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    Posted December 2, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    CNN Fit Nation: 2013 Triathlon Challenge

    Looking for a New Challenge!

    Hello All.

    My name is Christen and I am writing to be part of the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Lucky 7 Team!

    For me life is about overcoming challenges and using those challenges to make you a better person. I believe that challenges shape who we are and who we become. Like most viewers, I have had challenges in life that have defined who I have become.

    Most recently those challenges have consisted of starting a healthy life style and having heart surgery. In 2010, after finishing writing my doctoral dissertation I weighed in over 300 pounds. My studies and school and every fast food restaurant in the area had taken over. The week after I finished writing the dissertation, I was bored. After all what does one do after writing 300 pages? So I went and bought a dog. However, this dog wouldn't stop barking! She barked and barked and because I didn't know how loud she was we walked, and walked and walked. Soon walking became running, and soon 40 chicken nuggets became 20 and later 10 and then none. Soon the scale changed from 300 pounds to 200 to 150. Yup to date I have lost over 150 pounds, all because I bought a dog with a loud mouth. But that is just one recent challenge.

    More recently, I have been faced with needing to have pacemaker surgery. Yes I am 30 years old and have a pacemaker! Totally busts the average age of those in the waiting room at my cardiologist's office! I was diagnosed with sick sinus node syndrome but since the surgery, I have been better. And really, haven't let it stop me. In fact, 30 days after surgery I ran a half-marathon; guess thats why they call me stubborn too!

    Sure I may be 150 pounds lighter than I was 2 years ago, and sure I have a new nifty heart device, but what I don't have yet is a healthy view of who I have become. Having a healthy acceptance of who I am is something that I have yet to achieve, something still holding me back, and something that remains a void in my life.

    Joining Fit Nation would help me grow that self-confidence that still lacks- the ultimate challenge, eh?. A new challenge for a new goal right? And the fact that I can't swim and really don't know how bike makes it an even greater challenge. And you have to admit, blogging about joining swimming classes with 4 and 5 year olds who wear floaties would definitely have some comedy appeal? And you thought your day was bad? How about being shown up by a 4 year old?

    I hope you consider my iReport and whatever happens, all the best to the 2013 Lucky 7!

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