A. O. Smith employee’s inspiration to adopt healthy lifestyle

Quinn Keller & UncleIn March 2017, Quinn Keller, new product development engineer in McBee, S.C. crossed the finish line of his first marathon in Washington, D.C. wearing something borrowed, a shirt that his deceased uncle often wore while receiving treatment for multiple myeloma, a rare cancer where plasma cells weaken bones. 

Keller was inspired to sign up for his first marathon after watching his uncle courageously battle the cancer. “Training for this marathon was my way of being there for my him,” explained Keller. His uncle was an avid skier, marathon runner, and cyclist.  

Admittedly, when Keller began training for his first marathon, he could barely run two miles without struggle. Seventeen weeks into his 18 week training program, Keller registered for his second marathon in Charlotte, N. C. for November 2017 along with 13 members of his family.

“Once I realized that I was setting my own limitations, I was able to do so much more,” noted Keller. “We are capable of doing so much if we just put our minds to it.”

Keller is carrying on his uncle’s memory not only through running races, but by running for a greater purpose.

When he was in his 20’s, Keller's uncle was anxiously awaiting the arrival of paper tickets for a pre-paid return trip home from Europe on Pan Am Flight 103. They never arrived. He was the only ticketed passenger not able to board the plane; he was also the only ticketed passenger of that flight to survive. The plane exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland.

“From that moment on, my uncle dedicated his life to honoring those who died,” explained Quinn. Part of how he did so was by running and cycling for charity. “He used every circumstance and event in his life to love and to serve others.”

In honor of his uncle’s legacy, Quinn will be completing an Ironman triathlon composed of swimming, biking and running in November 2018 to fundraise for Team World Vision, the largest non-governmental provider of clean water in the world.

“Working at A. O. Smith, I have developed a passion for water technology,” expressed Keller. “In the United States, we take clean water for granted, but 844 million people do not have access to this essential resource.”

Keller's personal fundraising goal for the cause is $10,000. Last year’s team raised nearly $350,000 collectively; the organization reached over 4.6 million new people with clean water.

“I am doing this because I want to bring awareness to the cause,” said Keller. “This money will save lives.”

Quinn Keller and GirlfriendKeller has set his fitness and fundraising goals by remembering his favorite quote from St. Francis of Assisi: “Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

“Most people are capable of running a marathon. They just do not realize it,” said Keller. “When I started running, I never thought it would take me to where I am now in life.”

The focus needed for running and training has transcended into other parts of his life. “I find myself more focused at work, and I am better at prioritizing things in my life,” noted Keller. “It’s a lifestyle. I am eating better and I feel better.” 

Choosing an active lifestyle has opened many doors for Keller– from traveling, to fundraising, to meeting new people, to bonding with friends and family, to living for a greater purpose, and to leading a healthier, happier lifestyle.

“I am so much healthier now,” explained Keller. “If there is a way to extend the quality of my life, why wouldn’t I do it? I truly feel like I am flourishing.”

Keller was inspired by his uncle. Keller's family and friends were inspired by him. It is undoubtedly a chain reaction. The only question left is who will be inspired next.