Over his 11 years on Q100’s Bert Show, Jeff Dauler has never been a svelte man, with a jolly belly and a cheerfully snarky disposition. You wouldn’t catch him topless on a calendar like his colleague Bert Weiss did in 2008.
But a divorce from his long-time wife Jessica last year really shook him up. “I wasn’t feeling very social,” he said Thursday. And he didn’t feel healthy mentally or physically either. So when CNN offered him a spot on their Fit Nation challenge team nine months ago, he actually said yes before he had a chance to say no.
His commitment: to swim, bike and run his way through a Long Beach, Calif. triathlon Sept. 15. It includes a half-mile swim, an 18-mile bike ride and a four-mile run. It’s not Olympic length but a challenge for someone like Dauler, who has been training regularly this year.
Sanjay Gupta, the CNN chief medical correspondent, came on the air on Q100 last December and surprised the entire show with Dauler’s announcement. “I’ll never forget the look on Bert’s face,” Dauler said. And since Weiss has admitted to a man-crush on Gupta, Dauler feels some evil satisfaction that he gets to hang out with Gupta.
“So much of it is mental,” Gupta told the Q100 audience last week. “The mental transformation has been unreal. It’s determination. It’s perseverance…. This triathlon has motivated you to change. You’re a healthier, happier guy.”
Dauler said he hasn’t lost a ton of weight (around 25 pounds), but his body shape has changed, including a shrinking stomach and much stronger legs. And he’s sleeping better.
Plus, after this Sunday’s race, he plans to go back for more.
“When I first signed up, someone said they become addicting,” he said during a break in training in Los Angeles this week while the Bert Show is on vacation. “I said I’m doing one and I’m done.”
But after he took a trip to Hawaii to train with his team on an Ironman triathlon course, he signed up for a local triathlon. “Funny,” he said, “once I signed up for that, all the pressure over this one went away.”
He’s psyched that not only will his parents be there to cheer him on, but Bert Show colleague Jennifer Hobby and her husband Grant Rivera will be there, too.
Among bigger name celebrities taking part that day, Dauler said, includes Mark-Paul Gosselaar (”Saved by the Bell,” “Franklin & Bash”) and Rainn Wilson (”The Office”).
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk