Nurit Katz

Nurit with her heroes—her mom, Margo and her grandma, Barbara

Photo Credit: Charles Linden

Triathlete; Chief Sustainability Officer, UCLA; Instructor, UCLA Extension

From Marching Band to Triathlete

For me, the clearest departure from my comfort zone was when I did the Ironman distance triathlon. Growing up, I was never particularly athletic. I did music and was in the marching band. But as an adult I was inspired by a friend to start running and eventually I trained on my own to do a marathon, something I’d always heard of but didn’t think I’d ever do. Not long after that I was giving a guest lecture at UCLA Anderson School of Management and one of the students came up to me afterward to talk about sustainability on the military base where he worked, and it came up that he was training for an Ironman Triathlon.

I had never even heard of the Ironman distance, which is 2.4-mile swim, 112 miles biking, and then the marathon at the end. I thought, “That is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard in my whole life.” I managed to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before my marathon, but the idea of doing anything else much less all those hours of swimming and biking seemed truly impossible. Then I learned this student trained for Ironman with Team in Training, a program of the Leukemia Lymphoma Society where you race and fund-raise to find a cure to blood cancers, because his father had leukemia. I had lost family and f riends to leukemia and lymphoma, and this tiny voice in my head said, “I want to do that.”

Get Going Supernova: The Bold Paths of 101 Superachievers to read the rest of Nurit Katz’s Story.
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