Amy Chow, 27
I’m an adult-onset athlete who began loving exercise almost accidentally. I ran for stress relief and to burn off all those late-night ice cream pints while studying engineering in college. A friend decided I was an easy candidate to convince to do a marathon, so I ran Chicago my sophomore year. The following summer I got a road bike, and a group of us decided to do a sprint triathlon in northern Illinois. Despite the 67-degree temperature of Lake Michigan and having to sidestroke much of the swim, I was hooked and I’ve never looked back. Seven years later, exercise has become a way of life, just like eating or sleeping. I still do triathlons and there is a swim, bike or run almost daily. More recently, though, I have become a strength/conditioning convert, too. I started CrossFit a few years ago but now make my home at Atomic Athlete. I still use exercise for stress relief, but as I have tended toward masters swimming, PedalHard and Atomic, it’s become a fantastic way to make friends. Plus, the group atmosphere is great — everyone is there to push him or herself, but in turn, that pushes everybody.
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