February 9th, 2011
12:57 PM ET
In the 2011 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge , six selected viewers will participate in a six-month training program. Each will receive all the gear, training and nutritional support necessary to complete the race and will compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta on August 7 in the Nautica New York City Triathlon.
At 58, Nina Lovel considers herself to be pretty well adjusted.
“I'm just a plain ol' baby-boomer, circa 1952, 'raised-right', nurtured in the genteel South, loved and educated by fabulous parents who taught me to cross my legs at the ankles, chew with my mouth closed, and keep my elbows off the table,” she wrote to CNN.
But now that her kids are out of the house, and her parents are gone, Nina realized it was time to do something for her.
“The only way I am going to enjoy the 'freedom years' I’ve worked so hard to earn is to start taking care of my OWN self,” she said.
So, when a mostly-sedentary friend of hers signed up for a 5K run, Nina decided it was time for her to make good on her promises to improve herself, and joined the “Couch to 5K” program. A year later, she had run two 5K’s, and it was time for something more.
“After hearing a friend at Rotary talk about his participation in Ironman triathlons, I simply added a triathlon to my bucket list.”
It was that simple: Nina created and submitted a video to CNN’s Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge, and on Christmas Eve, she was selected to join the team.
“I believe that this experience is going to be good for me physically, emotionally and spiritually,” she said. “I am thrilled to be part of it and will do my very very best!”
Nina’s goals for the challenge?
“Complete the event alive and without embarrassing myself, my family, my friends, or my employer; and to set an example for my peers that it's not time to sit down, it's time to GET UP!”
And with the help of her coaches – sports psychologist and Ironman Dr. John Azar-Dickens, and Fit Nation Athletic Director Laura Cozik, Nina is truly confident that she’ll reach those goals.
“In just a few short weeks, I have grown from eager contestant to exhilarated winner to energetic trainee, and am gratefully arranging my calendar around the new workout schedule,” she said.
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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.