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ShokzStar Takeover: #iKahn with Melissa Kahn Training For the Himalayan Rush Triathlon

Six years ago, mother of four Melissa Kahn had a choice: get busy living or get busy dying. Morbidly obese, sedentary and on the doorstep of multiple health crises, Melissa decided to get busy living. After losing 110 pounds, she took up running, finished her first triathlon and found her inner-athlete. She writes about her journey and connects with her global community at Run, Heifer, Run.

We are thrilled to sponsor athlete and ShokzStar Melissa Kahn in the Himalayan Rush Triathlon. You can learn more about Melissa in her first guest blog post here and in her interview. Plus, find out how Melissa's training is progressing in her update below. 

Howdy y'all, from Phoenix, Arizona where this week it's going to be downright FRIGID.  And by frigid, I mean 56'F. Don't judge. It's time to put socks on with my flip flops!

Training for the Himalayan Rush Triathlon is going I want to say it's going well, but to be fair… I've come to a slight hiccup.

Training for any big event has its ups and downs.  Sometimes you're motivated to go out and CRUSH a workout. Other days you're motivated to stay in bed, pull the covers up over your head, and sleep an extra two hours.  Lately, the latter is me and I'm hesitant to admit that out loud. I’m still training - don't get me wrong. But I've slowed my massive momentum and my Kahntagious attitude has somewhat waned with the stress of knowing the race is looming.

Tomorrow I make a renewed commitment to not only my healthy eating but to my proper hard-core training. I've got three weeks to go and I will NOT let you all down. I will get up, show up, and not give up until my very tired, weary, heifer self crosses that finish line, long after the cheerleaders have gone home, the drink stations have been taken down, and the after-party has ended. I will finish. That I can promise you.  It won't be pretty. But I will finish.

On the harder days, motivating myself has been a struggle. I look at photos online. I look at the terrain in the Himalayan Mountains. These mountains are no joke. They take no prisoners. This is the mountain range claiming proud ownership of the one and only Mt. Everest.  Looking at those pics is terrifying. I'm motivated to get back to hard-core training simply because I don't want to die on that mountain. And I'm serious. Altitude sickness is a real threat, so I will be heading up to Northern Arizona to try out my lungs at 7,000 feet (wish me luck!) and see how far I get.  I wonder if I can bring a sherpa along for that? Anyone... Bueller? Let me know, mkay?

When I really need to stay on track, I lace up my sneakers (which I'm told are called TRAINERS, thus rendering me stuck in 1978)  gear up with my AfterShokz headphones, and head out for a run. I run with my music, but without a Garmin, without any tracker. I just run. I run to remind myself why I'm doing this - why I'm running, why I'm training for one of the world's most "Brutiful" triathlons, and why I'm never going to go back to a lifetime of morbid obesity.  Simply getting out there, hearing my music, my huffing and my puffing, and my steps pounding the pavement helps center me and put the focus back on what's important: Staying healthy and inspiring others.

I have a great pump-up song that I play on repeat when I'm experiencing a serious drought with motivation. Ft. Minor: Remember The Name.  This is one of my all-time favorite songs - 100% Kahn-centrated Power of Will - keeps me going every single time. I have also been known to play some pretty loud Eminem as well to keep me moving. Something about the beat of the music in my ears keeps my legs going strong. You can check out my full training playlist here. I finish exhausted, sometimes in tears from anxiety, frustration, or fear but I always feel better when I'm done.  I think most runners or endurance athletes will tend to agree, there's something healing about running. Something very painful, and something very healing.

Please follow along on my last three weeks of training. The more people I know are following along, the harder I work to make you all proud! Use #iKahn on Twitter so Twitter that you can witness the good, the bad, and the downright funny bloopers that are always inevitable when this heifer trains. I share it all in hopes of showing people that if #iKahn do it - SO KAHN YOU!

I'm grateful as always to AfterShokz for sponsoring "someone like me" - someone who never thought they'd be able to climb the stairs in their house, let alone climb a really big hill in the Himalayan Mountains.  I also want to add a small footnote, that when traveling to Nepal, an average American needs 34 immunizations (caution: slight exaggeration) and 4 oral meds to prevent everything from Japanese Encephalitis to Cholera and back again. Those shots were no fun and I do admit to "kahnsoling" myself afterwards with my favorite food.... MexiKahn.

Nepal or bust...it's almost time!

Want to learn more? Follow Melissa Kahn's journey by searching #iKahn on Twitter, Instagram, or on the AfterShokz blog. Ask a question, participate in conversations, and/or leave words of encouragement for Melissa by using the hashtag #iKahn in your tweets.