March 20th, 2012
11:11 AM ET
Editor's note: Nancy Klinger is one of seven CNN viewers chosen to be a part of the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. Nancy applied for the Challenge after separating from her husband of 26 years.
I shared that I was afraid about being able to make it on my own through the upcoming Minnesota winter. I shared things that no one knew I was going through, not even my closest friends. I allowed my vulnerability to show, which is something that I just don’t do - something that I have always been really good at not doing.
Something that drove husband crazy for many years. I have always been the strong one, the helper, the caregiver, the protector, the giver.
I became this person at an early age out of necessity and since that time I just don’t let my guard down.
This time I allowed myself to be vulnerable because in my mind I was just talking to a computer screen. It was cathartic. I did not think for an instant that someone would actually hear me, and never in my wildest imagination did I even consider that I would be selected as one of the Lucky Seven.
Right now I feel a little like Tom Cruise in the movie "Jerry Maguire" when he is writing his Mission Statement. There are some things I want to say and I need to say them now, so please let me.
First, I want to say to my six teammates and the CNN folks that you are all incredible, special people and I thank my lucky stars for the opportunity to meet you and take this journey along with you. This is something that I mean wholeheartedly. I consider you all to be my lifelong friends; you’re stuck with me. My hope is that you feel the same about me.
You have brought so much joy into my life and I will be indebted to you forever. You changed my life, or maybe allowed me to change my life.
I know in my heart that I am a different person. Each day I so look forward to hearing about what is going on with you. You make me laugh, you make me cry, you make me feel. Most importantly, you have reminded me of the importance of friendship. Not only being a friend, but allowing others to be a friend for you.
Although they are simple words, all that I can say is: Thank you.
Now that my secret is out and my long-time friends, co-workers, and family know that I have been going through some personal struggles, I have come to realize that I have had incredible friends right in front of me all along. You all know who you are, but just in case you don’t, you’ll be hearing from me. I just haven’t allowed you into my life. I haven’t allowed you to help me. I haven’t shown my vulnerability to you. I haven’t shared my fears or let my guard down.
I was stubborn. I guess that I didn’t want you to feel sorry for me. What I know now, is that allowing yourself to be vulnerable and asking for help is not a weakness, but a strength. It is something that we as human beings all need to do on occasion. No one can make it on their own.
It is something that I want my children to know – don’t ever hesitate to ask for help. Allow your friends to be friends.
I think back again to my initial video submission and my fear of making it through the long Minnesota winter and I realize that I made it. Thanks to all of my friends, old and new, I am happy, I am strong, I am on an incredible journey, and guess what? It’s spring!
So as I sign off for the time being, all of the wonderful quotes and musical lyrics about friends are swirling through my mind. I will leave you with some lyrics taken from a wonderful John Lennon/ Paul McCartney song: "I get by with a little help from my friends, I am going to try (tri) with a little help from my friends."
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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.