Kelly Kosmo, currently age 20, is one of the many fortunate recipients of scholarships from the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara. Read on to see how your fundraising for this organization impacts amazing young athletes like Kelly.
Profession, hobbies, athletic background, etc: I am an Astrophysics major at UCLA and am a member of the UCLA Triathlon Team. I have been a swimmer all of my life, and began running cross country in high school. I first started biking towards the end of high school as a form of rehab from a running injury. This provided a perfect background to begin doing triathlons when I went to college; thus I am now extremely grateful to have had the injury that led me to start biking, though at the time it seemed to be a set-back. For the past several summers I have been working at Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club teaching swim lessons, which is a great way to pass on my love for the sport!
When did you complete your first triathlon? I competed in my first triathlon in January 2012 and have since completed over ten more.
What inspires you to train/compete? My faith inspires me to keep going when things seem harder than what I think I can handle.
What is your favorite thing about the sport? One of my favorite things about the sport of triathlon is simply that you get to do three sports instead of just one! Not only does this make it three times as fun, but it also means you don’t spend all of your time doing the same exact thing, which keeps it interesting and reduces the risk of injury or burning out.
What is your least favorite thing about the sport? My least favorite thing about the sport is that good bikes are very expensive.
What is the best advice you ever received regarding the sport of triathlon? The best advice I have ever received regarding training is from my dad: you should not make excuses for doing anything less than your best. For example, being tired isn’t an excuse not to try hard.
Top Tips: 1. Enjoy it 2. Don’t let your mind be your limiting factor. 3. You can only go one step at a time so don’t psyche yourself out thinking about what lies ahead, especially in races. 4. Turn your head in the direction that you want to turn when you’re biking downhill.
How do you stay motivated? During the school year, I have my teammates around me to train with, which is great motivation. Yet even still, I have found that self-motivation is the key. The potential for self-improvement is a huge incentive to stay motivated. This, along with the fact that I just really enjoy training, motivates me to always try as hard as I can.
How has training for or participating in triathlons affected other areas of your life? Overall, I would say that training for triathlons has positively influenced many areas of my life, not only fitness. Dedicating so much time and energy to the sport has taught me to be more dedicated and hard working. Also, I have gained fantastic friends on the Triathlon Team, so it has definitely made my experience at UCLA exponentially greater.
Words of encouragement for novice or aspiring athletes: The potential for improvement is remarkable since there are three disciplines, especially if you are new to any of them! The newer you are, the more room you have to improve.
Any post triathlon indulgences? After a triathlon, I like to eat breakfast food, and lots of it, regardless of the time of day. If pancakes are anywhere to be found, I will happily eat them.
I would like to offer my sincerest thanks to the Scholarship Foundation for aiding so many students in their educational pursuits. The Scholarship Foundation has helped make it possible for me to go to college where I not only am receiving a valuable education, but also where I have discovered a new love for the sport of triathlon!
“As an honors student, a dedicated member of the UCLA Triathlon Team, an active community member, and a volunteer for BruinHope, I have learned to balance my time to pursue my many aspirations. To me, one of the most important aspects of academics is to be able to apply what I learn to other aspects of life so that I may better myself and use it to help others. I truly feel blessed to have the opportunity to receive such a valuable education. I would like to offer my sincerest thanks to the Scholarship Foundation.”