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Tri Challenge: God threw in a triathlon
January 11th, 2012
07:18 AM ET

Tri Challenge: God threw in a triathlon

Every day this week, CNN will introduce you to one member of the 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge team. Today meet Glenn Keller, a truck driver and pastor who says he's tired of telling other people to be their best self and not practicing what he preaches.

I knew I needed a change, I just didn't know how I was going to accomplish it. Then I found out about the Tri Challenge and something about seeing what others were able to accomplish motivated me to send in my video. I think I got it in four hours before the deadline.

I was on my way back to Texas from Boston and didn't have a webcam. I was in Gaston, Alabama and knew I could not make it home in time. I pulled off the interstate, went into a Walmart and bought what I figured would be my last bucket of chicken wings and a webcam. I sat there in the seat of the truck and just tried to speak from my heart.

As I've heard it said so many other times, "the rest is history."

I feel a lot like someone who asked God for an Oak Tree and instead He gave them an acorn. I had been asking God for good health and fitness and He gave me CNN, Dr. Gupta, and because God has such a good sense of humor He threw in a Triathlon for good measure.

For all of us who have gotten acorns in our lives,  whether or not we ever see the Oak Tree has everything to do with what we do with the acorn. Whether or not I see the good health that I have desired or longed for depends on what I do with this great gift that God has provided.

As I embark on this journey to good health, I can't help but wonder what others have been asking God for, and what He has given them that doesn't look anything like they expected - not realizing that if we do the right thing with what He has given us, it will yield more than we could have ever imagined.

I know He gave me another chance.  I had to ask myself what was I going to do with it.

If someone were to blindfold me and ask me to hit a target, I would have to ask if they were crazy.  How did they expect me to hit a target I couldn't see?  I feel like their next question would be: How could I expect to hit one I don't even have? I needed a target or goal and now I have one.

I believe Helen Keller was asked, "What would be worse than not having sight?" And I believe her reply was "having sight and not having vision." I am so thankful and plan to work as hard as I can to achieve my goal of having good health.


soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. szahn34

    Good luck to you Glenn. Embrace the journey. You will be amazed what you will be able to accomplish in the next 6 months. Can't wait to race with you in Malibu. If your travels send you up to the Green Bay area please let me know. Me and my fellow teammates from the 2011 will be watching your adventure. Your Tri will be nothing compared to Jesus': Carrying the Cross, Dying for our sins and Rising again.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glenn

      I appreciate that so much and if I get up that way I will let you know and thanks for the words of encouragement

      January 11, 2012 at 13:48 | Report abuse |
  2. ninalovel

    Glenn, the good health and fitness you are about to acquire will be YOUR gifts to embrace, but your experience is also going to inspire countless thousands of others people, most likely saving many lives. I still get choked up when someone comes up to me and says, "You inspired me (to start walking, running, swimming, eating healthy, etc.), and it still happens often. The stories vary but the theme is the same: people all over the world followed our CNN Six Pack's journey, and they decided if we could do it, so could they! We changed many lives besides our own. It is a tremendous responsibility but oh so rewarding. I will drop by your kickoff weekend in Atlanta and look forward to meeting you!

    January 11, 2012 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glenn

      Thank you and please do drop by I look forward to meeting you!!!

      January 11, 2012 at 22:19 | Report abuse |
  3. arheaton

    Glenn, I am sitting here reading your blog post and thinking that I was the exact same way last June. I wanted to be in shape and in good health, I even prayed for it, but I never left the couch even though I had PLENTY of opportunities to do so! I saw a picture of myself from my birthday and that was the spark of motivation I needed to get started. God has given me the strength to keep going, even when I don't feel like going to the gym or for a walk. I've lost 20 pounds but I that is only the beginning. I'm excited to see where your journey leads you and I know your blog will also encourage me to continue my journey!

    January 12, 2012 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Rick Morris

    Glenn, this is going to be a powerful endeavor that will reward not only us, but plenty of others around the world. I'm proud to call you my team mate and look forward to meeting you in Atlanta in a few weeks. If you ever take I-40 through western NC, let me know and we'll meet up for lunch or dinner at one of the local truck stops (Exit 37 and another one a few miles down the road towards Tennessee). Drive safe.

    January 13, 2012 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glenn

      I so look forward to that Rick. I even heard from your trainer. He seems awesome and I look forward to meeting you for lunch.

      January 15, 2012 at 08:24 | Report abuse |
  5. Denise

    You go Glenn!! Great story , I will be rooting for you and the rest of the team along the way.

    January 14, 2012 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. freedom4bell

    Glenn, I commend you for graduating from trialthon to doalthon! I'm sure your journey will provide much inspiration for many other people as well. My congrats to the "Lucky 7" and I wish all of you much success in reaching the goals of your choice.

    January 14, 2012 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Peter F

    Congrats on making the team. I am looking forward to your posts so keep them coming

    January 14, 2012 at 22:02 | Report abuse | Reply
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    June 24, 2013 at 18:11 | 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.