Fit Nation: Down, but not out, in 20 seconds

Eugene and his spouse went on a bike ride and found it to be a challenge due to new equipment and conditioning. They realized the ride was a weight loss and fitness revelation.

Fit Nation: Down, but not out, in 20 seconds

Editor's note: Six CNN viewers were selected as part of the Fit Nation triathlon 2015 team. In September, they'll compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon. The six participants will tell their Fit Nation stories as they train.

Story Highlights


Julia and I were both ready for our first bike ride.

We were able to find a babysitter for Mara, and it was no longer a discussion.

This would be an actual 100% couples' bicycle ride. This was our first ride together as a couple with our own bikes.

I thought that my new Specialized bike would make it easy to get around, and not be at all a challenge.

There was not a single cloud in the sky. I felt like I was an expert cyclist from my schooldays, but that was many years ago.

I was in store for a big surprise.

I'd never clipped in to a bicycle before. Also, I had never owned a bike without a kickstand before.

This is not your ordinary Huffy.

As I clipped into full gear I was prepared to do it, or so I believed.

The bike was in motion for 20 seconds after I had clipped on. This was simple. This was easy, I thought.

Then I tried to get off. It didn't go well.

I was in a panic because I couldn't get my feet to come off.

All seemed to be happening in slow motion.

The car crashed and I couldn't stop it.

It was a horrible sight. My athlete's ego was also crushed.

In a blink of an eye, I began asking myself these questions as I lay on the ground, my bike in hand, like a whale stuck on sand.

How could I have fallen so fast?

Why couldn't I get my feet off of the pedals? Is it possible that I am too old or out of shape to do the Fit Nation Challenge?

Are triathletes nuts?

In less than a minute, every athletic ability in which I had once been so confident was gone. It was just like that.

I knew I needed to mentally slap my self and tell myself 'Hey you can do it' if I wanted to succeed.

The moment I realised that this was my journey against myself, was the very moment when I woke up.

I shook my legs out of the pedals and picked up the bicycle. I rode around 10 miles without any more falls.

After crashing my first bike after 20 seconds, I believe I have learned a valuable lesson.

It is impossible to conquer a Triathlon without falling and failing. You have to get up and keep going. Listening to your body and connecting with it is key. Training for a triathlon can be a spiritual as well as a physical journey.

The lesson I learned from my crash on my bike was worth the effort.

You must get up and move on if you fall off your bike.