Tri Challenge journey still going, still working
December 9th, 2011
08:46 AM ET

Tri Challenge journey still going, still working

Kendrick Henley was one of six CNN viewers chosen to be a part of the 2011 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. He trained with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and raced the New York City Triathlon on August 7. Since then Henley has kept up his new healthy lifestyle and recently raced his second 5K since the triathlon. CNN is looking for viewers like Henley to join our 2012 Challenge. Click "Add Your Story" to apply.

The year 2011 might be coming to an end, but Kendrick’s journey and Team Henley’s celebrations continue...

When Kendrick, Coach Keith and I (Coach Mary Ann) became “Team Henley” in January 2011, none of us knew what to expect from the coming year. Kendrick had just been selected for the 2011 Fit Nation Challenge and Coach Keith and I were excited to have the opportunity to coach a new athlete from our hometown of Chicago.

That was pretty much all that we knew, and out of the three of us, Kendrick was taking the biggest risk. He was literally letting the world know that he wanted to change the way he was living, lose weight and take on a healthier lifestyle.

As you may know, this is not an easy task. If you have ever taken on a new fitness routine or nutrition plan (I hate the word diet!), you know how hard it is to stay consistent. Personally and professionally almost everyone that I know has some sort of “wish list” that includes things like losing weight, getting more fit, running a 5k and/or doing a triathlon.

Kendrick has taken on EVERY aspect of changing his life. He took a good long, hard look at how he was eating. He started to exercise consistently for the FIRST time in his life. He changed the time that his alarm goes off as he now wakes up many mornings to train BEFORE work (luckily he is often greeted by a smiling face– mine or Coach Keith's!) and he has started to challenge himself by participating in races!

Kendrick’s first race was the 2011 NYC Triathlon; as you know from our blogs it was an amazing day, filled with celebrations and lots of tenacity and hard work from Kendrick. Since the NYC Triathlon Kendrick has run two 5ks, most recently the “Santa Hustle” here in Chicago.

Kendrick still has a lot of work to do to really get strong and fit, but as you know - if you have ever tried to make a significant lifestyle change - it takes time. There are changes to be made on emotional, physical, and spiritual levels that don’t happen overnight.

Coach Keith and I continue to work with Kendrick and we continue to see changes. It is a journey that is still fun and still amazing to be a part of for all of us.

Last year Kendrick signed up for the Santa Hustle and did not participate. This year Kendrick signed up again (on his own without prompting from his coaches) and ran the race despite cold weather, rain and two coaches making him take pictures in a Santa hat and beard.

Kendrick’s journey continues and the hard work, fun and celebration of Team Henley keep coming as well.

Happy Holidays to you and your family -– may you find and succeed in your personal journey to health and wellness in the coming year.

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Andrea Stefanka

    Way to go Kendrick. You have fantastic trainers and are doing such a great job. Keep up the good work!

    December 9, 2011 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Andrea Stefanka

    I also wanted to add....I love this picture of the three of you...MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    December 9, 2011 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Coach Mary Ann

      Thanks Andrea! Happy Holidays to you and yours too!!

      Coach M A

      December 9, 2011 at 12:41 | Report abuse |


    December 9, 2011 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply


    December 10, 2011 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Gastric Bypass Man

    Merry Christmas everyone and way to go toward healthy life. Stay healthy and live longer! 🙂 Know more: http://gastricbypassadvice.com/gastric-bypass

    December 14, 2011 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. warrior11209

    Congratulations on making permanent changes to your lifestyle!! Great pic and have a healthy and Merry Christmas

    December 18, 2011 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mca

      I am *this close* to signing up for a thirtalon. I think the only way I'll ever get it done is to just register and train out of fear. Maybe that's not normal, but I never claimed to be normal. Since you went for it, I think I need to take the leap.Becky recently posted..

      October 14, 2012 at 00:07 | Report abuse |
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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.