Our athlete of the week is Samantha Kayne! Samantha has been working hard and training for triathlon with EF since she was 7. Since she began training, she’s gone from doggie paddling her first 50m swim in a race to placing 6th at Youth and Junior Nationals. We’ve enjoyed helping her along the way, but the work she’s done is all hers!
Samantha’s first exposure to multisport was watching her brother Patrick at races and cheering him on. Her mom suggested that she try one of these races that she had spent so much time at. Once Samantha tried it, she loved it. Samantha loves having a sport that she never gets bored doing. Since there are three events built into every race, she has many different things to focus on in a race. She also has a full training schedule as a result!
One of the most challenging things for Samantha about triathlon is balancing the training schedule with the rest of her pursuits. She plays in a school band, participates in an art club, volunteers at a local library, and also swims competitively! Sometimes Samantha has to forego things like sleepovers in order to get some early morning training in. She says she still finds time to see her friends, though, even at the occasional sleepover.
Samantha has had a great season so far. One of her favorite things about training is being able to set stretch goals and then enjoy the feeling of accomplishing something she was never capable of before. That was the case earlier this month at Youth Nationals, where she got out of the water with the fastest bunch of swimmers and got into a great pack for the bike, landing her 6th place in the race.
Overall, the best moment of any race for Samantha is when the air horn goes off and she’s just getting into the water in a mass start. Draft legal and mass start races are new to her, so the feeling of adrenaline pumping when everyone goes off is a new and exciting feeling. However, in a more long-term sense, Samantha also enjoys the practice of setting goals and breaking them, as well as getting out of her comfort zone and accomplishing something new.
One of the most important things that Samantha has learned from training with Endorphin Fitness is that ultimately she’s responsible for her own success. Although her coaches and teammates are hugely helpful in encouraging her on towards improvement, it’s up to her to make that progress. Her advice to beginners, though, is to balance this against the need to have fun while racing and enjoying the process. She says “even when it’s hard and you’re hurting, find a thing that makes you smile and focus on that.”