Triathlon isn't easy, but the work is worth it
Carlos Solis goes for a long run during the Fit Nation training trip in May.
September 11th, 2012
12:52 PM ET

Triathlon isn't easy, but the work is worth it

Editor's note: Carlos Solis is one of seven CNN viewers training for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  In the week leading up to the triathlon, each of the "Lucky 7" is sharing his or her thoughts on the journey.

To be perfectly honest, when I applied to be one of the “Six Pack” last November, I wasn’t too sure what was involved in training for and completing a triathlon. What I was sure of was I desperately needed and wanted to make serious changes in managing my health or else I would be suffering permanent and painful consequences.

Ten months later, I’m feeling healthier and stronger, and I know a heck of a lot more about my body and how it functions, particularly with diabetes.

Training has not been easy for me, though. I can recall times when back spasms were getting the best of me after a long distance bike ride and thinking “I’ll never get past this,” or when I was sucking on my inhaler after only a mile run.

I'm still getting occasional back spasms, sure, but I now know how to deal with them, and I’m inhaler-free! This is because I’ve learned that I don’t know it all and have put a lot of trust in those who do.

For example, Dave Ruby, my trainer, has from the beginning been telling me to “listen to my body.” When I first heard that, it didn’t make sense. But I learned to set small incremental goals that stretched me without physically overwhelming me. Now, seven months later, I realize he was right all along with a lot of other things, and I’m so thankful CNN found him for me.

I’ve prepared for seven months. Now it’s time to swim, bike and run my way across that finish line in Malibu! As I cross that finish line, I will be totally released from the chains that have bound me for so many years:

- The chains of “self-doubt”… GONE.

- The chains of “letting others lead”… GONE.

- The chains of “medical ignorance”… GONE.

- The chains of “excuses”… GONE.

I could probably add a few more chains, but I’ll stop there.

My wife and I were able to squeeze in a much-needed date night a few days ago, and when she asked me how I was feeling about the triathlon being just around the corner, I told her I was sad. I was sad that this journey was coming to an end.

In reality though, I realized, it’s really only just begun - it will be time to press on for the greater race that God is preparing for me. I honestly believe with all my heart that part of the race I’ll be involved in will be to spread the excitement of all the great benefits the sport of triathlon has to offer to families. I’ve become passionate about spreading this great news; we now have more than 200 students and staff “running for their lives” in this year's 100 Mile Club!

Again, I do not have the words to sufficiently say “thank you” to CNN for choosing me to be part of the Lucky 7. I feel like I have my life back and am ready to go to any length to pay it forward in gratitude for all that has been done for and given to me.

I’ll see you at the finish line!

You can follow the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge on Facebook and Twitter. For more from Carlos, click here.

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Tarmac

    I've completed numerous triathlons, and I work in a bike shop where I help people enter the triathlon world. I must say it is great to see people who may have never considered doing something like this years ago. I've watched people who have never competed in sports in high school become triathletes all the way to college sports athletes come in with an interest in exploring triathlon. This is a fantastic way to become healthy through exercise, diet, and time management.

    September 12, 2012 at 08:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rick

      I've not done any triathalons, but have done a few ultramarathons. They convey a sense of achievement.

      September 13, 2012 at 09:26 | Report abuse |
  2. Dave Ruby

    Good luck this Sunday Carlos! You are ready for this. You are an absolute inspiration. You have turned negatives into positives. In a total selfless fashion. Continue to share your message. It is a win/win for all.

    September 13, 2012 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Farhana

    to a class of Columbia University grad students that there are jobs being certaed in the near future that none of us in this room can fathom and there will be jobs we thought we could depend on that will be lost. So get use to it . So when the medical field and insurance business decrease to almost nothing new businesses will arise to replace them. Like maybe aquaculture for fresh fruits and veggies grown in any climate year round on your local street corner or health practicioners that actually teach how to treat the cause of pain and bad health. Anyway you get my point, i for one am not worried about change because it brings with it a fresh breath of hope and in this case happiness for millions of people. Keep up the great articles and research.Your friend from the Westerly Sea SideDan Liese

    September 25, 2012 at 22:51 | 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.