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April 13th, 2010
02:32 PM ET

Its time to Believe!

By Linda Fisher-Lewis
CNN Fit Nation Challenge participant

I have to say, after three months of training it is time for the rubber to meet the road. What does that mean?  There was a lot of excitement when I was chosen for the challenge. Then the opportunity to go to New York and meet the team, the trainers, and all the other great people involved with CNN Fit Nation. Returning home, a lot of excitement about the actual triathlon and what would happen over the upcoming months.

Fit Nation Challenge participant Linda Fisher-Lewis and her trainer Richard Earle exercise together.

Fit Nation Challenge participant Linda Fisher-Lewis and her trainer Richard Earle exercise together.

Now, three months later, the excitement is wearing off and the realities of training for a triathlon and living my day-to-day life with the challenge in mind are firmly setting in.  For me, with all the trials and tribulations of my life over the past five years, I guess I have lost the belief in myself. So as training becomes more and more difficult, believing I can really do this becomes less and less real.

The reality is, I work two jobs. I have deadlines and pressures as most everyone does. Then there is the family who is constantly making sacrifices as well as my friends. I don’t want to let them down, but sometimes the aching muscles, fatigue and need for sleep seems more important then training. I find myself having to dig deep as the adventure is becoming an uphill climb.

I had to sit down with myself this last weekend and really take a look at why I am doing this challenge.  Simply put, I am doing the challenge because I want my life back.  I realize now that one of the things I lost over the last few years was the ability to believe in myself and what I can accomplish. Well, I’m fighting to get that belief back and it starts today with month four of training. I know I can do this, I know I can win back my confidence and move forward.

Realizing we need to make decisions to change our lives is one thing. Moving forward to face the challenges of those decisions is something else.  Then we must navigate the pitfalls and roadblocks that follow.  For me, only then will I start believing in myself again.  It starts now... I think I can do it.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


February 2nd, 2010
12:26 PM ET

What did I get myself into?

By Linda Fisher-Lewis
CNN Fit Nation Challenge Participant

My name is Linda Fisher-Lewis and I am very excited about the Fit Nation Challenge. I want to tell everyone how I got to the challenge but my real goal is to inspire others to change their lives. The end of the story is a phone call from CNN telling me congratulations and I was ecstatic. This was quickly followed with an “Oh crap! What did I get myself into?” Here is my story…

Linda Fisher-Lewis is a participant in the CNN Fit Nation Challenge.

Linda Fisher-Lewis is a participant in the CNN Fit Nation Challenge.

In 2006 I medically retired from law enforcement as a lieutenant after nearly 20 years. Law enforcement had been a lifelong dream that I knew would be my career since the age of 12.

After a motor vehicle accident forced my medical retirement from law enforcement, I had no idea what struggles were to follow. My retirement was very emotional; I packed my stuff in the middle of the night and never returned to the police department. I couldn’t face the people I worked with and I could not face the reality that my career had ended, a career that was really my life.

Shortly after my retirement my brother, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force was killed tragically in an accident leaving the Air Force base. My father later had a massive heart attack on the anniversary of my brother’s death, passing a few days later. Over the five years preceding my accident my husband and I lost six immediate family members. The impact on my life and the lives of my family members was unimaginable. I felt like I had lost my health and my family in a very short period of time.

I felt like I was in a hole with no way out, no career, lost family members and I myself was lost. I gained weight from not being able to exercise, and lost confidence and self-esteem not to mention the daily physical pain I had to endure. About six months ago I came to the conclusion that I was the only one who could change my life and overcome the obstacles that had been thrown my way. I needed to take control of my life and instead of being handed my path, return to the person that always developed her own path.

To make a long story short, after six months and 35 pounds lost and a lot of sit-ups, my doctor said he would release me to go back to work. He felt my recovery was nothing short of amazing. I saw Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s challenge and thought this is something I need to do. I needed to do the triathlon to prove to myself I was ready to pursue the next chapters of my life. I needed to take the challenge to show others that anyone can change her life and accomplish her goals.

Going to New York was an intimidating proposition. I come from a small town of about 3,500 people that is very rural. Neighbors are miles not blocks away. Meeting five strangers was also a bit intimidating, never mind the whole live TV thing. Pleasantly, I met five amazing people in New York that are inspiring and sincere about changing their lives and changing a nation. I left New York with five lifetime friends that I know have the ability to accomplish anything and everything as well as encourage a nation to get fit. So that is how I got here and I am excited and appreciative of the opportunity. See you at the finish line!

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


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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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