'I gained more with them than I ever lost in a limb'
February 15th, 2012
10:58 AM ET

'I gained more with them than I ever lost in a limb'

Editor's Note: Denise Castelli, an office manager from Netcong, New Jersey, lost her leg to an infection following a tragic accident in a collegiate softball game. After sending in her iReport video, Denise was selected as one of seven CNN viewers  to participate in the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge program.  Denise, and the rest of the Fit Nation athletes receive all the tools necessary to train for and compete in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon this September, alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  The seven athletes met up two weeks ago in Atlanta for the official kickoff of the program.

I’ve been playing team sports my entire life. I know how a cohesive team can win championships, and how a cancerous team, regardless of talent, can self-implode.

The importance of a team turning into a “family” is, in my opinion, a necessary feat. Once that happens, the team becomes unstoppable. That team’s possibilities go far beyond what any stats or win/loss record could show.

Last weekend was the official kick-off for my new team with the Fit Nation Challenge. Looking back on it now, I have to laugh at the fact that I was actually nervous about meeting my teammates.

Sure, I had seen everyone’s submission videos and we had spoken on a conference call a few times, but beyond that, these people were still total strangers to me. How could I manage to share my deepest fears, my most trying moments, and my greatest achievements with people I barely even know?

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.