February 10th, 2011
07:19 PM ET

Triathlete hopes to inspire other moms

In the 2011 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge , six selected viewers will  participate in a six-month training program. Each will receive all the gear, training and nutritional support necessary to complete the race and will compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta on August 7 in the Nautica New York City Triathlon.

Growing up India, Kas Seerla cannot remember ever breaking a sweat exercising.

"Sports and athletics weren't encouraged for girls," she said. "Physical activity was not a priority. The focus was on academics."

But, she always felt as if she were missing out on the fun, so when she came to the U.S. for college, her appetite for learning new sports was insatiable.

"I learned how to swim, roller blade and play tennis," she said. "I have gone surfing in the California oceans, white water rafting in the Colorado River and gone rock climbing at Devil's peak in Wisconsin."

And although she's tried many sports, she never considered herself an athlete. After college, she went on to grad school, started a successful technology career, got married, and had a baby. For Kas, fitness fell off the map again.

But when she left work to raise her second child five years later, she missed the competitive spirit she'd developed in the workplace, and turned again to physical activity.

"There were several things on my bucket list that I wanted to do before I go back to work," she said. "`Fitness was one of them, so when my second daughter turned 1, I decided to enter a 5K race. "

Kas says she caught the race bug, and began to set her sights higher - she was even considering a sprint distance triathlon when she came across the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge.

"I had followed the 2010 triathletes when I had just delivered my baby. At that time, I used to read some of the stories and feel motivated to exercise and lose the baby weight," she said. "So, when I saw that they were running the program again, I had to send in my video!"

Now that she's been selected for the Fit Nation team, Kas has started swimming, running and cycling, and is even training to be a yoga instructor.

With the help of Chicago-area triathlon coach Jenny Garrison, and Fit Nation Athletic Director Laura Cozik, Kas feels confident that she'll be able to train and manage all of her responsibilities at home.

"Taking up something new is always intimidating and scary. Coupled with the responsibility of taking care of kids and running a household, most moms don't want to undertake new challenges," she said. "I hope that sharing my experience will motivate moms to take up sports even if they haven't done so before."

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Ninalove

    Kas, you are BEAUTIFUL!!! I miss you already – a week ago, we had just met, and look what good friends we have already grown to be! Good luck with your training and I'll see you at the "Mid"! 🙂 Nina

    February 10, 2011 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Anil Kshirasagar

    Yes, we all know you can do it!! Good Luck And All The Best!

    February 10, 2011 at 22:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. currysultan

    Kas, You can do it! Remember I did it too! Though I still can't swim!

    February 11, 2011 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Tiffanie Sperling

    So proud of you Kas!

    February 11, 2011 at 02:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Manjunath

    Looks like she has all qualities of a good healthy mother, house wife, citizen etc., etc., Keep it up.

    February 11, 2011 at 03:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Kalpana Kannan

    Best of Luck Kas- you can do it!!!

    February 11, 2011 at 06:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Dr Bill Toth

    I hope many moms are inspired by her story, accomplishments.

    February 11, 2011 at 09:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Jeff

    Yeah, it would be too much to just tri to inspire ALL people. Apparently it's acceptable to only support your kind, so I'll only be supporting white men from now on. Sounds bigoted doesn't it?

    February 11, 2011 at 10:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Traci909

      Jeff, get over yourself. It's not like the article said she wanted to inspire moms and trip everyone else. When an amputee skiier says they want to inspire other amputees to participate in sports, do you get your knickers in a twist then, too?

      February 11, 2011 at 16:15 | Report abuse |
  9. Stasia

    Go Kas!!!!!

    February 11, 2011 at 10:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. nicole

    BRAVO KAS!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 11, 2011 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Vera

    Don't forget to exercise to reduce your risk of cancer!

    February 11, 2011 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Curiouser

    So who is taking care of the kids, cooking and cleaning while she does all this?
    I kept re-reading the article to see if there was a clue HOW she is going to do it.
    Actually all of the above burns quite a few calories. It is just not as
    glamorous as this article with her coaches and all.
    Nice to have the money to stay at home, though.

    February 11, 2011 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. A Tri Mom

    This is not a first I am a working mom and know plenty more who complete in tri every year. Good for you however i guess i am jelous knowing you get free coaching and .edia for what other do all the time. Go all you TRI Moms.

    February 11, 2011 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BG

      I totally agree! I wonder what the criteria is for selection. There are lots of similar "tri-moms" and "tri-dads" competing year after year without such support or publicity. "Inspiring other stay-at-home moms" seems like a lame reason when considering the WORKING moms and dads out there who actually manage their job/s along with the housework and kids while training for a triathlon. And there are lots of women out there who train all by themselves for such a race with no prior inclination towards sports and don't get as much attention for their efforts. Maybe some people need such publicity in order to stay on track.

      February 14, 2011 at 18:37 | Report abuse |
  14. Deepthi

    Good Luck Kas!!.You can do it .

    February 11, 2011 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. the_dude

    Well at least she didn't blame her lack of sports participation in her youth on the white man.

    February 11, 2011 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. ashwini

    Awesome good luck to u 🙂

    February 12, 2011 at 10:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Kendrick

    Hey Kas! Keep up the good work! I cannot wait until August!

    February 12, 2011 at 17:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Zee

    Take all the negativity you come across and turn into a positive experience by working much harder to achieve your goal.
    Will leave you with a quote from Martina Navratilova: "I think the key is for women not to set any limits."

    February 12, 2011 at 20:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Kandice

    I thought she said she quit her job to take care of her kids. Who's taking care of them now when's she's busy training for a triathlon? Not everyone has the "luxury" of having time away from their kids in order to pursue their "dreams".

    February 13, 2011 at 08:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jenny

      Wow, what a lot of resentment. So in your opinion, training for 2-3 hours a day is equivalent to not taking care of your kids? Are you saying that stay at home moms with kids cannot do triathlons? No stay at home moms should pursue anything outside housework? How dare they think of doing something other than the dishes, huh??? What is this – Saudi Arabia? Would you have had the same reaction if it was a man with kids doing the triathlon?

      Kas, Haters will hate. Remember there are people out there who ARE inspired by your story. Ignore the haters and forge ahead.

      February 13, 2011 at 10:39 | Report abuse |
  20. LG

    Great article! I am the daughter of immigrants, and they always education, school and academics. At 26 I am just learning to swim and ride a bicycle. Good luck. A great story to show that who ever you are and where ever you are in your life you should never place limits on yourself.

    February 13, 2011 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. harp

    In a country fighting an obesity epidemic, this is a tremendous undertaking, and needs to be shouted from the rooftops! All the random debate on working moms and TRI moms is irrelevant; let's support all those who are getting in shape. Complimentary trainers and media attention? Even better! Good luck and keep inspiring all of us-TRI moms, working dads, and all...

    February 15, 2011 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Satish

    Hey Kas – rooting for you.

    March 7, 2011 at 07:20 | Report abuse | Reply
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