January 8th, 2012
08:24 AM ET
Each day from now until next Friday, CNN will introduce you to one member of the 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge team. Today meet Adrienne LaGier, who avoided having a physical for seven years out of fear of what her doctor would say.
Fear of needles. Time. Time to call the office, clear my schedule, get a babysitter. And money. Those have been my excuses over the past seven years for not seeing a family doctor.
I mean going to the ob/gyn once a year is good enough, right? Are two doctors really necessary?
I went for 2.5 years without health insurance. The girls were infants, and I was not married to their self-employed father. I was a broke, stay-at-home mom. Working part-time for the community college and starting a direct-selling business didn’t help me in the health insurance department.
My birthday is July 11 (7/11), and I was told once that gamblers would pay to have me head to Vegas with them. Fortunately, I’ve been lucky in the health department too. No broken bones. No serious illnesses. No need to start a relationship with a doctor I didn’t "need." Right?
After I told the nurse about being chosen for the triathlon team, she looked at me and said, "You really don’t need to do this." Like I didn’t weigh enough to be on the "Biggest Loser" or something.
I looked at her with a glance that said, "Seriously, lady? You just recorded my 5'4 weight as 202 pounds. Are you on crack?"
Thank goodness the doctor was in touch with reality. She asked, "How much do you exercise now?" When I told her I spend 30 minutes on the treadmill, she asked, "Running?" Uh - no. Walking briskly. 3.4 mph to be exact. Just fast enough to make me sweat, just slow enough to allow me to play Sid Meier's "Civilization" on the Xbox without falling down.
Then she shot me a look like that shouted, "What makes you think you can handle a triathlon? And how liable am I if I sign off on this?"
Roll in the EKG machine.
As the nurse put those funny stickers all over my body, I asked what the test would show. She said it measures the electrical impulses of the heart and would show if I had any blockages. All I could picture was President Clinton's pre-vegetarian arteries showing up on the machine. Within seconds of her hooking up the electrodes to the sticker things, an old-school paper with those perforated edges popped out of the machine.
I kept bracing for some electrical shock to go through my body, but before I knew it, the nurse tore the EKG report from the machine. She looked at it, said it looked good, and with that, the doctor cleared me for triathlon training.
From here on out, no more gambling on my health. No more excuses. It's time to #TriHardAdrienne. No matter what.
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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.