Meet Elite Junior Triathlete Kyla Roy
What got you started in triathlon?
My dad did triathlon and my mom was a swimmer. I started out as a swimmer when I was 7, and spent seven years training with the Bisons – my events were the 50-metre and 100-metre sprint breaststroke. I’ve always liked swimming and running, so I tried out the Kids of Steel triathlon for fun. Some of my friends were on Gary [Pallett]’s team, and I started training with them twice a week.
I went to the Canada Games in 2013 for triathlon and I was the youngest one there. That was when I realized triathlon was what I wanted to do.
When training gets tough, what keeps you going?
Knowing it will all be worth it. I think about my goals for this year and for the future. Right now I’m taking things year by year. But my ultimate goal is to go to the Olympics one day – I always keep that in mind. That’s why I’m doing this.
After a disappointing race, who or what helps you continue?
I’ll talk with Adrienne [Leslie-Toogood], and do a debrief after each race. It helps me work through it if it was a bad race. I’m working on mental performance… I know that when I feel down, my performance suffers compared to when I’m doing well mentally.
What qualities do you believe are essential for high-performance athletes?
You’ve got to be willing to sacrifice, knowing that it’s worth it. Sometimes that means deciding between going out with friends or a training session. It helps that a lot of my friends and family are athletes too, so they understand. You have to be driven to keep going, even when it hurts.
Tell us about one of your best moments in the sport.
It was last summer at nationals. There was one particular competitor who everyone thought was going to win. She was pulling away – I motivated myself and I ended up out sprinting her. I did what everyone thought I couldn’t do, and that felt pretty great.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t worry about the outcome. Just go. Don’t overthink it.