Children these days are offered a lot of choices on how and where to spend their time aside from school: toys, video games, clothes, books, gadgets, and other hobbies that are supposed to make them. If they are lucky enough, they get to have it all.
When it comes to athletes such as Alaska IronKids champion Tara Borlain, one can easily be inspired to do more than stare at a screen all day. Influenced by her sister, Samantha, Tara was an amateur started out with zero skills in swimming. She began training under her dad with her heart and mind set to exceed herself with every session. Her passion for triathlon has never faltered since then.
Science tells us that at an early age, children already have the capability to discern which actions they want to imitate or follow and, given the right exposure, guidance, and influence, some of them even figure out what they want at a very young age. Whether it is for painting, music, the performing arts, or sports, what matters is that they act on what they are passionate about.
Aside from being a sport that allows kids to learn new things and meet new friends who share the same passion, triathlon teaches the value of practice and the challenge of rivalry with a different attack. The beauty of organized sport lets kids find joy, not just in training, but in competition. While not all will take part with the sole intention of winning, they push on because it just knowing they were able to complete that first swim, that first kilometer, or even that first race can be its own reward.
Questions on their children’s stamina or the competitive nature of other participants, while valid, have proven wrong, if the number of Alaska IronKids participants over the year has been anything to go by, as the event has consistently seen more and more sign ups since being introduced in 2010.
Whether you’re playing for fun or for competition, an active lifestyle knows no age.
The Borlain sisters are among the thousands of youth who have chosen to live an active lifestyle and reap its benefits for their physical and mental development. They prove how triathlon can be a good foundation for kids because the sport itself, and the people who participate in it, inspire them to keep on improving.
Kids these days are offered with a lot of choices, and with the next edition of IronKids set to bow, it is truly inspiring to see the faces of those who are just beginning to discover their passions.