February Employee Profile – Dr. Thomas J. “Toby” Peters, Associate Senior Vice President

By Mandi Richter – For Dr. Thomas J. “Toby” Peters, associate senior vice president, what had started as a means of dropping some weight for a high school reunion turned into 30 years of a consistent swimming routine and the ability to be more active to help others.

Although Toby played Rugby in college, his active lifestyle came to a halt after graduating and the resulting weight gain put him in the worst physical condition of his life.  He wanted to get in shape and considered his options.  Running?  He didn’t enjoy it.  Basketball?  He played noon hoops for a while with some Marquette colleagues, but when the buzz became “Don’t pass the ball to Toby,” he decided either his ego or his body would end up bruised.

That’s when he found his love for swimming.  He lost 35lbs the first six months and he’s been doing laps 4 to 5 times per week over the lunch hour or after work at the Rec Plex ever since.  Not only had he found his niche of swimming to lose weight, but many other rewards of this active lifestyle have kept him going.

Dr. Peters acknowledges that he is more productive in the afternoon when he gets his noon swim in and “there is no better stress reliever or remedy for a rough day”.  When working on big projects and making difficult decisions, he finds his routine even more helpful.  “I get a swim in to get a clear head so I can approach it in a more efficient way.”

This stress reliever has also allowed him to become more active with his family.  “I want to be fit to do fun things,” he explains.  One of his two daughters graduated in May and he joined her on a hiking trip in Peru that required a climb to 15,000 feet and trekking forty five miles over five days.  His goal was to keep up with his daughter.  “My motivation was not hearing the word “air-lifted” all week.”

Toby reminds, “Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today.”  As a cancer survivor he knows firsthand how precious each day is.  Toby made a full recovery six years ago and is thankful that he is in good health and can continue to be active and serve others.

Ultimately, his ability to serve others is what it’s all about and he considers physical activity a catalyst.  “When you are taking care of yourself, you get an emotional boost and feel confident in yourself and your ability to make a difference.”  If you’re stuck in a rut, “…challenge yourself.  Life is more satisfying when you are challenged.  Stimulate the creativity within you.”

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