week two, but managed only a two-pound loss the third week when a torn muscle in his left thigh slowed him down. That’s when the other contestants voted him off the show.
Determined not to let the injury stop him from reaching his weight loss goal, Lisenby hired a trainer and continued to stay active, dropping another 67 pounds through his own efforts.
Since then, Lisenby said he speaks at schools and senior centers expounding the value of a healthy lifestyle.
On May 1, the Lisenbys began their bike ride at Yorktown, Va., following the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail. They call their 11-state tour, “Age is Just a Number” since at ages 63 and 61 they are doing things that often only the young might attempt.
Jerry and Lynne ride six to eight hours a day in an effort to complete their four-month trip, stopping along the way to visit with the locals. They plan to end the tour in Astoria, Ore., however they took a little time off to return to Peoria for Lynne’s mother’s 90th birthday.
One of the most difficult legs of the journey so far was the trip though Appalachia.
“We worked four and a half hours to get up one mountain and it took 11 minutes to get down the other side,” Lisenby said. “Then you’ve got another mountain staring at you.”
Lisenby worked for seven years at Caterpillar. He tested for the fire department and was appointed hoseman, using his spare time to assist his father-in-law in the hardware business
After retiring from the fire service in 1991, he bought the hardware store, naming it Lisenby Ace Hardware.
Jerry and Lynne joined the Peace Corps and were assigned to San Jose-Mi, Paraguay in the heart of South America. There they taught health/hygiene practices and built a distribution water system.
Jerry was later recruited by the International Red Cross to manage infrastructure repairs during catastrophic emergencies throughout the world. Already he has been dispatched to two major overseas disasters to direct heavy equipment in major rebuilding projects.
A report on their travels can be seen at www.jerryLisenby.com
CARBONDALE - An oft-repeated cliché says the TV adds 10 pounds to those who grace its screen. But, in Jerry Lisenby's case, TV helped him drop 110 pounds.
As a contestant last fall on the reality show "The Biggest Loser," in which people compete to lose the most weight, Lisenby lost about 43 pounds in front of a national audience. And though a leg injury helped get him voted off the show after three weeks, the 63-year-old continued to exercise and dropped another 70 pounds in the next five months.
The weight loss has freed Lisenby to pursue his longtime dream of riding his bike across the country. On Tuesday he and his wife, Lynne, were set to begin the second leg of their trip in Carbondale.
"I was a 300-pounder who couldn't tie his shoes," he chuckled. "Now I am a 190-pounder that is riding his bike across the U.S."
A native of Peoria, Lisenby started his trip in Yorktown, Va., on May 1; the journey has taken him through Appalachia and into the Midwest. He and Lynne dropped off their bikes at Phoenix Cycle two weeks ago for maintenance and traveled back to Peoria for a 90th birthday celebration for Lynne's mother.
With about 1,200 miles on their odometers and about 4,200 more to go, Lisenby said it's been a fun ride so far.
"I am seeing this country at about four miles per hour and loving it," he said.
Along the way, the couple said they have been the beneficiaries of the generosity of strangers as they've slept in churches, backyards, motels, garages and truck stops.
The couple's cross-country journey is not solely for sightseeing as they are working to raise money for the Children's Home in Peoria, where Lynne works as a coordinator.
Lynne said they expected to raise about $1,500 for the home but have raised $4,000 already.
"And we are only a month in," she said.
The couple both said the hardest part of the trip so far has been the Appalachian mountains of Western Virginia.
"We worked four and a half hours to get up one mountain and it took 11 minutes to get down the other side," Lisenby said. "Then you've got another mountain staring at you. It's not fun."
Of the states that lie between Carbondale and the Oregon coast, their final destination, Lynne said she expects Kansas to be quite difficult.
"Wind," she said. "There's nothing blocking it. It will be tough."
On the matter of any inside information about the Biggest Loser, Lisenby said people might be interested to know that the show's producers told him they spent as much on his physical as they did the $250,000 winner's purse.
"They had me in water, on the bike hooked up to electrodes, on the treadmill running forward and backward," he said. "For five days they pushed me. They said they didn't want me to die and ruin the show. I said 'well, imagine how I feel.'"
JASON JOHNSON / FOR THE SOUTHERN Jerry Lisenby, Peoria native and former contestant on The Biggest Loser reality TV show, looks over his and his wife Lynne's bike before leaving Phoenix Cycle Tuesday in Carbondale.
The Lisenbys left on the trip on May 1st to raise money for Peoria's Children's Home.
With the first 12 hundred miles under their belts, they say the experience has turned out to be tougher than they expected.
Jerry Lisenby says the return to Peoria has renewed them.
Both say they're amazed and pleased by the generosity of the strangers they've met on the road.
The Lisenbys have raised three thousand dollars for the Children's Home from people they've met on the road.
RALEIGH, N.C. – Just over a year ago, Jerry Lisenby weighed 297 pounds and became the oldest contestant ever on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” The now 63-year-old told an audience at Rex Wellness Center on Monday that his cast mates didn’t expect him to last.
He was eliminated the third week after an injury, but persevered when he got home, pushing himself through long workouts and daily tennis matches. He even built up to 1,000 sit-ups a day. After losing 110 pounds, he has gladly embraced his image as a role model for senior adults looking to improve their health.
“Once I bought into the process of how they said we could do this, it got easier and easier because I saw the results so quick,” he said.
The former Santa Claus stand-in set a “Biggest Loser” record for the biggest one-pound weight loss, losing 31 pounds in his first week on the show. While he doesn’t promise those kinds of results for everyone, he is happy to share the secrets of his success.
Among the tips he gave the Rex audience:
*eliminate carbonated drinks, including carbonated water
*use Splenda instead of sugar
*reduce or eliminate salt from your diet, or use a salt substitute
*eat more vegetables than fruit
*exercise as much as you can
Lisenby’s advice resonated with retired school counselor Luna Abernathy of Raleigh. In her 70s, she has already lost 70 pounds and hopes to take off an additional 40 pounds. Like Lisenby, she’s done it by modifying her diet and exercising more. She visits the Rex Wellness Center in Garner at least six days a week and works out with a trainer.
“You should make it fun, it should not be drudgery,” said Abernathy, who enjoys water aerobics and working out with weights.
Lisenby is making good on a commitment he made when he started his weight loss journey. He and his wife, Lynn, leave on May 1 for a 5,000 mile cross-country bike ride. In addition to accomplishing a goal for the two of them, proceeds raised from contributions to their “Age Is Just a Number” ride will support the Children’s Home of Illinois.
'Biggest Loser' contestant visits Orland school 4/26/2008 2:10:00 PM
By Michael Drakulich, Staff Writer
Jerry Lisenby stood in the gym at Liberty School in Orland Park Friday and heard something you might not expect.
"You're cool. You rock."
Lisenby has heard the congratulations and words of encouragement before. And why not? He lost 110 pounds while appearing on the fourth season of NBC's "The Biggest Loser." He lost 31 pounds in one week on the television show, which still stands as a record.
But this was coming from a fifth-grader. Several of them in fact. Lisenby was given full-blown, rock-star treatment by the school's students as they paraded into the gym to hear him speak.
He smiled broadly and warmly and thanked them sincerely as they walked by. Not bad for a 63-year-old guy to get that kind of reception from 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds.
After they packed the room, students were able to see a short video of Lisenby on the show and his record-setting weigh in.
They also saw photos of him at his heaviest, 297 pounds, and what he weighs now, about 190 pounds.
Besides showing how exercise and eating well transformed him, he wanted to let the students know that developing good habits can never start too early.
"I made a lot of right choices. I chose the right wife. I chose the right job. I have nice children. I became very successful. But I didn't always make a lot of right choices with food," Lisenby said.
He said one of the most insidious ways of packing on the pounds is to take healthy food and smother it in fattening sauces and dressings.
He advised the kids to enjoy the food without piling a bunch of other stuff on top of it.
Besides eating well, Lisenby encouraged students to take a little time to exercise. Take a half hour off the video games and go walk around the block or ride a bike, he said.
Lisenby isn't giving empty advice and hasn't gotten complacent in the eight months since he's filmed the television program.
He is taking his new weight loss and commitment to fitness into a different realm with a task men half his age probably would not undertake.
Starting May 1, he and his wife, Lynne, will ride their bicycles cross country, covering 5,000 miles in about four months. They'll start in Virginia and ride about six to eight hours a day until they reach the west coast in Oregon.
The ride is meant to raise money for Children's Home Association of Illinois, a home for abused children.
The show has put health and fitness into perspective for him.
"Statistics show that kids these ages will be the first generation that won't outlive their parents because of the prevalence of childhood obesity," Lisenby said.
The bike trip serves another purpose. When he was in the Peace Corps in Paraguay with his wife, they saw much of the country by bicycle. So his weight loss inspired him to see much of his own country in the same fashion. And why not raise money while doing it, he said.
BLOOMINGTON — Jerry Lisenby of Peoria was the oldest contestant in the history of “The Biggest Loser” when he competed on the hit NBC-TV program last year at age 62.
He also lost the most weight in a single week — 31 pounds.
But numbers aren’t what motivated him to begin his weight loss.
“I was worried that my grandkids would get away from me,” Lisenby told The Pantagraph before speaking Tuesday to about 55 McLean County employees at the Government Center in downtown Bloomington. “All of a sudden, I was watching my grandkids play instead of playing with them.”
Lisenby spoke as part of the county’s employee wellness program, said coordinator Jackie Lanier, a health department health promotions specialist.
Brooke Castaneda, a health department office support specialist who is participating in the wellness program, came up with the idea to have Lisenby speak.
“I’m a huge fan of ‘The Biggest Loser,’” said Castaneda, who made an unsuccessful attempt to be a contestant on the show two years ago. Having a Central Illinois person explain his success would help people to realize that weight loss and fitness are attainable, she said.
Lisenby, now 63, is a retired firefighter and retired hardware store owner who has been married for 42 years. A father and grandfather, he is an International Red Cross Disaster Relief Team member and a volunteer for several organizations in the Peoria area.
He had been physically active his entire life and weighed 216 pounds when he retired from the Peoria Fire Department in 1991. In recent years, he exercised less and ate more and was up to 300 pounds by January 2007.
His daughter, Megan, convinced him to try out for “The Biggest Loser.” Lisenby was chosen and lost 31 pounds during week one and 10 pounds during week two. He lost only 2 pounds during the third week when another contestant dropped Lisenby and he tore a muscle in his left thigh. He was voted off by the other contestants.
While Lisenby exercised eight to 10 hours a day on “The Biggest Loser,” he has continued to exercise and eat healthy and went down to 187 pounds. On Tuesday, he weighed 192 as he prepares for a cross-country bike ride that he and his wife begin May 1 to benefit Children’s Home in Peoria.
Lisenby exercises about 3½ hours a day at the YMCA in Peoria, doing the Stairmaster and crunches and lifting weights. He eats smaller portions and less red meat, eats half of what he’s served in restaurants, avoids salt and sugar, and focuses on fish, lean chicken and turkey, vegetables and fruits, oatmeal, water and skim milk.
“He’s inspiring and down to earth,” Castaneda said after Lisenby’s talk. Castaneda, 33, once weighed 331 pounds but is down to 289 by eating six small meals a day, focusing on vegetables and fruits, walking and working out at Curves. She wants to lose at least 100 pounds more.
“For the first time, I really feel like it’s doable.”
Tuesday's guest on News 25's Live at Five knows how to drop a few pounds. In fact Jerry Lisenby dropped a lot of pounds on the last edition of the Biggest Loser. Now he and his wife are preparing for a cross–country biking journey. Jerry and Lynn Lisenby say good health and giving back to their community is motivating their trip. They're bicycle trip will raise money for Peoria's Children's Home. The Lisenby's begin their cross–country biking journey on May 1st.
Last fall, as he was competing on NBC's "The Biggest Loser," Jerry Lisenby was desperate to drop weight. Less than a year later, the Peoria man who once tipped the scales at nearly 300 pounds is scrambling to gain some of it back.
Funny how life works.
Before his TV stint, the retired firefighter's body fat composition was a whopping 39 percent. He'd tried getting in shape before. But despite his love of outdoor activity - tennis, golf, walking, biking - the self-described steak lover had struggled.
Then "Loser" came along. In the show's first week Lisenby dropped a staggering 31 pounds. Even though he was voted off the show he continued peeling off pounds - about 100 - by hiring a trainer and staying active. Now Lisenby brags a lithe, muscular 5'11" frame with just 4 percent body fat. At the gym he does 1,000 situps and climbs more than 500 flights of stairs.
Oh, and he bikes - man, does he bike. In fact he and his wife, Lynne, will leave next week on a charity cycling trek across America. The couple, at 63 and 61 years old, will log between six and nine hours on the road every day, for four months, as they pedal from Yorktown, Va., to Oregon.
That's where the weight gain comes in. Lisenby's doctors now want him at 15 percent body fat. He'll have to eat between 4,500 and 7,000 calories a day - the equivalent of 10 Big Macs - to endure the quest.
A year ago that many calories would have been anathema to Lisenby's efforts. Now his hyper-fit body needs the food for fuel. It goes to show that a healthy attitude can really shift your perspective.
Couple has plenty of air left in tires 4/15/2008 9:06:00 AM
Monday, April 14, 2008
BY CATHARINE SCHAIDLE
OF THE JOURNAL STAR
PEORIA - Jerry and Lynne Lisenby are probably the only people in Peoria hoping it will rain next weekend.
That's because they are taking a 40-mile bicycle trip as a test run for their forthcoming 5,100 mile trans-America ride on May 1.
"We will be riding in all kinds of weather and we have to (be) prepared for the worst," said Jerry Lisenby.
Having served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and traveling to disaster areas all over the country with the American Red Cross, the Lisenbys are preparing to bike 5,000 miles across America to raise money for the Children's Home Association of Illinois.
Jerry Lisenby, who gained Hollywood-style fame after shedding 90-some pounds over six months through "The Biggest Loser" television show, said, "We got used to bike-riding when we lived in Paraguay for two years. They asked us to choose between a horse or a bicycle. Since we didn't want to bother with the upkeep and cleaning up after a horse, we chose the bicycle, and we've been riding ever since."
Lynne Lisenby has been cycling for the past 14 years and is not overly concerned that she may not be able to complete the ride.
"I'm used to riding every day," she said. "It's not unusual for Jerry and me to ride for six or seven hours. But the safety issue concerns me because the Trans-Am is not like riding on the Rock Island Trail. You're going to be riding along streets, although more likely (it will be on) the back roads."
The couple will ride a little farther than the Trans-Am trail, which starts in Yorktown, Va., and ends in Astoria, Ore. In June, though, they plan to make a quick return trip for Lynne's mother's 90th birthday.
"We don't know where we'll be then, probably in southern Illinois, but we'll decide when we get there," she said.
The Lisenbys organized their trip with the help of the Adventure Cycling Association.
"I didn't know how to go about this until I found them," Jerry Lisenby said.
Midwest Orthopedics has helped them acquire special cycling attire from Gore Bike Wear.
The Lisenbys call their 11-state tour, "Age is Just a Number" because at 61 and 63, they are doing things that generally only younger people have aspired to attempt.
"We only have a few more years before we can do these things, so we have to do it now," he said.
They hope to collect donations along the way to benefit the Children's Home, where Lynne works. Jerry Lisenby has scheduled several speaking engagements, and the fees from those also will go toward the Children's Home in Peoria.
Former Peoria firefighter was chosen for NBC weight-loss program 4/8/2008 7:44:00 PM
Profile of Determination:
Illinois Retiree the ‘Biggest Loser'!
Former Peoria firefighter was chosen for NBC weight-loss program
A few nights ago, while watching TV, a few of the firefighters were talking about the solitude of retirement when one shouted-out’ “Hey there’s Jerry.” Running across the desert sand, a 62 year-old retired firefighter, Jerry Lisenby, was losing ground to a 27 year-old ex-college football player from the University of Miami. One of the station rookie’s shouted that he would bet the old guy doesn’t have a chance. Before he could finish “I bet …” there was a room full of takers.
Anyone who had fought fires with Jerry knew that the former “Golden Gloves Champ” was not going to lose. In front of a national audience, Jerry won that foot race and went on to lead his team as captain. Setting a show record Lisenby dropped over 30lbs. within one week. He continues to do very well and looks forward to setting a weight loss record by December. Jerry may be seen on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” on selected Tuesday nights (check local listings).
Raised in the Averyville neighborhood of Peoria, Jerry went to work at Caterpillar Tractor Company for 7 years. Later he tested for the fire department and was appointed hoseman in February of 1970. During off-duty time, Jerry assisted his father-in-law in the hardware business. Before retiring from the fire service in 1991, he bought the hardware store and started Lisenby Ace Hardware.
After 20 years as a business owner, Jerry and his wife of 40 years, Lynn, joined the Peace Corps. They were assigned deep into the heart of South America to the village of San Jose-Mi, Paraguay. For two years the Lisenby’s taught health/hygiene practices and built a distribution water system.
In an engineering sensation, Jerry managed the building of a 55 foot high concrete water tower. Modern technology was not available in the remote location of the village. Concrete had to be made by hand and poured into wood forms during a nine week 24-hour continuous operation. Before construction, a 126 meter well was dug for the water supply.
The effort paid-off with the installation of a 4” main running through the village supplying water from the tower to each home. However, the water has to be rationed for personal hygiene or drinking only. Washing clothes, animals, or garden irrigation has to be drawn from other sources.
Because of Lynne and Jerry’s success they continue to maintain a personal home and close friends in San Jose-Mi. Jerry was later recruited by the International Red Cross to manage infrastructure repairs during catastrophic emergencies world-wide. He has already been dispatched to two major overseas disasters directing dozens of heavy equipment in major rebuilding projects.
Today, Jerry is employed fulltime at Advanced Technology Services as a project leader for new customers. Lynne and Jerry are training for a cross-country bicycle trip. In April 2008, they plan on placing their back tires in one ocean and 5 months later they will place their front tires in the other. Jerry recommends the Adventure Cycling Association for planning any type of long distant trip at adventurecycling.org
Retirement does not have to be short or without excitement. After his weight loss, Jerry could easily pass for a person 20 years younger with an energy level to match. The Lisenby’s have athletic children and grandchildren. It was daughter Megan that encouraged her dad to try-out for the ‘Biggest Loser’ show in a Santa Clause outfit back in January. Jerry had to perform a 90 minute interview and provide a DVD before being selected as the oldest contestant ever.
As a retiree, Jerry supports the fire service and now brings excitement and a renewed sense of respect to the retired lifestyle.
Jerry's Journey on the Trans-America Trail 3/30/2008 10:26:00 AM
The TransAmerica Bicycle Trail is a 4,247.5 mile (6836 km) long transcontinental bicycle touring route which crosses ten American states from Astoria, Oregon to Yorktown, Virginia. The TransAmerica Trail was established for Adventure Cycling's celebration of the U.S. bicentennial in 1976. At that time, the organization was called Bikecentennial, a name many still associate with the TransAm Trail. The TransAmerica Trail is still the most used route crossing America. It offers everything expected in a transcontinental crossing. The route encounters all kinds of scenery and terrain, including ocean coastline, lush forests, high desert, mountain passes, snow-capped peaks, sweeping vistas, expansive plains, fertile farmlands, rolling hills, and wide rivers. Largely avoiding urban areas, the route passes through small, out-of-the-way towns.
TransAmerica Bicycle Trail is a 4,247.5 mile (6836 km) long transcontinental bicycle touring route
Jerry's Video on the TODAY Show 10/5/2007 6:12:00 PM
A Peoria, IL resident is getting more national attention for his effort to get skinny. Last week on the Biggest Loser, retired Peoria Firefighter Jerry Lisenby was voted off the NBC Show. This morning he appeared on the Today Show to talk about his experience. Lisenby was voted off the show after being injured. He says he continues to work out, eat right and lose weight. Lisenby still has a chance to win $100,000 in December when the show ends.
* High-fiber carbs like Shredded Wheat and Great Harvest bread (5 grams of fiber per slice!)
* Salmon, salmon, salmon (I grill constantly)
* Fruit (I was downing a watermelon every two days for a while there!)
* No diet soda (I was drinking six or seven cans a day before going on the show)
* No caffeine
* No alcohol
SO, WHAT WAS IT LIKE BEING ON THE BIGGEST LOSER? 10/2/2007 8:22:00 AM
SO, WHAT WAS IT LIKE BEING ON THE BIGGEST LOSER?
Jerry: It was the greatest thing that's ever happened to me. I will never be able to thank the producers enough. They were just the nicest people and gave me an intense six-day physical prior to the show to make sure I was up for everything I was going to be doing.
HOW MUCH WEIGHT DID YOU LOSE ON THE SHOW?
Jerry: Forty-three pounds.
WHAT'S YOUR GOAL FOR THE DECEMBER FINALE?
Jerry: I want to lose 100 pounds.
AND HOW HAS IT BEEN BEING HOME?
Jerry: It's great. It's nice to have the support of my family. My wife was always been in great shape but she's lost 11 pounds just by eating the same things I do.
SO HAS STAYING FIT BROUGHT YOU GUYS CLOSER TOGETHER?
Jerry: Well, we've been married for 42 years so we're about as close as anyone can get! But, yes it has gotten us on the same page with exercising and eating right. I used to watch her do stuff with out grandkids and now we can do more things like that together.
DID YOU HAVE TO CUT ANY SPECIFIC FOODS OUT OF YOUR DIET?
Jerry: Almost everything I used to eat. Now I watch my portions and eat lots of veggies.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST THING YOU'VE TAKEN AWAY FROM THE SHOW?
Jerry: I was never able to get the eating thing down right. You can eat a lot of the right things. I made bad choices in the past but now I'm on the right track.
HAVE YOU GOTTEN LOTS OF POSITIVE FEEDBACK FROM PEOPLE AFTER BEING ON THE SHOW?
Jerry: Oh, I've gotten about 300 or 400 calls from people I didn't know from a lump of coal! I talked to all of them and told them that if I can do it, they can do it. I'm happy to help and encourage people. You can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT'S UP NEXT FOR YOU IN LIFE?
Jerry: In April, my wife and I are doing a 5,000-mile bicycle tour. It's called "The Age is Just a Number" bicycle tour!
Biggest Loser Castoff Jerry Lisenby Speaks! 9/30/2007 4:55:00 PM
You know it’s the inevitable backhanded compliment when the elimination team sends home the person they think can actually excel well at home, yet that’s what happened this week to Blue Team captain Jerry Lisenby. At 62, Lisenby was not only the oldest contestant ever, but also the person to have lost the most weight in a single week in the show’s history: 31 lbs. in the first week! The 5’11” retired firefighter from Peoria, Ill., started at 297 lbs. when he set foot at the Biggest Loser Ranch; now he is down 88 lbs. to 209—and still losing! “I’m just tickled by the whole outcome of this thing,” he says. We spoke to Lisenby about the temptation room, overcoming age and his cross-country bike trip next year. —Cynthia Wang
So what happened in the temptation challenge where Patty ended up getting the 3 lb. pass? We had talked a little about an eating contest. We thought, ‘Who could eat the most amongst us?’ And we picked Neil. Everyone said, ‘OK, Neil, you’ll take one for the team and we will cheer you on.’ He agreed to it, and so when Patty did it, she didn’t trust us. She thought that we would vote her off if she was not up to par on losing the weight so she went against the team and that’s what upset us. I don’t know her fate… I think she should be looking over her shoulder!
What was the best piece of advice Bob, your trainer on the show, gave you?
Well, I was the only person ever to be able to pick my trainer by winning the race across the Mojave Desert and I picked Bob. I knew that he and I would see a little more eye to eye. Plus, my wife had told me, ‘Go to the Blue person because your grey hair looks better with blue!’ But one of the best things he told me was to stop all the carbonation… and don’t eat to eat but eat the right things in the right proportions.
Are you still using a trainer?
Yes. After I got home, at first I didn’t think I needed it, but my son, who is an Olympic Trials qualifier in swimming and coaches now as a volunteer, said that…even his hardest workers don’t come back in a shape as good as the ones with a trainer. So I have a young girl who is not only a trainer but a nutritionist, Stephanie Polito. She is one tough cookie! I told her she is like Ginger Rogers. She can do anything Bob can do and do it backwards!
You said you wanted to be an inspiration to others, especially older folks…
The YMCA told me that 11 people signed up and said, ‘I want to do the workout that Jerry Lisenby’s doing,’—that has just been in the last three weeks! I’ve got friends of mine that have been calling me who I hadn’t heard from in 45 years. My whole goal was to inspire people in my generation but I’ve gotten calls from people 25 years old who say I am going to do it now before I get old, and that’s great.
Has your success motivated your family?
My wife Lynne has lost 11 lbs. She was only 122 lbs. to start with and solid steel. We are riding our bicycles across the U.S. next year. As I said on the show, age is just a number, and that’s what I’ve named my bicycle tour next year. The Age Is Just a Number Bicycle Tour Around the Country.