CNN Fit Nation Lucky Seven Recap: Carlos Solis

“There’s one thing I really appreciate about the world of triathlon: Yes, it’s competitive, but everyone supports each other."

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Every year, CNN assembles a group of “iReporters” to train for a key triathlon and hopefully make healthy lifestyle changes along the way. This year’s group was known as the “Lucky Seven” and took on the 2012 Nautica Malibu Triathlon on Sept. 16. Each day of the next week we’ll introduce you to a member of the team and tell you a little bit about what he/she learned along the way. First up, it’s Carlos Solis.

“There’s one thing I really appreciate about the world of triathlon: Yes, it’s competitive, but everyone supports each other. I think that’s rare in sports today. People understand what you’re trying to do. That’s why I’m going to continue with this. It’s encouraging.”

Memorable Race Moments:

  • Denise Castelli and I ended up biking together for a while, and I was able to share with her a story about one of my students. I found out that [my student] had been following [Castelli] since she became part of the lucky seven. She did a hero report on her, and I got to share that with her while we were on the bike ride and just encourage her to go on. She said, “That’s really cool.” And I said, “OK, go race,” and she took off.
  • When we found out Glenn was still a mile out and having a hard time on the run, we all ran back out and ran in with him. We were like, “What about Glenn? What are we doing here celebrating?” We all went out and walked with him back and he ran the last quarter mile. There wasn’t a dry eye. It was the perfect day for a perfect race with great people.

Training Improvements:

  • I started gasping for air at 25 meters at the start on my swim, and then I was able to go about 1000-1500 meters without much difficulty.
  • In running, I started at a 15-minute mile, and got down to about 10:20 or something like that. I’m pretty winded at the end, but I was able to knock off a couple minutes there.
  • In biking, I started from going around the block with my son to doing 20-25 mile loops.

Nutrition Improvements:

  • I went from just eating to fueling my body. I tried to keep my glucose in check. I have my portions. I don’t even have to weigh things anymore. I no longer graze at dinnertime. If there’s an extra piece of pot roast on the plate, I won’t go for it, where in the past I would.


  • Rick Morris (fellow Lucky Seven member)
  • Denise Castelli (fellow Lucky Seven member)

Paying It Forward

“Do you ever look in the mirror and see multiple mirrors? That’s kind of what’s happening right now. I could take this in so many directions. I’m going to do that as much as I can. That’s the value I see.”

  • California teachers grant, “Running for Their Lives”: I was awarded $5,000 to enhance the running program I started last year, the 100-Mile Club. We had 55 students last year, and now because of this grant I have about 225 kids running.
  • Nutrition classes for parents: Unfortunately, the economically disadvantaged tend to eat unhealthy because it’s cheaper. I want to be able to teach them how to cook healthy in their homes.
  • Opening an inner-city gym: Now I’m looking into opening up a gym for people in the inner city, the economically disadvantaged. I want to have a place for them to work out in a safe environment and not have to pay health club prices. I want to incorporate triathlon in there. I want to get families involved. I want to get them away from a TV and into a gym. I think once they realize how much stinking fun it is, they will love it.

Advice for Triathlon Newbies:

  • Don’t say you can’t. Never say never. Even if you don’t know what triathlon is. Don’t listen to your fears. If a 50-year-old, overweight, hyperextension diabetic can do it, and I’m talking about me, what about someone who just gets off the couch for a little bit? You only fail when you quit.

Want to be a member of the 2013 CNN Fit Nation team, or know someone who would be a good fit? Visit to learn how to be considered.

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