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Crossing the finish line
August 11th, 2011
01:42 PM ET

Tri Challenge: 'I still can't believe that I did it'

Scott Zahn wrote this blog a day after finishing the Nautica New York City Triathlon as part of the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. 

It has been just over 24 hours since I completed the NYC Triathlon and I guess I can officially call myself a triathlete. I felt confident going into the race, but it was much tougher than I thought it would be. The swim was challenging, the bike felt good and the run was a struggle – but I crossed that finish line.

Over the past 24 hours I have had some time to reflect on my accomplishment. I still can’t believe that I did it. I completed something that a year ago I would have never even considered. The race ended and everyone wanted to know “would you do it again?” My reply: “That water is gross. I don’t know if I want to get in that again.” Fast forward 24 hours and I’m looking at future events and thinking about the next challenge.

Being able to finish the race has been energizing and invigorating. I enjoy working towards a goal instead of just “working out.” Could the 2012 NYC Tri be one of those goals? Now that the taste and smell of the Hudson River is gone I think I could do it again. Before I set that as my goal though there are still other events to swim, bike and run. I am a triathlete and that’s what we do, right?!


For 6-Pack, a landmark day
August 7th, 2011
04:22 PM ET

For 6-Pack, a landmark day

They did it! CNN's Sixpack,  Joaquin Brignoni, Stasia Cirricione, Kendrick Henley, Nina Lovel, Kas Seerla, and Scott Zahn,  are officially triathletes after successfully completing the Nautica New York City Triathlon on Sunday, as part of the Fit Nation 2011 Triathlon Challenge.

The adventure began bright and early when the group met at 3:40 a.m. to be shuttled over to the race site. It was pouring rain and a little chilly but nothing could dampen the morning's excitement. After a delayed race start, the Sixpack jumped in to the Hudson around 6:40 a.m. All finished the race, with Joaquin Brignoni coming in first for the 6-Pack.

FULL POST


Gupta heads to Somalia, will miss triathlon
August 6th, 2011
07:21 PM ET

Gupta heads to Somalia, will miss triathlon

Months of planning and training have led to this weekend, the Nautica New York City Triathlon. But in the business of journalism, one cardinal rule is that well laid plans often change, some times at the last minute, for the sake of another plan, or another story that needs to be told.

Such is the case with this weekend. Dr. Sanjay Gupta planned to race the triathlon with six iReporters who have been training since February. But the devastating situation is Somalia demands the world's attention.  Gupta found out less than 36 hours before the start of the race that he'd be heading to Africa this weekend, and not jumping in the Hudson.

He'll be covering the famine and resulting humanitarian crisis in Somalia, alongside CNN's Anderson Cooper.

FULL POST


Tri Challenge/Nina: A thousand changes
Photo by Derek Bell, used with permission of V3 Magazine
August 5th, 2011
01:44 PM ET

Tri Challenge/Nina: A thousand changes

Since January, six iReporters have been training in the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. We’re following along as they prepare to compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the August 7 Nautica NYC Triathlon.  During their last week before the race, we asked each of them the following questions: What's the biggest change you've seen in yourself since kick-off weekend? What are your personal goals for the Tri?"

This weekend, "Sanjay Gupta, M.D." will be live from New York at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday. Watch the culmination of our team's training

Well my bags are packed and in the car, ready for an early morning drive to the airport, where my next task will be to conquer NYC! I have saved writing this until the last minute in order to savor the memories the last six months of my life for as long as possible. I have made thousands of precious memories that I will relish till the day I die. Some of the memories are foggy, perhaps because I was slightly hypoxic when they were made. But many are what I call “glass dome moments” – those happy, glowing moments in your life that are so pleasant that you want to cover them with a glass dome to preserve them forever. FULL POST


Tri Challenge/Joaquin: Moving the goalpost forward
August 5th, 2011
10:02 AM ET

Tri Challenge/Joaquin: Moving the goalpost forward

Since January, six iReporters have been training in the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. We’re following along as they prepare to compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the August 7 Nautica NYC Triathlon.  During their last week before the race, we asked each of them the following questions: What's the biggest change you've seen in yourself since kick-off weekend? What are your personal goals for the Tri?"

This weekend, "Sanjay Gupta, M.D." will be live from New York at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday. Watch the culmination of our team's training

Six months of intense training are about to be tested and I can't wait to experience my first triathlon.

The journey to get here has been filled with ups and downs but all worth it. From struggling to wake up for 4:30 a.m. training sessions to making major lifestyle changes including going from a struggling self-employed business owner to a marketing director for a water conservation company all within those six months.

Looking back at life from our kickoff weekend this February I have undergone some major life changes.

FULL POST


Sanjay and triathlon: A Reset button
August 5th, 2011
08:41 AM ET

Sanjay and triathlon: A Reset button

Since January, six iReporters have been training in the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. We’re following along as they prepare to compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the August 7 Nautica NYC Triathlon.  During their last week before the race, we asked each of them the following questions: What's the biggest change you've seen in yourself since kickoff weekend? What are your personal goals for the tri?"

This weekend, "Sanjay Gupta, M.D." will be live from New York at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday. Watch the culmination of our team's training

A couple of years ago, I was worried I had become too complacent and full of too many excuses. A bowl of ice cream was justified almost every day. Hadn’t my day been so busy? A little treat was warranted. Exercise was always the first thing to fall off the map with a busy work life and a house full of three small children. “Tomorrow will come, and I will make a change,” I kept telling myself. Problem is – the tomorrows always came, without fail. And, the changes never happened, without fail.

I needed a reset button, and I had a pretty good idea how to do it. It would need to be drastic, in my case. It would also have to appeal to my inner competitive spirit, and changes would need to be visible immediately. I decided to sign up for a triathlon, and to tell everyone about it. After doing that, I would need to own it. 

Two years later, as I finish training for my second triathlon, which is this Sunday, I write this blog as a changed man. Besides the obvious fitness benefits and the compliments from my wife, which come more frequently, I have become better at managing my time, setting priorities and practicing what I preach. My diet improved, because it had to improve. I simply felt too sluggish during a training ride if I had indulged the night before. I came to enjoy exercise, relish it, almost need it. Remarkably, despite adding another significant time commitment, I found I was getting more done in my life overall.

FULL POST


Tri Challenge/Scott:  Seeing changes and feeling ready
Scott Zahn poses with two of his trainers, Corey Kunzer and Regan Kust.
August 4th, 2011
03:12 PM ET

Tri Challenge/Scott: Seeing changes and feeling ready

Since January, six iReporters have been training in the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. We’re following along as they prepare to compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the August 7 Nautica NYC Triathlon.  During their last week before the race, we asked each of them the following questions: What's the biggest change you've seen in yourself since kick-off weekend? What are your personal goals for the tri?"

This weekend, "Sanjay Gupta, M.D." will be live from New York at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday. Watch the culmination of our team's training

"Dr Zahn, are you alright?"
"You look so different. I hope you're not sick."
"I barely recognized you."

Since kickoff weekend I get to hear comments like this every day. Physically I look like a different guy. I have lost about 60 pounds, dropped 6 inches off my waist, and gone from XXL to L in shirt size. I continue to be amazed at the physical changes in my appearance. I actually have muscles! I knew they were there, but I can actually see them now, not a bunch of flab and fat. These changes bring along other changes. All of the clothes that I wore a year ago are either at Goodwill or shoved to the back of the closet. Workout clothes that I bought before Atlanta are gathering dust as they haven’t been worn in months because they are too big. Clothes that I bought for Hawaii don’t fit anymore. I am sure that all my friends and co-workers are getting sick of seeing the same clothes.

FULL POST


Tri Challenge/Stasia: I don't make excuses anymore
August 4th, 2011
12:04 PM ET

Tri Challenge/Stasia: I don't make excuses anymore

Since January, six iReporters have been training in the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. We’re following along as they prepare to compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the August 7 Nautica NYC Triathlon.  During their last week before the race, we asked each of them the following questions: What's the biggest change you've seen in yourself since kick-off weekend? What are your personal goals for the tri?"

This weekend, "Sanjay Gupta, M.D." will be live from New York at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday. Watch the culmination of our team's training

We all make excuses why we can’t do something. I’m too busy, I’m not a runner, I’ve got to make dinner, I’ve had a long day at work, etc.

Before signing up for the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge, I made excuses. Some of them were partially true; others were nothing but cop-outs for my laziness and fear of failure. It’s easy to procrastinate and say, “I’ll go work out tomorrow." It’s much harder to buckle down and get it done.

FULL POST


Tri Challenge/Kendrick: I've come so far
Kendrick with his triathlon coaches Keith Klebacha and Mary Ann Sedor
August 3rd, 2011
05:24 PM ET

Tri Challenge/Kendrick: I've come so far

Since January, six iReporters have been training in the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. We’re following along as they prepare to compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the August 7 Nautica NYC Triathlon.  During their last week before the race, we asked each of them the following questions: What's the biggest change you've seen in yourself since kick-off weekend? What are your personal goals for the tri?"

This weekend, "Sanjay Gupta, M.D." will be live from  New York at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday. Watch the culmination of  our team's training

I am less than one week away from my first triathlon and it has been an amazing six months. While there have been some setbacks and disappointments, I am glad that I took this first step.

The biggest change I have seen in myself has been increased confidence. I remember when I first met my trainers in January and was not sure that I could actually complete a triathlon. I was a bona-fide coach potato and remember how after a few strokes in the endless pool I was out of breath.

Last week in Lake Michigan, I swam almost a mile and was able to settle into a rhythm and regulate my breathing.

FULL POST


Tri Challenge/Kas: This is just the beginning
Kas Seerla with her tri group in Naperville, IL
August 3rd, 2011
04:53 PM ET

Tri Challenge/Kas: This is just the beginning

Since January, six iReporters have been training in the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. We’re following along as they prepare to compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the August 7 Nautica NYC Triathlon.  During their last week before the race, we asked each of them the following questions: What's the biggest change you've seen in yourself since kickoff weekend? What are your personal goals for the Tri?"

This weekend, "Sanjay Gupta, M.D." will be live from New York at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday. Watch the culmination of our team's training

Before I started writing this blog, I went and reread and my first blog on why I wanted to do a triathlon. I am proud to say that I pretty much achieved what I set out to do.

First, I did something new, hard and totally outside my comfort zone. Being a mom of two very young kids, you fall into a routine, and stick with what you know best. No time for surprises. That was me. I was doing the minimum of going to the gym, one hour a day, 2-3 times a week. Since the training started, my whole view of getting and being fit has taken a 180 degree turn. My body is able to handle 2-3 hrs of training at a stretch. I am able to take my bike and go for a spin outside with other moms. I was able to take my husband on his first bike ride after his knee surgery. I took my kids to a shallow river and let them play in it with me. My world has opened up as well as those around me.

FULL POST


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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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