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Race day through the eyes of a triathlete
September 27th, 2012
09:04 AM ET

Race day through the eyes of a triathlete

Editor's Note: Adrienne LaGier Forgette is one of seven CNN viewers selected to train for and compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon, which took place on September 16 in California.  Adrienne and her husband Chris did the race together, just two weeks after their wedding. This is her race day journal.

As I walk up to our pre-race meeting and delicious vegan feast at Rich Roll’s house in Malibu, the song "Home" by Philip Phillips pipes through the room.

     Settle down… it will all be clear…

     Don’t pay no mind to the demons they fill you with fear

     Trouble it might drag you down.

     Just know you’re not alone…

     I’m gonna make this place your home.

After dinner, the pep talks began.  Sarah Reinertsen reminds us of our power and strength.  One of our producers, Caitlin, shares that 7 million people have read our blogs on CNN and have connected to our stories. Chrissie Wellington tells us that our potential is limitless.
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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


September 18th, 2012
03:52 PM ET

Astronaut marks first triathlon in space

The CNN Fit Nation Lucky 7 get major props for finishing the Nautica Malibu Triathlon this weekend, and so does NASA astronaut Sunita Williams.

Williams did the swimming, biking and running events aboard the International Space Station using exercise equipment specialized for space.  This makes her the first person ever to complete a triathlon in space.

“I’m happy to be done," she said after finishing her activities. "It wasn’t easy, and I’m sure everyone out in California is excited to be done, too.”

She said via NASA TV that her watch said it took her 1:48:43 for the three events and the transitions, although getting from one activity to another is a little different in space than for Earthlings.

Williams used the onboard stationary bicycle for biking and the space station's treadmill for running. There's no pool on the station, however, so she used a simulated weight-lifting system.

After finishing, Williams gave a shout out to CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta "who is really interested in health and fitness," she said.

Williams is currently the International Space Station Commander for the Expedition 33 crew.


Going 'old-school' at the Malibu triathlon
Michael Martinez, in foreground, and teammates finish up an ocean swim in preparation for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon.
September 14th, 2012
07:22 AM ET

Going 'old-school' at the Malibu triathlon

Editors' note: Michael Martinez is a CNN Wire newsdesk editor based in Los Angeles who trained for his first triathlon with the Time Warner Fit Nation team.  Martinez will race the Nautica Malibu Triathlon on Sunday with teams for CNN and Warner Bros.

Before the sun rises every Sunday, I load the bicycle on a car rack, pack goggles and running shoes, and join dozens of other weekend athletes preparing for their first triathlon.

Inspired by CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta and his example of average folk improving their health by entering in a “tri,” I’m at last readying mind and body for an endurance race of swimming, cycling and running.

This is no ordinary triathlon. It’s the Malibu Triathlon. And it’s Malibeautiful. Here, the mountains meet the sea. The long arc of Zuma Beach is the center stage, and it evokes all the beauty that makes Southern California a paradise.
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September 13th, 2012
07:36 AM ET

Making your health a priority, even on the road

Editor's Note: In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed.  This week we take a closer look at Glenn Keller, who 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.  Here are his thoughts on this journey.

Well, there are only a few days left.

There is a little nervousness and a lot of excitement that we have made it to this point.  When friends and family notice the weight I've lost and comment about how much better I look, it can only be compared to how much better I feel.

I look forward to being able to cross the finish line in Malibu with the rest of my teammates on Sunday. I'm not sure if any of us knew this is where we would be at this point of our lives. I know I didn't, but it is giving me such a sense of accomplishment - so much so that I haven't even done the first triathlon yet, but I find myself looking forward to paying my own way just so I can participate next year. FULL POST


Bride's vows: 'In fitness and in health'
Adrienne LaGier and her husband, Chris, after their wedding -- two weeks before the Malibu triathlon.
September 12th, 2012
07:10 AM ET

Bride's vows: 'In fitness and in health'

Editor's note: Adrienne LaGier is one of seven CNN viewers training for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta. In the week leading up to the triathlon, each of the "Lucky 7" is sharing his or her thoughts on the journey.

In my application video, I told CNN that the biggest gift I could give to my husband Chris was to start our married life off in “fitness and in health."  My teammate, Nancy, so kindly captured those words in a handcrafted wedding gift to us that will forever serve as a symbol of this promise.

This journey has definitely given us that gift. We danced to every song the night of our wedding without leaving the dance floor once.

We thank CNN for making that a reality -– along with making my teammate Glenn’s journey to be the officiant at our wedding possible after he got stranded due to Hurricane Isaac.

Never in a million years did I think I would spend my honeymoon competing in a triathlon. FULL POST


Triathlon isn't easy, but the work is worth it
Carlos Solis goes for a long run during the Fit Nation training trip in May.
September 11th, 2012
12:52 PM ET

Triathlon isn't easy, but the work is worth it

Editor's note: Carlos Solis is one of seven CNN viewers training for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  In the week leading up to the triathlon, each of the "Lucky 7" is sharing his or her thoughts on the journey.

To be perfectly honest, when I applied to be one of the “Six Pack” last November, I wasn’t too sure what was involved in training for and completing a triathlon. What I was sure of was I desperately needed and wanted to make serious changes in managing my health or else I would be suffering permanent and painful consequences.

Ten months later, I’m feeling healthier and stronger, and I know a heck of a lot more about my body and how it functions, particularly with diabetes.

Training has not been easy for me, though. I can recall times when back spasms were getting the best of me after a long distance bike ride and thinking “I’ll never get past this,” or when I was sucking on my inhaler after only a mile run. FULL POST


'Bionic blonde' uses triathlon to take control
September 10th, 2012
09:55 AM ET

'Bionic blonde' uses triathlon to take control

Editor's note: Denise Castelli 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.

Is Malibu really less than a week away?

For the past 18 days, I've been living out of a hotel in Manhattan, working as a "ball woman" at the U.S. Open.

Since I've been spending my time out on the court, I haven't had much time to think about our impending doom ... er... I mean Malibu.

I haven't been waking up every morning staring at the digital countdown clock, a gift from Jeff Dauler to our team. I haven't had that puking sensation in my stomach for quite some time, but alas, here it is.
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Smoke-free for seven months... and counting
September 7th, 2012
02:42 PM ET

Smoke-free for seven months... and counting

Editor's note: Rick Morris 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.

In addition to visiting all the micro-breweries in Asheville, North Carolina, every bucket list should contain the goal of completing a triathlon.

It just makes plain 'ole sense. Why? Well, for starters, this former smoker and couch “tater” knows how the rewards of tough training and a commitment to prevail teaches a man how to feel better and live stronger.

Yeah, it's me... Appalachian Rick. I'm the same feller who recently discovered the tasty bean paste plenty of folk call “hummus." That's right, the guy who told Dr. Sanjay Gupta that he was fed up with the cancer sticks. The guy who as of today (September 4, 2012) has been smoke-free for 7 months.

You know me as one of the Lucky Seven.
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Racing with our pinky fingers in the air
Nancy Klinger, right, runs out of the ocean after a trianing swim in Hawaii.
September 6th, 2012
10:38 AM ET

Racing with our pinky fingers in the air

Editor's note: Nancy Klinger 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.

Nine months ago I sent in a video submission to CNN that shared why I wanted to be selected as a participant. I just took a look at my video and can’t believe how far I have come.

Last year I felt alone, sad, and scared. I had lost my drive and competitiveness and, more importantly, had lost my spirit. The joy in my life was gone.

Sending in the video was my way of asking for help. My focus was on finding a way to improve my emotional health, which in turn would also improve my physical health. Just sending in the submission was a big step, and I started to take baby steps to get back to being me.

Then it happened; I was selected as one of the participants and I haven’t looked back.
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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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