CNN Fit Nation Lucky Seven Recap: Nancy Klinger

“My whole perception of life is different. I’m positive all the time, I’m more organized, I set goals."

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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. Today we profile Nancy Klinger.

“My whole perception of life is different. I’m positive all the time, I’m more organized, I set goals. The physical activity is just a part of my life now. Whether it’s a triathlon or a 10-mile race or my training, I just have a smile on my face the whole time. It just helps put things in a better perspective. … The swim, bike, run is my own eat, pray, love.”

Memorable Race Moment:

“I was just a little bit disoriented when I got to the first transition. Even though I didn’t see Chrissie Wellington there, she was clearly yelling at me. I was struggling to get my wetsuit off, and she said, ‘Nancy! One foot at a time!’ She did it in her beautiful British accent. And it just kind of snapped me back into reality. It was kind of my mantra for the rest of the race, whether it was one stroke at a time, one foot at a time, one pedal at a time or one step at a time.”

Competitor at Heart

“I got a lot of grief because I would definitely get the award for being most competitive. I had a hard time deciding whether I should do the race alone or with one or more of my teammates. Jeff Dauler sent me the most amazing text the night before: ‘Nancy, just one day on Sept. 16, it’s all about you. Don’t think about anybody else. Don’t worry about anybody else.”

“I reached the goal, and from a time perspective I actually exceeded the goal I had set for myself. I was the only one who set specific time goals for each section of the race. Every single second about that day was just amazing for me personally.”

Personal Lessons:

“To be good to others, you have to first be good to yourself and take care of yourself. I had spent my entire life making sure everyone else was OK. But now, I realize it’s not selfish of me to turn down a meeting because I have to run at lunch, or not be able to do every single thing in the world for the kids because I have to go biking on the weekends. They know that by doing things for myself that I’m not just better for myself, but I’m also a much better person all around.”


  • Her son
  • Denise Castelli

Recent Races:

  • Women Run the Cities 10-Mile at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Medtronic TC 10-Mile at HHH Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn.

Next Year’s Challenge:

  • 2013 Ironman 70.3 Augusta

Advice for Triathlon Newbies:

“Enjoy the journey. Take it one step at a time. Embrace the help of others. Pick an easy [triathlon] and move up and challenge yourself. Embrace it and make sure you have fun with it. It is this whole world that exists. You get so much benefit from the three sports. It teaches you about life and organization and time management. It’s a great sport.”

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.

CNN Fit Nation Lucky Seven Recap: Carlos Solis
CNN Fit Nation Lucky Seven Recap: Denise Castelli

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