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Tri Challenge: Another gift from the Big Island
April 26th, 2011
06:55 PM ET

Tri Challenge: Another gift from the Big Island

Professional triathlete and two-time Ironman champ Tim DeBoom and his wife, former pro triathlete Nicole DeBoom, worked with CNN’s six novice triathletes last week in Hawaii, helping them train for the August 7 Nautica New York City Triathlon. They worked on the specific sports of triathlon, swimming, biking and running, as well as how to be more mentally tough.

The Big Island of Hawaii has given me many gifts over the past 20 years. Some have come as victories in the Ironman Triathlon, others as hard lessons learned through disappointment, and still more just from the beauty of exploring an incredible island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This past week, I received another unexpected gift from working with a group of people all training for their first triathlon.

When I first met the CNN 6-pack on the first morning of their trip, I could see and feel the nervousness in each of their faces. They were excited, but definitely a little unsure of what was ahead of them in the coming week.

Ironically, I was proud of them before we even started the first lecture. They were here. They had taken a chance, gone through the application process, and accepted this challenge. That was a courageous act. All of us are guilty of getting caught up in our own little worlds and letting our lives become unbalanced. Acknowledging that need for balance and then willing to make the tough changes to find it, takes courage. And to do it all under scrutiny, on national television, is downright brave.

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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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