Tri Challenge: What's my goal? What's my intention?
May 12th, 2011
01:45 PM ET

Tri Challenge: What's my goal? What's my intention?

Lately I’ve been feeling a little anxious, as the triathlon date is fast approaching. It’s only 12 weeks away, and I feel that I still have a long way to go to get ready. While I know that I have become physically fit especially after the midway trip to Hawaii, I get a little overwhelmed at what I am about to do in a few months.

One of the coaches that I work with said that you can have goals and intentions. Every triathlete's goal is to finish the triathlon, but an intention is to have fun, be fit and happy. This really resonated with me as I reflected upon what I have accomplished so far. Yes, I am able to run, bike, and swim longer than I did three months ago, and yes, my goal is to finish the NYC triathlon. But my daily, weekly, and monthly intention is to be healthy, have fun with the people I train with, and pass along the knowledge I gain to others.

I was so focused on my goal that when my workouts didn’t go well I would get really disappointed. But focusing on my intention helps me to be “present” in the moment, without getting attached to the outcome. So, I am focusing on my short-term goals every week and I know that by race day, I will be as ready as I can be.

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.


Tri-Challenge: The 6-pack inspired me
April 28th, 2011
11:55 AM ET

Tri-Challenge: The 6-pack inspired me

Former professional triathlete Nicole DeBoom and her husband, triathlete and Ironman champ Tim DeBoom, spent time with the CNN 6-pack last week in Hawaii.  In addition to coaching in each of the three sports of triathlon, the DeBooms lectured on raceday prep, how to train in open water using a wetsuit, and how to transition effectively. They also worked individuall y with the athletes, answering questions about confidence and mental toughness.

Last week, Tim and I were invited to join the CNN crew as guest coaches on the Big Island of Hawaii. We had been following the program, but it's really tough to prepare any coaching until you actually meet the athletes and can gauge their levels of fitness and training. It was time to put faces to the names!

We first met the 6-pack on Monday morning. What I love about this program, is that the 6-pack are REAL PEOPLE. They are men and women who never thought they would do a triathlon. They realized that they needed to make a major life change, and they reached out for help. CNN answered!

Tim and I spent four days working closely with the athletes, learning their strengths and "areas for improvement." All I can say is that the journey is officially in progress. I saw marked improvement in every single athlete in just five short days in Hawaii.


Tri Challenge: Another gift from the Big Island
April 26th, 2011
06:55 PM ET

Tri Challenge: Another gift from the Big Island

Professional triathlete and two-time Ironman champ Tim DeBoom and his wife, former pro triathlete Nicole DeBoom, worked with CNN’s six novice triathletes last week in Hawaii, helping them train for the August 7 Nautica New York City Triathlon. They worked on the specific sports of triathlon, swimming, biking and running, as well as how to be more mentally tough.

The Big Island of Hawaii has given me many gifts over the past 20 years. Some have come as victories in the Ironman Triathlon, others as hard lessons learned through disappointment, and still more just from the beauty of exploring an incredible island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This past week, I received another unexpected gift from working with a group of people all training for their first triathlon.

When I first met the CNN 6-pack on the first morning of their trip, I could see and feel the nervousness in each of their faces. They were excited, but definitely a little unsure of what was ahead of them in the coming week.

Ironically, I was proud of them before we even started the first lecture. They were here. They had taken a chance, gone through the application process, and accepted this challenge. That was a courageous act. All of us are guilty of getting caught up in our own little worlds and letting our lives become unbalanced. Acknowledging that need for balance and then willing to make the tough changes to find it, takes courage. And to do it all under scrutiny, on national television, is downright brave.


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 20th, 2011
06:16 PM ET

Tri Challenge: Golden strokes

One thing 6-pack member Joaquin Brignoni learned during kickoff weekend was that he needed to work on his swim stroke. He'd never had any formal instruction up until that day and struggled to get the fundamentals down. Now after two months of training, he's improved to the point that he was leading the pack in their first open-water swim

Hawaii: Day two
April 20th, 2011
03:22 PM ET

Tri Challenge: Working harder than ever

Finished Day 2 of training in Hawaii, and the team is looking good! But yesterday, it became obvious that we were pushing the team harder than they've ever been pushed before!

The goal: Bike 23 miles from Mauna Lani Bay to the Natural Energy Lab – the run course for the Kona Ironman Championship race – do a 2-mile run, then jump back on the bikes for another 6-mile ride into the town of Kona.


April 19th, 2011
05:25 PM ET

Tri Challenge in Hawaii: High spirits on Day One

This week, the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon team is in Kona, Hawaii, for a week of intense training. Follow along on The Chart and on Twitter, @CNNFitNation . Kas Seerla is a participant in the 2011 CNN Fit Nation Challenge.  She lives in Chicago with her husband and two young daughters, and is using this challenge to show other moms that it's OK to step out of their comfort zones!

Day One at CNN Hawaii boot camp! After a one-hour open water swim drill, we had to do a three-mile run around the beautiful Mauna Lani property. It was getting hot and the sun was above us at 8 a.m. I was nervous as I had never run after a swim but I was also in high spirits; I wasn't intimidated with a 3-mile run as I would have been a couple of months ago.

The guys took off and were way ahead but I was able to keep my pace and was right behind them when we completed the three miles. What a relief!

Onto the 20-mile bike ride after breakfast! I rode my bike outside the first time last week and it was only for 2 miles. So 20 miles should be interesting!

Hawaii: Day one
April 19th, 2011
01:27 PM ET

Triathlon 6-pack: Together again, fitter than ever

This week, the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon team is in Kona, Hawaii, for a week of intense training. Follow along on The Chart and on Twitter, @CNNFitNation

One of the most rewarding parts of planning the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge is watching our 6-pack be transformed from largely sedentary to seriously competitive amateur athletes.

When we first met this year's group in early February, we were very impressed with the work they had already done to change their lives. Some had lost weight before getting to us. Most had started to exercise regularly, and they were all starting to adopt better eating habits.

But, the changes they've made since then have been nothing short of remarkable.


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!

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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.