No place for self-doubt in fitness
August 7th, 2012
01:15 PM ET

No place for self-doubt in fitness

Editor's note: Carlos Solis is one of seven CNN viewers selected to train for and compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon in September.  Carlos is a middle-school teacher in Ontario, California, and is also a Type-2 diabetic.

It’s the first week of August, and I’m already back in the classroom preparing for the students who will be walking through my door on Monday.

I have to say one of the highlights of my week was when one of my colleagues didn’t recognize me and thought I was a new staff member because I had lost so much weight!

This year I wanted to do a room theme for my sixth-graders, but couldn’t come up with anything. Then it hit me: why not go “sports”? Since athletic fitness is my passion as I prepare for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon, it seemed like a good idea to carry that enthusiasm into my classroom.

Then the self-doubt came. I started to talk myself out of it, saying things like, “Me? I’m not in perfect shape yet; I still have weight to lose, and I’ll never be in Ironman shape. Will anyone take me seriously?”

But then I realized that it is the commitment and journey that matter. I’m not going to let my insecurities keep me from following my new passion. I WON’T GIVE UP!!

I want to model that commitment for my students. Too many times I let my self-doubt and insecurity prevent me from participating in sports activities. I need to remember that the important thing is to get started on the journey. So I am going with my athletic theme this year. I will share my enthusiasm and journey with my students, and hopefully many of them will be motivated to overcome their own doubts and get moving.

Coming home after a long preparation day, I felt pretty good about my decision to stay with a sports theme. Because I’ve "stuck to my guns” this is the best start I’ve had to a school year since I can remember!

I’m feeling a lot healthier - physically, spiritually and emotionally, and it’s all because of a commitment I made almost 10 months ago.

Note to self: “Keep doin’ what I’m doin.’”

You can follow Carlos' progress, along with the rest of the Fit Nation team at CNN.com/FitNation, on Facebook and on Twitter.

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. fitness does not equal "sports"

    Fitness is a much better theme for the students, not sports. Everyone should be physically fit and that doesn't need to include sports. Our nation is fixated on sports to the exclusion of many things, including intellectual development and education. Get fit doing whatever does it for you, which may or may not include sports.

    August 7, 2012 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Portland tony

      I assume you're speaking of organized sports. You can't get in shape or get the endorphins going without gradually increasing energy use and the stressing of the body over time.

      August 7, 2012 at 22:11 | Report abuse |
    • Does it really matter

      Yes we should be focused on intellectual development and education; however, we have become a nation of obesity. With physical education programs being removed from schools to cut costs, I am happy that this educator who decided to get healthy and promote that to his students. So does it really matter what he calls it as long as it translate to something good.

      August 8, 2012 at 08:52 | Report abuse |
    • sam stone

      I agree that fitness does not equal sports. Sports, at least participatory sports, generally appeal to younger folks. When I was younger, it was basketball with my friends in the backyard. Now, none of them (besides me) make any sort of attempt at exercise. Spectator sports appeal to more people, and the nation gets fatter and fatter

      August 8, 2012 at 10:22 | Report abuse |
    • JamesT

      Remeber, withouth proper nutrition you will never reach your fitness goals, nutrition is number one, sports / excercise is a close second. Please be sure that your sixth graders have that engrained in their heads. Hopefully you have come to that realization as well.

      August 8, 2012 at 14:23 | Report abuse |
    • trihardcarlos

      Thanks, I agree, fitness is a much better theme to relay to my students. as a matter of fact, I've been teaching the concept of being physically fit since I started getting fit myself.

      August 13, 2012 at 00:20 | Report abuse |
  2. Denise

    I love it! And what to you mean you'll never be in Ironman shape? I'm calling you bluff on that one 🙂

    August 8, 2012 at 10:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cecil binghamton

      Have you seen the guy? Let me assure you, he'll never be in real shape – unless you count round as a shape.

      August 9, 2012 at 07:34 | Report abuse |
    • TrollPatrol

      Cecil, anyone can train their body and mind to become an Ironman. Unfortunately for you though, you'll always be a troll. There is no known cure for that!

      August 9, 2012 at 11:54 | Report abuse |
    • trihardcarlos

      Thanks Denise : )

      August 13, 2012 at 00:22 | Report abuse |
  3. chuck

    I am 64 years old and I can tell you that fitness and sports go hand and hand with intellectual development. Also music and art are very important. So We have to have that balance of all of the elements, physical fitness (sports of some kind), the love of music and of art and also a love for learning.

    August 8, 2012 at 10:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • trihardcarlos

      You're correct!! Properly designed lessons that include exercise and music can have a positive effect on a students' learning and intellectual development!!

      August 13, 2012 at 00:29 | Report abuse |
  4. Ket

    Fitness is as important as food and sleep for a healthy life. It should become our 2nd nature.

    August 8, 2012 at 17:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • trihardcarlos

      Congratulations on your fellowship award! Yes, I also believe fitness is as important as food and sleep for a healthy life. Sometimes I wish I could get more sleep though.... : )

      August 13, 2012 at 00:37 | Report abuse |
  5. Ed Kish

    Great post! This is very inspirational. I honestly think that we should just start supporting any form fitness promotion especially if it involves the new generation, and yes, that includes sports as a form of fitness program.


    August 12, 2012 at 03:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • trihardcarlos

      Thank you for your kind words. For me, it's all about "Paying it forward."

      August 13, 2012 at 00:39 | Report abuse |
  6. Maria

    Moving beyond self-doubt, as Carlos did, is the key. It takes courage to do that. But denying self-doubt's existence or the "right" to feel it is counterproductive.

    August 15, 2012 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
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