August 20th, 2012
11:50 AM ET
Editor's Note: Glenn Keller is one of seven CNN viewers selected from around the country to train for and compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon in September. At the beginning of the challenge, Keller weighed more than 300 pounds and suffered from sleep apnea due to his obesity.
Today, I got a chance to swim.
There’s nothing particularly unusual about that, but today I got to swim in Jessup, Maryland. By now, everyone knows that I am on the road a lot. I'm only home once a week and previously, that was my only chance each week to swim.
However my truck route had been taking me to Jessup, Maryland, almost every week – I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've been in, to or near the truck stop there!
The last time I was there I happened to notice a place just a block away that had a pool. Granted, it’s a place where they train little babies to swim, but after speaking to the manager and telling him about the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge, he agreed to let me swim there too.
While training in Hawaii, I could tell I was getting better, but I was still struggling. There I was, in the ocean, wearing my wetsuit and all, and I got a reality check.
Roni Selig, one of our coaches, was helping me out when she sprung it on me - if I didn't improve, I wouldn't be swimming in the Malibu Triathlon.
At first my heart dropped at the thought of having gone through all of this and not being able to participate. It was a pretty emotional moment. She went on to explain how important it would be to be able to tread water – something I had never done for any length of time. Well, then we spent the next 27 minutes treading water.
I think this says a lot about the coaches and producers of CNN and their real concern for our health and safety.
This is more than just another segment for the viewing public. It's so much more than just our next blog or public appearance. There is not only a genuine concern for our health and getting physically in shape, but our safety as well.
All of my swimming so far was done in places where I could stand up and put my feet on the bottom. Roni, in no uncertain terms, was letting me know there was not going to be a place to stand up and put my feet on the bottom. She told me, "We’re not taking you to Malibu to drown."
Even though I have a very busy schedule, I am taking advantage of every opportunity I can to train, and not be pulled from the swim portion of the triathlon. Our coaches are extremely knowledgeable, but it has been said, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."
Our coaches are the most caring. My options were not sink or swim, they were swim or be pulled.
I will be swimming!
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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.