Paying the gift of health forward
Scott Zahn, top left, poses with the Aurora BayCare LiveFit "Six-Pack" and their trainer, Junius Ho.
July 27th, 2012
02:54 PM ET

Paying the gift of health forward

Dr. Scott Zahn 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 of last year. Since then, Zahn has kept up his new healthy lifestyle and plans to race the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with this year's team.

As the CNN Fit Nation Lucky 7 continues to prepare for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon, another group has just completed their journey.

I was lucky enough to be a member of the 2011 CNN Fit Nation 6-Pack and complete the New York City Triathlon. My trainers and I wanted to bring that experience back to Green Bay and recreate the CNN program. 

This was the birth of the Aurora BayCare LiveFit Triathlon Challenge. We took applications from employees of the company, picked six and created our own Six-Pack.  The goal was the 2012 Green Bay sprint triathlon.

John, Kim, Amy, Lisa, Linda and Leslie became the LiveFit Six-Pack.  Six people that for a variety of reasons had settled into unfit and unhealthy lifestyles. Individual and group training, along with a triathlon class, prepared them for the race in early June.  

During their preparation for the triathlon they all endured various aches and pains, but were rewarded with new accomplishments and achievements. They all felt ready for race day.

The first Sunday in June was a perfect day for the race and for these six first-time triathletes. The water felt like it was just a few degrees above freezing and we were all happy to complete that part of the race, but the bike and run parts were uneventful - except for a few stumbles and mishaps in transition. 

All six completed their first triathlon with big smiles as they crossed the finish line, family and friends cheering. 

Not only did the Six-Pack complete their first triathlon, but many sports medicine staff members and several people that we were not able to pick also finished their first race. It was a great morning!

The real results were even more visible.  John has lost 65 pounds and is wearing clothes that have been in the back of his closet for a couple years. 

Amy, who had bariatric surgery 6 months before the challenge, has now lost 115 pounds and looks nothing like the woman she was a year ago.  As a group they lost a total of 130 pounds during the 6-month challenge, and - more importantly - improved their overall health and cardiovascular fitness.     

The program was a huge success and the 2013 program is already being planned. I will continue to serve as team captain, but the success of the program is due to the dedication of the trainers, Corey and Junius, who have now changed the lives of six more people. 

It amazes me that this all started because I sat down to the computer in November 2010 and decided to apply to run a triathlon with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Glenn

    It is amazing isn't it

    July 27, 2012 at 18:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Bernard obryant

    Who get a check for health care weather it obama or what

    July 28, 2012 at 06:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Fifi

    Great work everybody. Please pay it forward, if each of the 6 pack help 6 others we'll have 36 more people healthier next year and so on. Way to go. And bernard this article has nothing to do with checks, health care or the president. Go back and finish you morning coffee and wake up. Get on the right page.

    July 28, 2012 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Timmy Suckle

    I kissed my way up to VP at a health insurance company. Now I take over $500,000 of your health care dollars for NO VALUE ADDED to your health care. And that’s just me. Now think about how many other VPs, Directors, Managers, etc. are at my company alone. Now multiply that by thousands of others at hundreds of other health insurance companies. From 10 to 25% of your health care dollars go towards administration that adds NO VALUE to your health care. But my company’s PAC dollars will continue to fool you little people into thinking that a single payer system will be bad. Little people like you are so easy to fool. Little people also don’t realize that a single payer system is the ONLY system that would allow little people (as an entire country) to negotiate better health care prices. Little people don’t realize that the Medical Cartels already know that. And that is the reason why the Medical Cartels spend so much PAC money from the hospitals and doctors lobbying against a single payer system. Some little people say that a single payer system would cost you little people more. But if that were true, then wouldn’t the hospitals and doctors WANT that extra money? Yes they would. So why do the Medical Cartels lobby against a single payer system? It’s because the Medical Cartels know it would allow little people to negotiate better health care prices. And that’s what the Medical Cartels are afraid of. Period.
    But us big wigs at insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmacy companies don’t ever need to worry about health care no matter what it costs. We get our health care paid for one way or another by you little people. And we get the little people that work at our companies to contribute to our PACs. And us big wigs say it’s to protect the little peoples’ jobs. But in reality it would be in the little peoples’ best interest to NOT contribute to the PAC. Again, little people are so easy to be fooled. I won’t ever have to worry about losing my job with so many little people being brain washed by the Medical Cartels’ PAC money. Not only that, the Medical Cartels’ PAC money is used to elect so many republicans that will never allow a single payer system. Republicans have always fought against any meaningful health care reform. But that’s what our Medical Cartels’ PACs pay them for. Politicians can be bought so easily.
    Pretty soon the only people that will be able to afford health care is us big wigs. And that’s the way it should be. We don’t want you little people using up the resources when we need them. And once again, I thank you little people for capping my SS tax at the $106,800 level. Now I only pay 1.3% SS tax and you little people pay 6.2%. Also, thank you for extending my tax breaks. I’m using the extra money on my vacation houses.

    July 30, 2012 at 12:11 | 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.