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Paying the gift of health forward
Scott Zahn, top left, poses with the Aurora BayCare LiveFit "Six-Pack" and their trainer, Junius Ho.
July 27th, 2012
02:54 PM ET

Paying the gift of health forward

Dr. Scott Zahn 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 of last year. Since then, Zahn has kept up his new healthy lifestyle and plans to race the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with this year's team.

As the CNN Fit Nation Lucky 7 continues to prepare for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon, another group has just completed their journey.

I was lucky enough to be a member of the 2011 CNN Fit Nation 6-Pack and complete the New York City Triathlon. My trainers and I wanted to bring that experience back to Green Bay and recreate the CNN program. 

This was the birth of the Aurora BayCare LiveFit Triathlon Challenge. We took applications from employees of the company, picked six and created our own Six-Pack.  The goal was the 2012 Green Bay sprint triathlon.
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7 skills for controlling your bike with confidence
June 22nd, 2012
09:34 AM ET

7 skills for controlling your bike with confidence

Knowing how to ride a bike is one thing, but having the ability to comfortably and safely share the road with other cyclists requires another level of skill.

These basic handling techniques will help you enjoy the transition from bike rider to full-blown cyclist, and, as an added bonus, can help save a little time on race day.

Hold a straight line

Whether riding on an open road or in a race, always look over your shoulder before swinging from one side of the road to the other. Before carving through a corner, always check your blind spot, especially in a race since the noise created by fellow cyclists isn’t always enough to alert you of their presence.
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N.Y.C. triathlon adds swim requirement after deaths
December 16th, 2011
10:21 AM ET

N.Y.C. triathlon adds swim requirement after deaths

Editor's note: CNN's Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge athletes have competed in the New York City Triathlon for the past two years. All of CNN's athletes crossed the finish line in 2011 without incident. In 2012, the newest group of athletes will compete in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon instead, because of the earlier scheduled date of the New York City Triathlon. Want to be a part of CNN's team? Submit your video here by December 19!

Organizers of the New York City Triathlon announced this week that they will add an open-water swimming waiver to their registration process for next year's race. The move comes after two athletes died during the swim portion of the 2011 triathlon.

"Swimming in the open water is different than swimming in a pool or taking a bath," said John Korff, the race's director. "Anybody who's jumping in the river has to have done this once or twice, so they're ready to jump in there."

The race will require applicants to sign a waiver stating that they've swum at least a half-mile in open water in the preceding 18 months, or will swim the distance before race day. They'll be asked to sign another waiver the day before the race, indicating that they've completed the requirement.
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Tri Challenge journey still going, still working
December 9th, 2011
08:46 AM ET

Tri Challenge journey still going, still working

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.
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Lovel: My year-long triathlon transformation
December 2nd, 2011
08:54 AM ET

Lovel: My year-long triathlon transformation

It’s one year ago this week that I was reading the news on CNN.com and happened across the CNN FitNation Challenge.

The timing was great for me, because in a moment of insanity I had made an annual check-up appointment for the Monday morning after Thanksgiving. Surprise-surprise: my weight was up.

In an attempt to distract my kind doctor from that issue, I mentioned that I was entering a contest to do the NYC Triathlon, and I asked if she thought I was healthy enough to do it.

I have to hand it to her - if she rolled her eyes, it was so subtle that I didn’t notice it. She allowed that since I had recently completed two uneventful 5K races, I would probably be fine to do a triathlon (not that she really believed I would do it).
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My second triathlon was a huge success... Now it's your turn!
November 25th, 2011
07:12 AM ET

My second triathlon was a huge success... Now it's your turn!

Joaquin Brignoni 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 Brignoni has kept up his new healthy lifestyle and recently raced in an international distance triathlon. CNN is looking for viewers like Brignoni to join our 2012 Challenge. Click "Share Your Story" to apply.

Last year around this time was probably one of the lowest points of my life. I had endured some pretty tough economic losses, was 30 pounds overweight and felt defeated. Not only was I disappointing myself but the example I was setting for my children was not good. I was sick and tired of feeling out of shape and frustrated.

So, I decided to Tri. What I mean is that one year ago I submitted my entry video to CNN Fit Nation for the Tri Challenge. I was ready to make a change and was hopeful that this could be my turning point.
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Tri Challenge: Triathlon helped me change my life
November 18th, 2011
05:31 PM ET

Tri Challenge: Triathlon helped me change my life

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. CNN is looking for viewers like Henley to join our 2012 Challenge. Click "Share Your Story" to apply.

It has been almost a year since I applied to be a part of CNN Six Pack. When I applied, I had been trying to get in shape for the past several years, but could not seem to follow through. So, I thought if I did the CNN challenge, it would motivate me to get fit or at the very least, hold me accountable. So I decided to submit a video. As I thought about what to say, I decided that I would just be honest and plainly spoke into my webcam and sent my video.

I remember getting the call on Christmas Eve from Dr. Sanjay Gupta indicating that I was chosen to be a member of the Six Pack. I was so excited, but said to myself, “I have to do this.” I must say that this was an incredibly hard challenge for me, but it was so rewarding.

I still remember when I first arrived at Well-Fit Triathlon Training Center for my first workout where I was constantly stopping and could not continuously exercise for more than 2 minutes. Then came the small breakthroughs: my old belt being too big, biking 20 miles, running a mile without stopping and finally crossing the finish line in New York. I cannot believe that I did it. I realized that this journey was going to be more than 6 months and that it would take additional time to reach my goals, but I am so glad that I took this first step. It has helped me begin to change my life.


Tri Challenge: The day I changed my life
November 10th, 2011
03:22 PM ET

Tri Challenge: The day I changed my life

Dr. Scott Zahn 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 Zahn has kept up his new healthy lifestyle and recently signed up to race a Half Ironman next year. CNN is looking for viewers like Zahn to join our 2012 Challenge. Click "Share Your Story" to apply.

Anniversary noun: A date that people remember because something important happened on that date in the past, as in a wedding anniversary.

Today I am celebrating a health and fitness anniversary. November 10, 2010 was the day that I entered the CNN Fit Nation Challenge and decided that I needed to make some changes in my life to lead a healthier and fit lifestyle.

The reasons that I entered the challenge were many, but primarily I needed to do it for myself. I needed to take charge of my health. The journey started the following day with a trip to the gym to start the process.
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Tri Challenge: Paying it forward
Nina Lovel's first place tile, made a child at the Open Door Home, a beneficiary of the RACE Rome Sprint Triathlon.
October 14th, 2011
11:30 AM ET

Tri Challenge: Paying it forward

These two months since the NYC Tri have gone by as quickly as the six that preceded it, because life is well, just so different now.

First of all, I have never stopped moving. I did rest for a week following NYC, but soon I was back to swimming, biking and running nearly every day, because I felt so good I did not want to lose any of the fitness I had worked so hard to attain. Also, not only my body, but my APPETITE had become accustomed to that high level of activity, so stopping was never an option.

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Tri Challenge: Life as a triathlete
August 18th, 2011
07:30 AM ET

Tri Challenge: Life as a triathlete

I did it, I really did it! I completed the NYC Triathlon, to the very best of my ability, and my homecoming week has been spectacular! The memories and emotions of this life-changing event will generate more than one blog, but right now I want to re-live the technical and physical highlights, starting with the days leading up to the event.

Each of us in the 6-Pack had local trainers, coaches that became friends along the way. The plan that my coach John gave me was simple, practical, and worked perfectly into my lifestyle. Each Sunday he e-mailed me a schedule of swim/bike/run workouts to do for the week. The activities were staggered, and I had freedom to switch them up if needed, but the easiest thing for me was to just do what he prescribed. We trained together at times, and he led me on my first 5-mile run and my first 20-mile bike ride.

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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.

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