In our Question and Answer blogs, Nuun athletes introduce themselves to the Nuuniverse and (in their own words) dig a little deeper into their life as an athlete, muuver, and human! 

+ Name/ Location/ Sport

Kayla Kobelin

Seattle, WA

Triathlon 

+ Can you tell us what drew you to your sport in the first place, and what drew you to this level of performance? 

I was 22 and living with my Grandma, riding a $50 bike to and from work I bought off craigslist. Having a running background, I thought to myself “I can run pretty well, I got this bike riding down, if I teach myself to swim I can do a triathlon.” I was quite cocky thinking I understood how to ride a bike when I only rode 4 miles to and from work haha. I taught myself how to swim and signed up for Victoria 70.3. I bought a triathlon bike and in my first race didn’t realize you could shift gears so I did the bike course in one gear. I didn’t have a great finishing time but I was hooked! 

I think once I realized that I could put a pretty decent race together is when I realized I could actually turn pro. I never made it a goal in any of my races to do so, I wanted it to just come naturally and not put any pressure on myself. And in my 3rd triathlon ever (IM Louisville) I placed 2nd overall female and shocked myself!  

+ When you’re not _______, what’s your second favorite form of muuvment?

when I’m not swimming, biking and running my other favorite form of muuvment would have to be weight lifting! I spend quite a few hours in the gym each week cross training and absolutely love it. 

+ You Just finished a killer workout, what’s the first thing you’re grabbing from your fridge?

I usually make myself a protein smoothie but my go-to snack even with my smoothie would be pita bread and hummus! I probably go through 3 tubs of hummus a week. 

I put it on basically everything. Chips? Hummus. Salad dressing? hummus? Snack dip? Hummus. 

+ Early Bird or Afternuun Owl? Are you most likely to plan your workout in the morning or evening? Walk us through a day in your life. 

Early Bird! Since I have a fairly flexible schedule I like to wake up early to start my workouts. And since I usually have multiple workouts a day, I need rest time in between! I like to save my evenings for social time with friends and my boyfriend to enjoy our dinner without electronics and wind down from my day. Plus this time I can use for things done around the house I would put off in the AM (like laundry). This way I try to keep a balance of training and a social life! 

+ Do you have any heroes/ idols/ mentors in your sport of choice? 

I get a lot of inspiration from Pro Triathlete Angela Naeth. I love her positive attitude for everything even when things get tough or don’t go the way they plan. I love that she encourages more women in sport with her iracelikeagirl triathlon team! 

+What’s your favorite flavor & way to consume nuun? 

My favorite flavor changes every couple weeks, but right now I love watermelon! But Lemon Lime will always have my heart. My favorite way is to plop it into a re-usable water bottle with a little bit of ice so its refreshing. 

Pro tip: If im feeling fancy I use my soda stream to make carbonated my water and will put a NUUN tablet into sparking water! 

+ If we’re talking big dreams, how do you want to be remembered in your sport?

I want to be remembered in a way where I can inspire others to go out and encourage others. I get more joy standing at the end of the finish line cheering others in than I do crossing it myself. I love seeing people accomplish something and feel proud of themselves, and if I can motivate others to get involved in sports than I have done my job correctly. 

+ What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome – mental or physical? 

In January of 2019 I developed a life threatening allergy to Tree Nuts, Peanuts and Fish. This was very unexpected and scary to deal with. The month of February was spent in and out of the hospital trying to determine what else I was allergic to and how serious cross contamination can be! As a Vegan, this became difficult so I changed my diet into “whatever I calories I can consume that doesn’t try to kill me.” This meant changing how I fuel on my workouts and having to carry epi pens on me at all times even with my workouts. 

Food suddenly became my enemy and developed a lot of anxiety about eating out and would worry when my next reaction would happen. Through the months I have learned a lot how to manage this and understand now that there are certain restaurants and foods I simply can not eat. (RIP Thai Food). My friends and family have been super supportive throughout this and I just know I have to carry all my nutrition on race day as I can't take any chances! 

+ Race Wise: What are you most looking forward to this year? 

I am most looking forward to breaking into the pro scene and feel grateful to toe the line at races with quite literally the best in the world! I am also excited to finally have a schedule that can allow more training as well as more rest. 

+Anything else you want to say?

Breaking into the professional racing scene hasn’t been easy. Although it only took me two years to do so, there are a lot of hidden hurdles that people don’t see. If you’re on the verge of wanting to pursue your dreams - go for it! Leaving your structured life may be terrifying but the opportunities and happiness that can come your way outweigh all the negative thoughts you may have telling yourself why you can’t. 

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