Inside "The Box" training center in Eugene are some aspiring triathletes.
"I like biking, I like swimming and I like running so just put them all together," 12-year-old Ashton Stowell says.
Over a dozen Kidsports athletes were selected to receive complimentary conditioning classes from Metcon Training (Metabolic Conditioning) to prepare them for the newly formed Triathlon Eugene, The Oregon Challenge on August 28th.
One of the first rules in "The Box" is no whining.
"Training is definitely pushing me but I think it's good," 11-year-old Meherbaan Khalsa says. "I feel like by the end of this I will have improved a lot."
9-year-old Santanna Jones is preparing for her second marathon. "If you don't feel like pushing yourself, just move on with it."
Kids are kids, so swimming, biking and running in the summer is nothing new, but Byron and Caitlin Gold of Metcon Training offer that extra push.
"We obviously don't have a swimming pool, we don't a bunch of bikes laying around, we don't have a triathlon course but everyone needs general conditioning, general physical preparedness." Byron Gold adds that he and his wife are teaching the kids mental toughness, "because really that's what it comes down to, you can do anything if you are mentally tough."
For a handful of the athletes, they have already been though the gauntlet of a triathlon before.
Jacob Shelton describes the feeling as, "Between the biking and when you start running, that's really weird. It's like nothing else on your legs."
As for those grueling workouts? The kids just find a way to dig deep and let the cards fall where they may for their eventual 200-yard swim, nine mile bike and 1.5 mile run.
"You just don't give up and you keep trying even if you fall down," 8-year-old Ryann Kokkler says.
A pumped up Vonortloff has a mantra that he works though. "Just push yourself, push yourself, push yourself. That's all I think about is just push yourself."
Good luck to all in being strong to the finish.
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