January 22nd, 2010
07:17 PM ET
By Elizabeth Cohen
This is Sonia Flury's story, translated by Camala Jourdain, a Miami nurse working in Haiti under the auspices of the Haitian American Nurses Association.
My name is Sonia Flury, and I'm 40 years old, and I live in the Canape Verte section of Port-au-Prince with my 20-year-old daughter, Pascale Delmas.
It was about 4:30 p.m. and I was lying in bed with my daughter when we felt the house started to shake. We felt the house cave in and all the furniture fell down around us. We yelled "Help me, help me," and then we heard cries from the people on the upper floors crying out for help, too. Three stories fell on top of us. Then we felt the roof fall in. The only thing that kept the roof from falling on top of us was that I have a dresser that has three tiers, and the dresser caught the roof.
To read Sonia Flury’s complete story, click here.
January 22nd, 2010
01:48 PM ET
By Laura Cozik
Yes, anyone can do it. Take it from me! I was a competitive dancer, who didn’t own a bike, had no idea how to put my face in the water, and hated running. One finish line changed my life. You just need the desire.
No, it does not have to be an enormous commitment. For a sprint distance race, you can train an average of 3 to 5 hours per week.
All ages participate. The youngest competitors are just 7 years old. However, some of the fastest triathletes are in the older age groups. This sport rewards experience! The oldest woman I ever met at a triathlon was 85. She came to my attention because she was arguing with the race director about how 70+ was not a fair age group. How was she supposed to race against a 70-year-old?! This woman actually wanted to win. I’ll never forget that moment.
All shapes and sizes participate. Triathletes are the most diversified group – tall, short, large, small. And looks can be deceiving in this sport! While it’s beneficial to be small when attempting a big hill climb, size is not an indicator of sheer strength and power - and that other little asset known as determination.
Cross training is healthy. Some sports have injury statistics that are staggering. With triathlons, you swim one day, bike the next, and run the next. The body does not experience the same type of over-use injuries it does if you only run everyday. Its variety is also a plus for those who have A.D.D. (either clinical or imagined).
You can eat a lot. And you can eat plenty of carbs! You’ll burn an average of 2,000 kcals every Saturday during your long bike ride. There’s a lot of replenishing that goes along with that!
Your first year is pricey. You’ll need a road bike, plus lots of gear, and someone to train you properly for that first race. If you enjoy shopping, this is more of a perk than a negative! After the first year, the costs are reduced to race fees and club dues.
There are sooo many benefits. Besides being fit and healthy, triathletes tend to be happy, confident, successful people. You cannot imagine what that finish line feels like until you actually cross it. Improved self confidence, increased energy and drive, feelings of satisfaction and achievement...all accompanied by significant cardiovascular and muscular conditioning.
And finally…triathlon is FUN. Race in St. Croix. Choose a course that has you running through the woods, biking through farm country or swimming in the Hudson River. Form a team and relay with friends/family. Have lots of fun adventures.
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.