January 13th, 2012
07:10 AM ET
Every day this week, we've introduced you to one member of the 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge team. Today, meet Carlos Solis, an elementary school teacher who is trying to avoid what his family's history of diabetes might have in store for him.
Hi, my name is Carlos Solis. I am 49 years old, married for 28 great years and have three beautiful children, ages 20, 18 and 7.
I have been an elementary public school teacher for almost 14 years. Prior to that, I held down a few jobs, including serving in the U.S. Air Force, but none have been more challenging or rewarding than being in the classroom.
A few years ago, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I come from a family of diabetics, including aunts, uncles and, more significantly, my mom and older brother. My mom passed away several years ago and my brother is currently suffering from complications of kidney failure. He is on dialysis three days a week and has had several surgeries to help him get through. He recently has lost sight from his left eye and has very limited vision in his right.
January 12th, 2012
07:38 AM ET
Every day this week, CNN will introduce you to one member of the 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge team. Today meet Denise Castelli. As a recent amputee, Denise is searching for a way to reclaim the feeling of being a competitive athlete that she cherished before her accident.
I’ve learned a lot about support over these past few years. I often stop and think to myself that I don’t know where I’d be without my family, friends, the support of my community and the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
In April 2008, I was your ordinary senior in college. Well, maybe not entirely ordinary. I was an NCAA softball player, as well as a dean’s list student at the University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut. I was only looking forward to my next journey: Life after college. With graduation around the corner, I couldn’t help but think about the world of possibilities that were out there for me.
But on April 22, 2008, tragedy struck. During one of the final games of that season (and ultimately my career), I took off from first base on a steal, headed for second and broke my leg. I can still remember hearing the snap and the instant pain that I felt.
January 11th, 2012
07:18 AM ET
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.
January 10th, 2012
07:43 AM ET
Every day this week, CNN will introduce you to one member of the 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge team. Today meet Nancy Klinger, who says significant life changes have left her feeling lonely and searching for a goal.
On November 15, 2011, I did something crazy by my standards: I sent in a video submission to be selected as a member of the 2012 CNN FitNation Triathlon Team! My submission was titled "Triathlon for Emotional Health."
The past few years have been emotionally challenging for me, starting sadly with the unexpected death of my sister and ending with a separation from my husband. In addition, my youngest child left for college and I found myself alone. My emotional state has been teetering toward depression and I decided that it was time for a jump start.
The mind is like a seesaw and just a small change in thought one way or the other can make all the difference. I certainly did not think that I would even be considered, especially given all of the inspiring submissions, but just the act of taking a chance added some light to my life.
January 9th, 2012
02:23 PM ET
Every day this week, CNN will introduce you to one member of the 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge team. Today, meet Rick Morris, a web developer and volunteer firefighter who hopes to kick his smoking habit and improve his odds for living a long life.
It was the week before Christmas when I got a call from the CNN Fit Nation team. I happened to be finishing up a vehicle fire call with my department when it came in. After a 10 or 15 minute interview, I felt I would be hearing from them again.
A few days later, CNN Medical news producer Matt Sloane asked if I would meet with him on Skype to go over a few things. I agreed and we connected the next day - December 22, 2011.
January 8th, 2012
08:24 AM ET
Each day from now until next Friday, CNN will introduce you to one member of the 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge team. Today meet Adrienne LaGier, who avoided having a physical for seven years out of fear of what her doctor would say.
Fear of needles. Time. Time to call the office, clear my schedule, get a babysitter. And money. Those have been my excuses over the past seven years for not seeing a family doctor.
I mean going to the ob/gyn once a year is good enough, right? Are two doctors really necessary?
I went for 2.5 years without health insurance. The girls were infants, and I was not married to their self-employed father. I was a broke, stay-at-home mom. Working part-time for the community college and starting a direct-selling business didn’t help me in the health insurance department.
My birthday is July 11 (7/11), and I was told once that gamblers would pay to have me head to Vegas with them. Fortunately, I’ve been lucky in the health department too. No broken bones. No serious illnesses. No need to start a relationship with a doctor I didn’t "need." Right?
January 7th, 2012
08:15 AM ET
Each day from now until next Friday, CNN will introduce you to one member of the 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge team. Today meet Jeff Dauler, an Atlanta-area radio host who joined our team after struggling with a divorce and other personal challenges.
By the time you read this you'll know that I have agreed to participate in the Malibu Triathlon and document my journey there for Dr. Sanjay Gupta and CNN. But these were my thoughts the evening before revealing this adventure on my radio show.
Wednesday, January 4, 8 p.m.
Is this really happening?
In 12 hours, there's no turning back. In 12 hours, Dr. Gupta announces to my co-workers, family, friends and anyone else tuned into The Bert Show that in a few short months I will be swimming in the ocean, biking up and down hills and running for a finish line. All in the same day, one after the other. I'll be a triathlete.
(Technical question: If you attempt, but don't finish, a triathlon, are you still a triathlete?)
January 5th, 2012
07:53 AM ET
The 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge is officially underway! This year we have selected seven CNN viewers just like you to train for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Each person will be given a road bike and all of its accessories, a wet suit, and a gym membership. In turn, they will blog, tweet, and share their workouts, from now until race day in mid-September, on Facebook.
We invite you to follow along as the "Lucky 7" train to swim a half mile in the ocean, bike 18 miles, and run four miles in California! So without further ado, meet our new team:
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.