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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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Zahn: I weigh less than I have in 20 years
May 26th, 2011
02:38 PM ET

Zahn: I weigh less than I have in 20 years

In baseball slang the phrase “hitting below the Mendoza line” refers to a player having a batting average below .200. If you want to continue to play Major League Baseball you better not hit below the Mendoza Line.

I am happy to say that I am below my Mendoza Line for the first time in over 20 years.

The line I am referring to is the 200 pound line. When I started this adventure back in November my weight was 261 pounds and the thought of being under 200 was inconceivable.
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Dad was motivation for entering the challenge
April 6th, 2011
04:55 PM ET

Dad was motivation for entering the challenge

What is the one thing that you cannot change about yourself? Your family history. As I have said before, my family history is not great. Hypertension, diabetes, strokes are on both sides of the family.

On Tuesday, March 29, that family history reared its ugly head again. My father passed away from a heart attack. He was 73 years old. For years we have been trying to get him to change some of his ways and begin to become healthier. He always talked about having to get healthier, but his chronic diseases continued. Although he had multiple medical problems, the ending was unexpected. He died of a massive heart attack at his home in Minnesota. I always knew that this day was coming, but never expected it so soon.

Seeing my dad and his worsening medical conditions was part of the motivation to enter the CNN Fit Nation Challenge. I saw how his weight, heart problems and diabetes affected his lifestyle and his ability and willingness to be more active. I knew that if I continued on the same path I was looking at what my life would be like in 25-30 years.

Although I don’t want to end up like my dad was physically, I want to be exactly like him as a man. He was hard working, loved by everyone, always willing to help others, a great father and excellent grandfather to my children. Besides his regular full time job, he dedicated over 40 years to officiating sports- softball, volleyball, basketball and flag football. He coached me and my brothers for years of basketball, soccer and baseball. He was an athlete in his younger days and continued to play softball for many of his adult years. He spent most of his free time devoted to sports and fair play.

In the comments of my CNN bio, he had words of encouragement and said that maybe I could show him some of my exercises. Unfortunately, I did not get an opportunity to do that. I will miss my father dearly, but value the time that we had together. Although he did not set a good example from a health and fitness standpoint, he set a great example on how to be a man. Thanks Dad.


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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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