December 9th, 2011
08:46 AM ET
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. Since then Henley has kept up his new healthy lifestyle and recently raced his second 5K since the triathlon. CNN is looking for viewers like Henley to join our 2012 Challenge. Click "Add Your Story" to apply.
The year 2011 might be coming to an end, but Kendrick’s journey and Team Henley’s celebrations continue...
When Kendrick, Coach Keith and I (Coach Mary Ann) became “Team Henley” in January 2011, none of us knew what to expect from the coming year. Kendrick had just been selected for the 2011 Fit Nation Challenge and Coach Keith and I were excited to have the opportunity to coach a new athlete from our hometown of Chicago.
That was pretty much all that we knew, and out of the three of us, Kendrick was taking the biggest risk. He was literally letting the world know that he wanted to change the way he was living, lose weight and take on a healthier lifestyle.
Kendrick has taken on EVERY aspect of changing his life. He took a good long, hard look at how he was eating. He started to exercise consistently for the FIRST time in his life. He changed the time that his alarm goes off as he now wakes up many mornings to train BEFORE work (luckily he is often greeted by a smiling face– mine or Coach Keith's!) and he has started to challenge himself by participating in races!
Kendrick’s first race was the 2011 NYC Triathlon; as you know from our blogs it was an amazing day, filled with celebrations and lots of tenacity and hard work from Kendrick. Since the NYC Triathlon Kendrick has run two 5ks, most recently the “Santa Hustle” here in Chicago.
Kendrick still has a lot of work to do to really get strong and fit, but as you know - if you have ever tried to make a significant lifestyle change - it takes time. There are changes to be made on emotional, physical, and spiritual levels that don’t happen overnight.
Coach Keith and I continue to work with Kendrick and we continue to see changes. It is a journey that is still fun and still amazing to be a part of for all of us.
Last year Kendrick signed up for the Santa Hustle and did not participate. This year Kendrick signed up again (on his own without prompting from his coaches) and ran the race despite cold weather, rain and two coaches making him take pictures in a Santa hat and beard.
Kendrick’s journey continues and the hard work, fun and celebration of Team Henley keep coming as well.
Happy Holidays to you and your family -– may you find and succeed in your personal journey to health and wellness in the coming year.
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About this blog
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.