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Tri Challenge: Triathlon helped me change my life
November 18th, 2011
05:31 PM ET

Tri Challenge: Triathlon helped me change my life

Kendrick Henley was one of six CNN viewers chosen to be a part of the 2011 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. He trained with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and raced the New York City Triathlon on August 7. CNN is looking for viewers like Henley to join our 2012 Challenge. Click "Share Your Story" to apply.

It has been almost a year since I applied to be a part of CNN Six Pack. When I applied, I had been trying to get in shape for the past several years, but could not seem to follow through. So, I thought if I did the CNN challenge, it would motivate me to get fit or at the very least, hold me accountable. So I decided to submit a video. As I thought about what to say, I decided that I would just be honest and plainly spoke into my webcam and sent my video.

I remember getting the call on Christmas Eve from Dr. Sanjay Gupta indicating that I was chosen to be a member of the Six Pack. I was so excited, but said to myself, “I have to do this.” I must say that this was an incredibly hard challenge for me, but it was so rewarding.

I still remember when I first arrived at Well-Fit Triathlon Training Center for my first workout where I was constantly stopping and could not continuously exercise for more than 2 minutes. Then came the small breakthroughs: my old belt being too big, biking 20 miles, running a mile without stopping and finally crossing the finish line in New York. I cannot believe that I did it. I realized that this journey was going to be more than 6 months and that it would take additional time to reach my goals, but I am so glad that I took this first step. It has helped me begin to change my life.


soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. hromyit480

    Fitness Workout Dvds

    November 20, 2011 at 10:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. szahn34

    Keep it up Kendrick!! Whenever I give talks about our journey everyone wants to know how you are doing. Obviously you are doing great. Keep up the good work. You are such an inspiration to all of us.

    November 21, 2011 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. The_Mick

    If you are approaching 200 lbs, triathlon training can be extremely dangerous for your long-term leg health. A wise man once said, "If you're running more than three miles per day, you're doing it for reasons other than health. I ran and won medals in marathons and coached high school cross country into my 50's while running with my teenaged athletes. Today at 61 I bicycle because my scarred legs won't take frequent long-distance walking or running without developing tendonitis. And if you're not in great shape now, Dr Gupta is really inviting you to develop such problems by taking part in triathlons.

    November 21, 2011 at 18:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CaitlinCNN

      Hi The_Mick – thanks for reading our blog. I'm not sure about the specifics of your injuries but triathlon training is not dangerous to your long-term health, legs or otherwise, if you train properly with the correct form. We've worked with doctors, athletic trainers, and athletes of all ages and abilities. If an individual listens to his or her body and works with a trainer to learn the proper form, the cross-training aspect of triathlon can help you avoid overuse injuries. Plus swimming and biking are low-impact activities and are easier on the knees and legs. The key is to train properly, to listen to your body, and not to push yourself beyond what you're safely able to do at any point. And of course we encourage our athletes to work with a doctor is anything starts to hurt.

      November 22, 2011 at 16:30 | Report abuse |
  4. Samuel Bogale

    This article is motivation to consider doing by own triathalon!

    November 21, 2011 at 23:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. smass

    Proof that regardless of how much the other parts of your life stall, sputter, and regress, you can always make forward progress in the gym.

    November 22, 2011 at 06:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. TriHardNinaLove

    Kendrick, you continue to ROCK! Just think, this time last year the six of us were sitting on top of our phones, eagerly waiting to hear from Sanjay, and before we knew it, there we were all meeting in Atlanta for the first time! Let me know if you come home for the holidays- would love to see you!

    November 25, 2011 at 21:57 | 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.