Tri Challenge/Stasia: I don't make excuses anymore
August 4th, 2011
12:04 PM ET

Tri Challenge/Stasia: I don't make excuses anymore

Since January, six iReporters have been training in the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. We’re following along as they prepare to compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the August 7 Nautica NYC Triathlon.  During their last week before the race, we asked each of them the following questions: What's the biggest change you've seen in yourself since kick-off weekend? What are your personal goals for the tri?"

This weekend, "Sanjay Gupta, M.D." will be live from New York at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday. Watch the culmination of our team's training

We all make excuses why we can’t do something. I’m too busy, I’m not a runner, I’ve got to make dinner, I’ve had a long day at work, etc.

Before signing up for the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge, I made excuses. Some of them were partially true; others were nothing but cop-outs for my laziness and fear of failure. It’s easy to procrastinate and say, “I’ll go work out tomorrow." It’s much harder to buckle down and get it done.

In the last seven months, I’ve changed immensely. Physically, I’m fit, muscular, and stronger than I’ve been in a really long time. However, the majority of my change has been mental. I’ve stopped making excuses for why I can’t do something. I won’t give myself the opportunity to back out of something because it makes me uncomfortable or because I’ll have to wake up early or because it’s hard.
A year ago, had you told me I’d be doing an Olympic-distance triathlon, I probably would have laughed in your face. I’ve realized that my only limits are the ones I impose on myself. I can run 6 miles after I swim a mile and bike 25.

If you think you can do something, you’re probably right. If you think you can’t, you’re right, too. So much of life is a mental game. The human body is capable of amazing things; it just depends on the dedication of the person and their mental strength to push through difficult times.

As I approach the big day, I’m reminding myself of all the amazing things I can do. I’m reminiscing on the 7 months of early mornings and late nights of training, all the hard work I’ve put in to make this happen. I know I can do it. If my coach can finish an Ironman, I can certainly do an Olympic triathlon. If Diana Nyad is going to swim from Cuba to Key West, I can swim a mile in the Hudson.

The New York City Triathlon will be my first ever triathlon. I’m so excited for it and I can’t wait to cross that finish line. In my mind, I have secret time goals I’d like to achieve, but honestly, the only real goals I’m working towards are finishing the race with a smile on my face, maintaining proper hydration and fueling, and trying to not overheat because of the weather.

I’m looking forward to my first triathlon of many more to come.

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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Hawkeye1012

    Why are you still so fat?

    August 6, 2011 at 18:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Panda078

    i read your post, and first let me say hawkeye is just an idiot and they'll never understand the mentality and joy of being a triathlete...for my name is chris and like you i'm an aged group triathlete which i got into the sport last summer and completed my first sprint race last august and i've also since then done another sprint and have a half ironman next month for my target race and next season i'll gonna try and tackle the nyc ironman...anyways i had volunteered this past weekend as a truck porter (the people that you dropped off your misc (sandels, flip flops, candy bar, etc) items that were waiting for you at the finish line in central park...

    also i'd like to say that i have much respect for you and your achievement which most people (not even the people closest to you) will never truely feel and ever understand what's it's all about...for even the most gifted and gentically blessed triathlete still has to have the something special inside of them to endure such a challenge that luckily yourself, your teammates and every other triathlete feels...personally i would have to say that triathalon is one of the hardests things to accomplish and i would guess that being a navy seal would come second b/c in the armed forces you're setup to succeed where triathlon you have to set yourself up to succeed...

    congradulations on your race and i have much admiration for you

    August 9, 2011 at 10:26 | Report abuse | Reply

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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.