Change Your Life From the Outside In: Colleen Cannon


Age: 46
Home: Boulder, Colorado
Profession: Owner and founder of  Womens Quest, a company that organizes fitness retreats
Passions: Moving—in any and all ways; chocolate; her horses (she has two: Rafiki and Demi), dogs, and other furry animals

“The outdoors is the biggest playground we have.”

Colleen Cannon might have been a world-champion triathlete in the 80s and 90s, but theres not much thats serious about this athlete. The now-46-year-old says even her entree into the racing world was a fluke. “I didnt even know what a triathlon was. I thought, ‘It must be like the walkathon I just did,” she says. When Colleen found out she had to ride a bike, she showed up with her college-student model, complete with baskets and a kickstand. Despite that inauspicious beginning, she went on to win world and national triathlon championships (riding a real racing bike, FYI). Along the way, she discovered something: “Training isnt just about grinding it out and competing. Its about evolving to more of who you want to be. Wow! Thats kind of like life.”

After retiring from racing in 1992, Colleen founded Womens Quest to help others transform themselves from the outside in through physical activity. Her five- to seven-day retreats are a mix of yoga, trail-running, cycling, and soul-searching sessions—oh, and lots of fun. “You might say I have a PhD in play,” says Colleen, whose favorite playtime activity is running with her horses. “That way, when I come to a hill, I can just jump on.”

We met Colleen during Healths Real Beauty Road Tour 2006 with photographer Nigel Barker of Americas Next Top Model.