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I am a triathlete! Isn't that absurd?
Jeff Dauler crosses the finish line at the 2012 Nautica Malibu Triathlon in California.
September 19th, 2012
07:29 AM ET

I am a triathlete! Isn't that absurd?

Editors' note: Jeff Dauler, a radio host from Atlanta, Georgia, is one of seven CNN viewers who was selected to be a part of the Fit Nation Triathlon program. All of the "Lucky 7" crossed the finish line in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon on Sunday. 

A gun, some cheers, and then scores of red caps dash off into the Pacific. I watch the pro and elite triathletes swim toward the first turn buoy as I walk to the starting area with my team. In five minutes I'll be in that ocean. I am calm, peaceful, happy. Confident. Excited.

I separate from my team and walk to the very back of the corral, and all the way to the left. I want to be the last one in the water, and I want to be far left so I could use the current as much as possible.

Announcement: “Three minutes until second wave start!”

Next to me, I see one racer tap the woman in front of her on the shoulder. There was a problem with her wetsuit collar and he wanted to fix it for her. Kindness in the heat of battle. FULL POST


Get up, get moving and get to what's next
September 5th, 2012
11:01 AM ET

Get up, get moving and get to what's next

Jeff Dauler, a radio host from Atlanta, Georgia, is one of seven CNN viewers selected to be a part of the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge program. In the week leading up to the Nautica Malibu Triathlon, each of the "Lucky 7" will share his or her thoughts on the journey.

About halfway through our training trip to Kona, Hawaii, all the athletes were called to one of the CNN staff rooms at the resort. There was a surprise waiting for us; the Fit Nation organizers LOVE surprises.

In that room, we were all handed packages that contained our official race uniforms. In the triathlon world, it is called a "kit." It's shorts and a tank top that you wear during all three sports: under your wetsuit in the swim, on the bike and during the run.

It's skin tight.
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Sweaty, ugly and looking for a reason to stop
June 10th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Sweaty, ugly and looking for a reason to stop

Jeff Dauler is one of seven CNN viewers training for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Recently Dauler and the rest of his teammates traveled to Hawaii for a week of intensive training.

The highlight of my trip to Hawaii was the 30+ mile bike ride that we took one morning with Dr. Gupta and Ironman champ Chris Lieto.

We rode from our resort into Kona, stopping at mile 25 to tape some TV stuff and go for a short run. Obviously, completing the ride was a big deal. But, at the risk of sounding too cliche, it was the journey and not the destination that made that day so important to me.

About 12 of us left the resort as a group, and by the time we were a few miles into the adventure, ability divided us into smaller pockets of riders. I was soon left in the dust by Lieto and Gupta as they powered up the hills along the busy (and very windy) Queen K highway - part of the actual Ironman course.

I kept pressing forward as I saw my teammates' red jerseys get farther and farther away, until they were gone. When I finally got the courage to look behind me, I didn't see anyone there either. I was a one-man Hawaiian wolfpack, on a bike, hoping I'd find the correct turn before I circled the whole island. Just me and the hills.
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Quad-athlon: Swim. Bike. Run. Inspire!
May 17th, 2012
09:12 AM ET

Quad-athlon: Swim. Bike. Run. Inspire!

Editor's note: Jeff Dauler, a radio host from Atlanta, Georgia, is one of seven CNN viewers selected to be a part of the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge program. The "Lucky 7" is in Hawaii this week as part of their training for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon this September, alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

My CNN Fit Nation teammates added a fourth "sport" to our triathlon while discussing the impact our shared journey was having on the people around us.

Denise Castelli's father was starting to eat healthy and lose weight. Carlos Solis' students were participating in a 100-mile club at his school. Glenn Keller's hometown of Burleston, Texas, created an entire 5k in his honor, to encourage the whole community to get healthy.

Swim. Bike. Run. Inspire.

This adventure isn't our own, but is shared with people within our reach. We were all thinking pretty selfishly when we accepted Dr. Gupta's challenge, and we've all been surprised by that aspect of the program.

My reach is a bit larger than the others on the team. I happen to be a personality on a radio show that's currently heard in three cities, and (knock on wood) does pretty well. Dr. Gupta joined the show in the studio this past January to announce my participation in the challenge, and the listeners responded in a big way ... but not really as I expected.
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April Fool's Day resolution: 'Restarting my restart'
Jeff Dauler, second from left, performs basketball drills with the Atlanta Hawks during kickoff weekend.
March 29th, 2012
05:30 AM ET

April Fool's Day resolution: 'Restarting my restart'

Jeff Dauler is one of seven CNN viewers participating in the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. Three months into the program, he's using the month of April to reaffirm his commitment to an active lifestyle.

"I'm doing a triathlon in 2012" is one sentence that contains a couple dozen New Year's resolutions. I needed to train every day. Eat healthy. Go to bed early. Drink more water. Drink less beer. Manage my time better. Blog frequently. Give my life over to my coach. Make the triathlon a priority, no matter what.

That announcement was almost three months ago. I've come far … but not far enough.

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The ticket that changed my life
Jeff Dauler (front) works out with his teammates and Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the Atlanta Hawks practice court.
February 13th, 2012
02:18 PM ET

The ticket that changed my life

Editor's Note: Jeff Dauler, a radio host from Atlanta, Georgia, is one of seven CNN viewers selected to be a part of the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge program.  Each athlete receives all the tools necessary to train for and compete in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon this September, alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  The seven athletes met up two weeks ago in Atlanta for the official kickoff of the program.

It was a day or two after kick-off weekend, and I finally had a few minutes to tidy up my house. The week or two prior were the types of weeks where everything falls into the "I'll get to it next week" category, so there was a fair amount of clutter to tackle.

I started at my desk and began opening mail, sorting receipts, filing paperwork, discarding trash. I came across the ticket to the Atlanta Hawks game that I attended with my new CNN Fit Nation triathlon family, and I quickly tossed it into the wastebasket beneath my desk.

I've been working in radio almost two decades. I've attended enough concerts, events, and games to fill multiple photo albums with used tickets. I don't keep them.
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Future triathlete: It's time to schedule everything
Jeff says his busy and disorganized schedule was his biggest obstacle to fitting fitness into his schedule (left). His first order of business in the Fit Nation Challenge was to spend time scheduling everything in his online calendar (right).
February 1st, 2012
12:07 PM ET

Future triathlete: It's time to schedule everything

Editor's Note: Jeff Dauler is one of 7 people selected to train for and compete in the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge.  Each participant gets all of the training and gear necessary to compete in the race, and they'll finish their journey in September at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon.  A very busy guy, Jeff is the co-host and executive producer of The Bert Show, a nationally-syndicated radio program. He has realized that time management is going to be his biggest hurdle.

Here was my Facebook status update: "Know what the hardest part of the triathlon training has been so far? Time management."

Here's an email from Matt, one of the Fit Nation producers, that I received exactly 8 minutes later: "I just saw your post on Facebook about time management. Not to add to your list, but think you could write a blog for us about that by next Monday? 300-500 words?"

And that's how it happens. Plans destroyed by something I wasn't planning on. A blog request from my Fit Nation producers. A lunch invite with a business associate. Drinks with a friend. Traffic. Weather.
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Tri Challenge: I am excited to be excited
January 7th, 2012
08:15 AM ET

Tri Challenge: I am excited to be excited

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?)
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January 5th, 2012
07:53 AM ET

CNN Tri Challenge: Introducing our 2012 team

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:
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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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