July 1st, 2010
05:34 PM ET

As triathlon nears, athlete feels real change

Back in January, CNN selected six lucky viewers to compete alongside Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the Nautica New York City Triathlon this July. Among the "six pack" was Linda Fisher-Lewis, a retired police officer from Mollala, Oregon.

When Linda sent her video application, she told of a tragic car accident that forced her to give up a 20-year career in law enforcement. That, in combination with the loss of her brother the following year put Linda into somewhat of a funk.

"I've been involved in community service most of my life, and I've known since the age of 12 that law enforcement was the job for me," she said in her entry video. "The tragedy has been difficult on my family as well as myself."

Before starting the challenge, Linda's doctors had cleared her to go back to law enforcement, but her confidence level was low, and she was still afraid that her injuries could put others at risk.

"The real big risk is – am I able to cover an officer that's in danger or am I able to help a citizen that's in danger when I really don't have that power, the strength or the ability to do it," she said.

But, she felt the triathlon was the perfect test  and a great way to regain the confidence necessary to return to the road.

"I felt that if I couldn't do the triathlon, I probably wouldn't be safe to work."

Linda Fisher-Lewis checks in to update us on her progress towards the Nautica New York City Triathlon

Now, five months into her training, Linda is arguably the strongest of the six competitors, and has an intensive training schedule. On average, she's cycling close to 100 miles per week, swimming four to six miles, and running 9 to 12 miles each week.

"I am building my confidence, getting back to my life and back to being myself."

Linda says she will succeed no matter what.

"I am going to cross the finish line. I could be carrying my bike or dragging a leg or something, but I'll get there."

Her only trepidation going into the homestretch?

"I'm definitely scared to death swimming in the Hudson. It's been a big fear for me!"

Linda also says everyone around here is noticing the change.

"Everyone sees the difference in me," she said. "My husband says he has the old me back. People at work are really inspired. Many have started working out and losing weight! I think there has been a big impact on me and the people around me."

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Dr Bill Toth

    I love this series of stories...average people taking ACTION to improve their situation, fitness and life.
    An inspiration to many many other.
    Live With Intention,

    July 16, 2010 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Juana

    Since what you have done is make a broad sweeping smtetaent let me be the one to provide the question.#1. How many Satellite constellations are there revolving around the Earth.#2. How many Satellites are in the Teledesic Constellation and what are they used for#3. Why can Inmerasat cover the entire global maritime communications with only 4 satellites#4. What is the US Government doing with the Irridium satellite network abondoned by Motorola#5. If the Chinese destroyed a satellite, how did they do it and which one got destroyed. Who owned it, what was its function.#6 etc etc

    March 5, 2012 at 21:47 | Report abuse | Reply

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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.