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For 6-Pack, a landmark day
August 7th, 2011
04:22 PM ET

For 6-Pack, a landmark day

They did it! CNN's Sixpack,  Joaquin Brignoni, Stasia Cirricione, Kendrick Henley, Nina Lovel, Kas Seerla, and Scott Zahn,  are officially triathletes after successfully completing the Nautica New York City Triathlon on Sunday, as part of the Fit Nation 2011 Triathlon Challenge.

The adventure began bright and early when the group met at 3:40 a.m. to be shuttled over to the race site. It was pouring rain and a little chilly but nothing could dampen the morning's excitement. After a delayed race start, the Sixpack jumped in to the Hudson around 6:40 a.m. All finished the race, with Joaquin Brignoni coming in first for the 6-Pack.

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Tri Challenge/Stasia: I don't make excuses anymore
August 4th, 2011
12:04 PM ET

Tri Challenge/Stasia: I don't make excuses anymore

Since January, six iReporters have been training in the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. We’re following along as they prepare to compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the August 7 Nautica NYC Triathlon.  During their last week before the race, we asked each of them the following questions: What's the biggest change you've seen in yourself since kick-off weekend? What are your personal goals for the tri?"

This weekend, "Sanjay Gupta, M.D." will be live from New York at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday. Watch the culmination of our team's training

We all make excuses why we can’t do something. I’m too busy, I’m not a runner, I’ve got to make dinner, I’ve had a long day at work, etc.

Before signing up for the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge, I made excuses. Some of them were partially true; others were nothing but cop-outs for my laziness and fear of failure. It’s easy to procrastinate and say, “I’ll go work out tomorrow." It’s much harder to buckle down and get it done.

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Tri Challenge: My brain is my last obstacle
July 22nd, 2011
01:22 PM ET

Tri Challenge: My brain is my last obstacle

Since January, six iReporters have been training in the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. We’re following along as they prepare to compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the August 7 Nautica NYC Triathlon.

I’m in the homestretch right now. I’ve put in all the hard work over the last several months and I’m ready to reap the rewards.

Up until about a month ago, I was enthusiastic, excited, and jumping to go but, lately, I’ve been kind of hesitant. I can’t really describe it with accuracy. I still very much love triathlon, my coach is awesome, along with all the wonderful people who’ve helped me out or trained with me along the way, but I can’t help but feeling a little depressed.

Why am I not faster by now? I don’t look like your "typical triathlete." How come I’m not this or that? All of these self-sabotage questions are flying through my head at 100 mph and it’s all I can do to get on my bike or throw on my running shoes because I’ve only got two and a half weeks left. I’m not going to get magically faster in that amount of time. No one else cares how fast I can run or what I look like in my race kit except for me.

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Tri Challenge: Mixed feelings about what's next
6-Pack member Stasia Cirricione cycles with Ironman Champion Tim DeBoom in Hawaii.
July 13th, 2011
03:08 PM ET

Tri Challenge: Mixed feelings about what's next

Since January, six iReporters have been training in the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. We’re following along as they prepare to compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the August 7 Nautica NYC Triathlon.

As the 2011 Nautica New York City Triathlon approaches (24 days and counting!), I have such mixed feelings about the end of my first season as a newbie triathlete and the race that will be the culmination of the 2011 CNN Fit Nation 6-pack. I’m excited and nervous for the race, I’m looking forward to shifting my focus for the fall and winter months, and I’m sad that my journey with my other 6-pack friends is almost over.

I started out with a fire burning brighter than a thousand suns. I’d lost some weight prior to the whole experience and this was the next piece of the puzzle, the next fork in the road leading towards a healthier weight and a healthier life. As the seven months of training has gone by, I’ve lost a bit of my oomph, but I’m still going strong. I can see the finish line, so to speak.

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Tri Challenge: Not every workout is a good one
July 6th, 2011
10:11 AM ET

Tri Challenge: Not every workout is a good one

Since January, six iReporters have been training in the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. We’re following along as they prepare to compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the August 7 Nautica NYC Triathlon.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. It’s good to hear about all the positive workouts and events that I and the other 6-packers have had, but sometimes it’s comforting to know that no matter how hard you train, you’re just going to have a bad day or two. I’m human and sometimes things just aren’t going to go my way.

I had a longer run scheduled for this past Sunday. Six miles. Mentally, I know I can do this distance; I raced a 10k back on April 2 without any problems. I wanted to use this run as a test of how far I’ve come and pace myself according to my NYC race plan. I wanted to rock this run, so I went to bed early. (9:30 on a Saturday night. Ahh, the exciting nightlife of an aspiring triathlete!)

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June 10th, 2011
04:14 PM ET

My first experience in a multi-sport race

Saturday, June 4, 2011, marks my first ever multi-sport race: The Sedalia Spring into Summer Duathlon. I woke up at 4 .m. to meet my coach, who was also doing the event so we could make the two hour drive to Sedalia, Missouri, together. When we hit town, we had about 15 minutes until packet pickup began so we decided to drive the bicycle course. It was hillier than I’d expected, but I knew I could do it.

The morning started off very hot and humid. We picked up our race packets and went to scout spots at transition. After setting up our transitions, we went for a quick warm-up ride and then back to transition and did a warm-up run. I was worried at this point, because I just didn’t feel like I was ready to race.

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Leaving Hawaii positive, optimistic and determined
April 29th, 2011
10:24 AM ET

Leaving Hawaii positive, optimistic and determined

Stasia Cirricione is one of six CNN viewers chosen to be a part of the 2011 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge.

"Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time." (Unknown)

This quote summarizes my entire experience in Hawaii. There were many challenges along the way: Heat that I wasn't used to, wind while riding the legendary Queen K highway, a bike saddle that was less than comfortable, and new and frightening challenges like open water swimming in the ocean.

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Gupta joins triathletes in Hawaii
April 22nd, 2011
03:48 PM ET

Tri Challenge: Personal bests during mini tri

Do you remember the first time you swam in the ocean? Kas Seerla does, that's for sure. It happened here in Kona, Hawaii, two days ago. She braved the waves, the current and lots of anxiety to swim nearly a quarter of a mile. And then she did it all again yesterday during this week's capstone workout: a mini tri where the 6-pack swam for 20 minutes, biked for an hour and ran for 20 minutes.

Yesterday was hot, hot, hot, but that didn't stop anyone from completing the race. Even Kendrick was able to swim, bike and run the course - stitches and all.

Collectively, the 6-pack came here with only a few miles logged on the road bike, a few lengths in the pool, a few miles of running. But they're leaving Kona each having experienced a personal best of some sort. For Joaquin, it was swimming almost a half of mile when before he hadn't been able to swim more than two pool lengths. Stasia and Kas swam in the ocean for the first time. Scott, Kendrick and Nina collectively biked 65 miles in a day - a huge improvement from the short rides they had been doing.

As each person continues to change their life and become stronger and healthier, we'll continue to bring you their journeys. We hope you'll be inspired to start changing your life, too!


April 18th, 2011
12:04 PM ET

Tri Challenge in Hawaii: Ready to rock

 Next week, the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon team heads to Kona, Hawaii, for a week of intense training? Follow along on The Chart and on Twitter, @CNNFitNation

It's 9:09 p.m.  Island Time,  2:10 a.m. Kansas City time. I've been up since 6:30 a.m .and have flown several hours but it's all worth it. I'm exhausted but so ecstatic to see my fellow 6-packers and the amazing CNN staff and to see all the new stuff we've received. I've never been so awestruck in my life. Touching down in Kona and seeing nothing but lava fields and ocean is indescribable. This place is gorgeous and I'm so honored and happy to be a part of the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge with Dr. Gupta. I cant wait for my 6 a.m. swim in the ocean! This is going to rock!!!!!!!! Let the training begin!


Clipping in, falling off: Re-learning how to ride a bike
March 9th, 2011
10:36 PM ET

Clipping in, falling off: Re-learning how to ride a bike

Stasia Cirricione is one of six CNN viewers chosen to be a part of the 2011 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. She and her fellow athletes each received a new road bike as part of the challenge but learning how to ride that bike, with feet clipped in to the bike's pedals (for greater efficiency), has proven to be a challenge of its own.

To say that I'm afraid of clipless pedals is an understatement. I don't ski or snowboard for the simple fact that I don't like my feet to be attached to something. Going into this challenge, I was most comfortable with the cycling aspect of it, except for riding clipless.

While at our kickoff weekend, we got to practice clipping in and out while on bikes on trainers. It was really nice to be able to practice on a bicycle that wasn't going to fall over. While practicing, we were told that you're not a real cyclist until you've fallen over trying to clip out. Fast-forward a few weeks to March 5.

My bike is here and I'm going to my local bike shop to get fitted. They get me all squared away and my coach says we're going to the parking lot to ride my new bike and practice clipping in and out. I was thinking to myself, "NO! I don't want to scratch my bike on the first day I get it!!!" We went outside and I surprised myself. I did really well clipping in and out the first several times.

Day 3 after the crash

On one of my last parking lot loops, I thought I'd heard a car coming up behind me so I pulled over to the side of the lot and unclipped on the left. I panicked because my right foot was still attached and leaned right instead of left, and there you have it, my first fall on my new bike. I "sacrificed the body and saved the bike" as it's said. I've got a nice scrape and bruise on my knee but my bike is unharmed! Whew, what a relief.

After my first fall, both my knee and bike are OK, but I've got a great story to tell and probably a nice scar to go along with it.


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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.

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