February 11th, 2011
02:18 PM ET

CNN triathlon '6-pack' ready to go

Dr. Scott Zahn had just returned from his first physical in nearly a decade. It hadn't been a good visit; he left with multiple prescriptions to treat his high blood pressure and high LDL levels. A pediatrician and father of four,  Zahn knew he had to change his lifestyle but his usual attempts at eating healthy and going to the gym seemed to sputter out after a few short weeks. It was then that he saw the ad on CNN.com to submit an iReport for the 2011 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge.

Like the rest of the 2011 "6-pack," Zahn's journey to the Nautica New York City Triathlon began on a whim. Yet now he and his  teammates Stasia Cirricione, Kendrick Henley, Nina Lovel, Joaquin Brignoni, and Kas Seerla are on their way to racing their first ever triathlon on August 7, alongside CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The group met  for the first time at CNN's World Headquarters in Atlanta during the first weekend of February.

Over the course of three days, Fit Nation Athletic Director Laura Cozik, along with professional triathlete April Burkey, introduced the group to the many facets of triathlon. There were intense workouts that focused on the basics of swimming, cycling, and running (including a group run with Sanjay outside in the rain!), strength training sessions, a yoga class, and an in-depth nutrition lecture with Frances Largeman-Roth, a dietitian and senior nutrition editor at Health magazine. Dr. John Azar-Dickens, a sports psychologist and an Ironman triathlete,delivered a motivational lecture on cultivating mental toughness (perfect for that cold run outside).

Over the next six months, each of the "6-pack" will work in his or her hometown with a local triathlon trainer; Azar-Dickens will be coaching Nina. All will blog regularly about the challenges and milestones they encounter throughout the process.

For now, the immediate goal is putting the many lessons learned during the kickoff weekend into practice at home. Zahn dealt with that challenge almost immediately after leaving the group. His beloved Green Bay Packers were playing in Super Bowl XLV the night he flew home from Atlanta.

"Did I have a couple beers to celebrate the Packer victory?" he wrote the day after the Super Bowl. "Of course, but I got right up the next day and hit the gym."

If you would like to join the 2011 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge community, check The Chart regularly for updates from the 6-pack, plus training schedules and meal plans to follow at home.

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. cosmo

    good luck,stasia

    February 12, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. 2+2=5

    Wow, I'm such a real American that when I read six pack I was thinking the beer. Cute climate we have today, isn't it?

    February 14, 2011 at 08:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Stasia

    thx Cosmo, do i know you in real life?

    February 15, 2011 at 17:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dad

      You GO stasia win is the word.you can do it.

      February 28, 2011 at 11:34 | Report abuse |
  4. Nina Lovel- I went to college with Nina

    It would be so fun if the Townes 100 Hall from Furman could get together to cheer Nina on- I am so excited for her- Sue Richardson Browning

    June 6, 2011 at 07:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jobina

      nahh nothing spaiecl just a party (its not spaiecl cuz i go 2 one like every weekend) but i am gonna have fun like crazy im about 2 start getting ready =D party only starts around 9 but i need allot of time 2 get ready cuz there's allot of interruptions..lmao(yep bad idea getting ready with your GF)well hope u have a great Christmas's with your family ( I wish i could spend Christmas's with mine but oh well)

      September 11, 2012 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
  5. Memory Pro

    Stasia, wish you many lucks.

    July 19, 2011 at 19:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Anusha Menon

    I would like to wish Stasia all the very luck and best wishes. It is a great move. I am delighted and almost ecstatic about it. Cheers and luck!

    July 31, 2011 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. test1067

    After reading this I would really like to a become a part of 2011 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge community. Need to put off a lot of weight though. Indeed this is quite inspiring and for good.

    Ron | Phen375

    August 5, 2011 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Aariyah

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    September 11, 2012 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
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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.