You might recognize Mike Schiotis's name from the harrowing tale of how he saved a woman from her gun-wielding boyfriend and was named Goodyear's Highway Hero.
What you probably don't know about Schiotis is that he can nearly run an eight-minute mile and cooks delicious homemade sirloin roasts right in his own truck. Schiotis is committed to living healthy on the road, and he freely gives advice to other drivers on how they can, too.
"I've always been kind of health conscious," says the Panther Expedited Services driver, who has been driving a truck for 16 years. "I'm 45 now, and I feel as good as I ever have." <!break>
Schiotis says he can cook just about any type of meat in his little 12-volt cooker.
"I cook, chicken, roasts, steak," he says. "I eat my veggies raw with oil and vinegar or salt and pepper." His favorite meal to make is chicken with olive oil, garlic powder and Italian seasonings.
"For a side, I like Bush's low-sodium variety beans," he says "When I'm cooking and it's 80% done, I'll take it out, put the beans in there, put the meat back on top and cook it all for 30 more minutes."
He says his methods are proof that drivers without generators can still have great home-cooked (or in this case truck-cooked) meals. "If you have a generator, you can get a steamer to steam your rice and veggies," he says. "You can have a lot more variety that way."
For exercise, Schiotis has adjustable dumbbells in his truck, as well as a pair of running shoes.
"Running is great; you throw your shoes on and go," he says. "For the running, people don't want to get run over. If you go to a Walmart in the evening, there's usually no traffic, and they have security. About 8 times around [the facility] is around 4 miles."
Right now he runs 4 miles in about 33 minutes, and he's trying to get down to an eight-minute mile.
He also uses a forearm gripper while driving.
"It gets your heart working," he says. "Not only is it good for your blood pressure, but it wakes you right up. I wait until I get that feeling of 'Oh I've been driving a while,' and I use it. A lot of muscles come into play when you're squeezing that thing."
He suggests buying an adjustable forearm gripper to make it harder as you build up strength.
Although Schiotis has dumbbells in his truck, he says there's nothing like being in a gym. To get full workouts on the road, he's a member of Anytime Fitness gyms.
"Now they have so many locations, and for 29 bucks a month, you get a full gym and shower. They're open 24 hours."
He tries to fit in workouts whenever he can. "A lot of times, customers will let me lock up my trailer and go work out," he says. "You can get about three to five workouts in a week that way."
He isn't shy about sharing advice with fellow drivers, either.
"A friend of mine just started back on the road, and I got him to be healthy. I also got him to quit smoking, just by motivating him and talking to him over the phone. Now he's walking and wants to build up to running. I just try to share my ideas. There's no reason why we have to let ourselves go because we're out here."
Although Schiotis is focused on living healthy on the road, he makes sure to treat himself now and then.
"I eat a cheeseburger once a month. Not that McDonald's stuff; I like a real cheeseburger."