Tri Challenge: The time has finally come
August 2nd, 2011
01:55 PM ET

Tri Challenge: The time has finally come

It’s hard to believe that the Nautica New York City Triathlon is this coming weekend.

It seems like just yesterday that we chose six iReporters to become members our 2011 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge team, known as the "6-pack.” Their specific reasons for entering the contest varied, but all had a goal of making real, meaningful change in their lives. Since that day, watching their transformation, week after week, has been incredibly inspiring.

When we first spoke to him, last December, Dr. Scott Zahn shared with us how determined he was to get off of the blood pressure and cholesterol medications he’d been put on that very day.

Kas Seerla told us that she had never been encouraged to play sports as a kid, and she knew it was time to focus on getting in shape. She had two young kids and no idea how she would fit the training into her busy schedule, but she was willing to try.

Kendrick Henley was disgusted with how much weight he had put on since college, and at only 25, he knew it wasn’t too late to fix it. He was apprehensive about taking the challenge, but knew he needed something like this to make sustainable changes in his life.

Stasia Cirricione said she’d grown up in a soda pop and fried foods family in the Midwest, and knew there was better food out there. Yet she didn’t really have the information she needed to eat a healthy diet.

Joaquin Brignoni had just been hit hard by the economic downturn and lost a business he’d worked on for years. He had three young kids living at home and wanted to set a good example for them, but had a hard time focusing on his own health while trying to keep everybody else on track.

And finally, Nina Lovel told us that while she may be almost 60, there was no stopping her. (She was right, by the way.)

In early February, the entire team gathered in Atlanta for a big kickoff weekend, where Fit Nation athletic director Laura Cozik put them through the ringer: a long run in the rain, two pool swims, two spin classes, and several lectures on what to expect in their new lifestyle, plus how to adapt their nutrition. Then in April, it was off to Hawaii for a grueling four-day boot camp, and then we sent them right back to real life to work with their trainers, and try to fit triathlon training into their daily lives.

They were six ordinary people with lots of obligations, excuses, and real-world problems to face. And now, just five short days away from their first Olympic-distance triathlon, not one of them is the same person we met in December.

Each one of them has trained five or six days a week since we met. Each one has lost weight, gained strength and confidence and grown - spiritually, mentally and physically.

Looking back at pictures they sent us during the application process, not one of them looks the same. In December, not a single one could run more than 3 miles, and now, they’re gearing up for 6-mile runs this Sunday, but only after they’ve swum a mile, and biked 25 miles.

We'll all be watching in amazement as this group of former couch potatoes officially gets adorned with the title ‘triathlete,” and I hope you will be too.

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Allen Coggins

    We are so excited for Nina and so very proud of her accomplishment. Just wish we could be there in the Big Apple to cheer her on. However we know she will have friends and family there.

    August 2, 2011 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Laura

    Go Kendrick! And congratulations to all!

    August 3, 2011 at 07:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Margie Brownsberger

    GO STASIA!!!!!!!!!! I am so very, very proud of you and I know your whole family is rooting for you -- and that's a LOT of rooters 😉 YOU ARE A WINNER ALREADY!!!!!!!!

    I'll be praying for you and if you hear a holler from Texas, that's either me -- or somebody who stepped on the pavement without shoes. HOT down here! 😉

    August 3, 2011 at 14:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Thifany

      I'm equipped with alsuast rifle but I can shoot only single shoots. I was checked control section but not find any switch from single to auto. It's strange because I was seen lot of players using auto fire. Is it depend to level or any modification or maybe I can't find proper switch in control menu ? Any help is appreciated редактировалось: Aug 28 2011 12:50 PM UTC (111 д. назад)

      April 14, 2012 at 12:04 | Report abuse |
  4. Heather

    I am so excited for all of you!! What a fabulous and FUN accomplishment! Can't wait to hear how it goes! I have had a great time hearing about all of your progress and challenges, now its all going to pay off. Don't forget to have FUN while you do your Tri!!

    August 4, 2011 at 13:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Doug & Georgia

    Stasia is out daughter-in-law and we are so proud of her.

    August 5, 2011 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. alex

    fat guy is still fat

    August 6, 2011 at 01:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      @Alex, that was uncalled for, at least he is trying and having fun. To your comment, "fat guy is still fat", mine is to you, "rude people are still rude"!!!

      August 6, 2011 at 07:58 | Report abuse |
    • alex

      muaha 🙂

      August 6, 2011 at 10:36 | Report abuse |
  7. Indy609

    You folks rock! Enjoy the moment, you earned it!

    August 6, 2011 at 08:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. ivey

    What an inspiring story! Congratulations on all of the hard work and dedication and Best of luck to the 6-pack in the race!!

    August 6, 2011 at 09:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Bill

    Good luck
    Have fun

    August 6, 2011 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Dizzyd

    So what's wrong with being fat? AND he can run the triathlon too! : )

    August 6, 2011 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Fran

    Good Luck! Have fun!

    August 6, 2011 at 16:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Intan

    SO let me be sure I got this straight... Devs dcidee to merge two servers two months ago because population was low on both and it would garner more interaction and better selection of instance based combat.THEN...Two months later, they dcidee to enter a partnership (that most professionals would have known about at least two months in advance) which causes a population growth which now warrants more than one server.So either way they either made a very bad choice to minimize server numbers knowing the population growth was coming and caused themselves alot of work and users alot of needless grief in the process(would have been much less need for character transfers to EU server if you had just left them separate and re-prioritized them after the fact).OR They entered into an agreement with STEAM in a very impromptu or rushed manner.Sounds to me like bad planning at least, and VERY bad timing at most.Just my view on the whole deal...

    April 9, 2012 at 11:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. vreyrolinomit

    There are some interesting closing dates in this article however I don’t know if I see all of them heart to heart. There may be some validity however I will take maintain opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we would like extra! Added to FeedBurner as nicely


    December 24, 2020 at 13:33 | 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.