September 13th, 2012
07:36 AM ET

Making your health a priority, even on the road

Editor's Note: In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed.  This week we take a closer look at Glenn Keller, who is one of seven CNN viewers selected from around the country to train for and compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon.  Here are his thoughts on this journey.

Well, there are only a few days left.

There is a little nervousness and a lot of excitement that we have made it to this point.  When friends and family notice the weight I've lost and comment about how much better I look, it can only be compared to how much better I feel.

I look forward to being able to cross the finish line in Malibu with the rest of my teammates on Sunday. I'm not sure if any of us knew this is where we would be at this point of our lives. I know I didn't, but it is giving me such a sense of accomplishment - so much so that I haven't even done the first triathlon yet, but I find myself looking forward to paying my own way just so I can participate next year. FULL POST

August 20th, 2012
11:50 AM ET

If my options are sink or swim, I choose swim!

Editor's Note: Glenn Keller is one of seven CNN viewers selected from around the country to train for and compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon in September.  At the beginning of the challenge, Keller weighed more than 300 pounds and suffered from sleep apnea due to his obesity.

Today, I got a chance to swim.

There’s nothing particularly unusual about that, but today I got to swim in Jessup, Maryland. By now, everyone knows that I am on the road a lot. I'm only home once a week and previously, that was my only chance each week to swim.

However my truck route had been taking me to Jessup, Maryland, almost every week – I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've been in, to or near the truck stop there!

The last time I was there I happened to notice a place just a block away that had a pool. Granted, it’s a place where they train little babies to swim, but after speaking to the manager and telling him about the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge, he agreed to let me swim there too.

Don't let challenges stop your fitness journey
May 11th, 2012
11:56 AM ET

Don't let challenges stop your fitness journey

Glenn Keller is one of seven CNN viewers training to race the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. This weekend, the team and Dr. Gupta will head to Hawaii for a training trip. Keller just completed a 5k held in his honor in his hometown of Burleson, Texas.

I heard it said that everyone gets 15 minutes of fame in their lifetime. If this is my 15 minutes, it is creating a lifetime of memories.

On Saturday May 5, 2012, there was a 5k race in Burleson, Texas. This 5k was different from every other 5k that I had ever heard of. The distance was the same. The rules were the same. The difference is this 5k was called “Let’s get started with Glenn.”

Mayor Ken Shetter has a health initiative that he put into place in Burleson. When he got the news of a local resident being selected for The CNN Fit Nation Challenge, he and the administration started planning "The Be Healthy 5k".

Nothing so far has compared to having family, friends and neighbors come together and do something of this magnitude in my honor. More than 100 of my neighbors registered and turned out to participate.

On the road 250 days, he still finds time to 'tri'
Glenn Keller holds a plank during a strength training session in Atlanta.
April 12th, 2012
06:52 AM ET

On the road 250 days, he still finds time to 'tri'

Glenn Keller is one of seven CNN viewers participating in the 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. At the beginning of the challenge, Keller weighed more than 300 pounds and suffered from sleep apnea due to his obesity.

Little Rock, Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Roanoke, Carlisle, Allentown, Hartford, Boston, New Haven, New York, Dover, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Richmond, Charlotte, Spartansburg, Atlanta, Birmingham, Jackson, and Dallas.

In case you're wondering (and you probably are), those are the places I get to see in any given week.

You could probably say I get around - but that would be an understatement. It is the life of an "over-the-road trucker." Earning a living means being away from home and those you care about most. In most instances it means being away for over 250 days a year - and as many as 290 if you want to increase your profit margin.

Things like weather, road conditions, and traffic can make it dangerous to drive at times, yet we do what we have to do.

Have you ever heard that "if you got it, it came on a truck"? The men and women that do what I do ensure that grocery shelves are filled, those new cars are on the lot and everything else you want or need is there when you want and need it.

I've been driving since the late 1980s and I'm sure I've driven over 2 million miles. Our work weeks are 70 hours and that's because they're regulated by federal guidelines. Couple that with conducting a live prayer line three times a day, seven days a week using my cell phones and one could reasonably conclude that I am a busy person.

When I got the call from the CNN producers one of the very first things we discussed was if I could do the Fit Nation Triathlon Challange and drive my truck. For me it wasn't a matter of if I could or not because I needed to! I knew it would indeed be a challenge but I was already over 300 pounds and counting.


Weight loss and my machine 'companion'
Glenn Keller and Fit Nation Athletic Director April Burkey stretch after a run in Atlanta.
March 28th, 2012
09:01 AM ET

Weight loss and my machine 'companion'

Glenn Keller is one of seven CNN viewers participating in the 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. At the beginning of the challenge, Keller weighed more than 300 pounds and suffered from sleep apnea due to his obesity.

It's been ten years or so now that I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I was told that it was a result of my being overweight. The process started with a sleep study when I spent the night in a sleep lab so that the degree of sleep apnea could be diagnosed. That way they would be able to determine settings for my new companion, a C.P.A.P. (continuous positive airway pressure) machine.

I use the term "companion" because the machine goes everywhere with me. I've been unable to go anywhere without it for years and I mean anywhere.

It has gone more places with me than my wife.

When I went on a cruise ... it was there.

When I go to Louisiana to visit my mother - it's right there.

Spend a night somewhere in a motel ... and it's right there.

And yes, it's in the truck also, every time it moves.


Finally for me, something clicked
February 11th, 2012
07:00 AM ET

Finally for me, something clicked

Editor's Note: Glenn Keller from Burleson, Texas is one of seven CNN viewers selected to be a part of the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge program.  Each athlete receives all the tools necessary to train for and compete in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon this September, alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  The seven athletes met up this past weekend in Atlanta for the official kickoff of the program.

What clicked? That’s the question I have had to ask myself. What clicked to cause me to realize the importance of my personal health? What clicked to make me stop ignoring my most prized possession: me!

Every 3,000 miles, cars have to get an oil change and service. Every 15,000 miles, the same for my truck. When either starts to make a noise or runs funny, off to the shop they go. Every two weeks I have to make sure the lawn gets mowed. It’s hard to believe everything gets maintained except for me.


Tri Challenge: God threw in a triathlon
January 11th, 2012
07:18 AM ET

Tri Challenge: God threw in a triathlon

Every day this week, CNN will introduce you to one member of the 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge team. Today meet Glenn Keller, a truck driver and pastor who says he's tired of telling other people to be their best self and not practicing what he preaches.

I knew I needed a change, I just didn't know how I was going to accomplish it. Then I found out about the Tri Challenge and something about seeing what others were able to accomplish motivated me to send in my video. I think I got it in four hours before the deadline.

I was on my way back to Texas from Boston and didn't have a webcam. I was in Gaston, Alabama and knew I could not make it home in time. I pulled off the interstate, went into a Walmart and bought what I figured would be my last bucket of chicken wings and a webcam. I sat there in the seat of the truck and just tried to speak from my heart.

As I've heard it said so many other times, "the rest is history."

I feel a lot like someone who asked God for an Oak Tree and instead He gave them an acorn. I had been asking God for good health and fitness and He gave me CNN, Dr. Gupta, and because God has such a good sense of humor He threw in a Triathlon for good measure.

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.