CNN Fit Nation Lucky Seven Recap: Rick Morris

  • By Alaina Bird
  • Published Nov 12, 2012
Photo: Amanda Sloane/CNN

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. We’re taking this opportunity to introduce you to each member of the team and tell you a little bit about what he/she learned along the way. Today we profile Rick Morris. (Read the other profiles here.)

“You’re never too old to get back into exercising again and wanting to try to live healthier. Where I’m from, generally folks aren’t that healthy. We don’t eat the proper foods. We just live an unhealthy life. A lot of folks smoke. I learned training for this that I’ve still got it. I can still do this.”

Memorable Racing Moment:

“The best part, other than crossing the finish line, was having Chrissie Wellington give us the medals around our necks.”

Training Trials:

“I learned how to swim, I say that in quotation marks, when I was a kid. Essentially I was surviving and didn’t truly learn how to swim. So that was probably the most difficult part, learning how to swim correctly.”

Training Triumphs:

“The best part about the training was the trip to Hawaii. It was a paid vacation basically. It was tough, the training we did while we were there, but it was a great experience being in Hawaii with CNN.”

Nutritional Improvements:

“I actually eat a whole lot more, and better types of food. I’m eating more fruits and vegetables. In my application to CNN, I told them if it came out of a box or a window, I usually eat it. It’s a totally different frame of mind. I think I’ve been to a fast food restaurant twice in this past year.”

Personal Lessons:

“I’m in much better shape than I have been, and I’m living healthy for the rest of my life. Secondly, this opportunity to be part of the Fit Nation team was a platform for finally committing to quitting smoking. I had tried to quit smoking in the past, but I had committed to quitting smoking in an interview with Sanjay Gupta on national TV. I think I held myself to a higher audience. I have a renewed spirit and energy for becoming healthier.”

Lucky Seven Camaraderie:

“I loved working with a team of like-minded people. I come from a military background, and we all had one goal in mind, and that was to complete this triathlon, and we did it. It was a great group of people. In the military when I was in Europe for nine years, I would meet people from all different cultures and backgrounds, and I had that same kind of opportunity as a civilian in the U.S.”


Family: “I’ve got a background, a family dynamic, that is smoking and alcoholism and heart disease and cancer, and I don’t want my kids to have to ever see that. I want to be able to live a full, healthy lifestyle, hopefully into my hundreds. I want to be a centenarian. This triathlon has certainly rejuvenated my desire to do that.”

Recent Race:

  • Bethel Rural Half Marathon on Sonoma Road in Bethel, N.C.

Next Milestone:

  • Half Ironman in 2014

Advice for Triathlon Newbies:

“Take advantage of it. Don’t quit and don’t give up. It’s a perfect opportunity to go against everything that American culture and many places have taught us, and that’s to be lazy, to be very reactive, not proactive. Take advantage of training for a triathlon because it’ll force you to get into a gym, it’ll force you to train. By getting involved with triathlon, people are setting an example for future generations.”

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
CNN Fit Nation Lucky Seven Recap: Nancy Klinger
CNN Fit Nation Lucky Seven Recap: Glenn Keller
CNN Fit Nation Lucky Seven Recap: Jeff Dauler


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