Sunny Star: Perry Friedlander

This week’s Sunny Star shines not only in academics, but also athletics. She is a member of the UCLA Triathlon team and she regularly runs for her overall well-being and fitness. I think exercise is such an essential element to happiness and while it may be a little hard to fit in, it is so important. Perry Friedlander feels the same way. In fact, Perry was recently appointed as a Nike Ambassador where she is recruiting other collegiate women to participate in “She Runs LA” on April 28, 2011.
To read more about She Runs LA, you can go here:
1. You are currently on the Triathlon team—good for you! How has the experience added to your happiness?
I’ve always been a workaholic…in sports and in school. My mom used to be a triathlete and a runner, so of course it makes me really happy to follow in her footsteps! I have played sports my entire life, but nothing even remotely close to triathlon—not even competitive running. So trying something entirely new (while still having an athletic background) is really fun for me, and it’s a challenge. I just feel better after a hard workout or after I achieve a tough goal. Even on a day to day basis when I have been training for a few days in a row I feel more positive, happier, and active throughout the day.

2. What has been your happiest memory while on the team?

Well, I haven’t been on the team for very long…and I can’t exactly say I’ve had the best attendance to practice this quarter. Oops! But really, with the people on the team, that doesn’t matter. Just going to practice makes me happier—being on a team, surrounded by people who will always support you, will make you happier. I know it does for me, at least. My teammates are the some of the most motivated, entertaining, and friendly people I have met here at UCLA, and just having the experience of both hanging out with them at practice and at socials makes me happy to be on the team!

3. Swimming, biking, and running—that can’t always be easy. What do you tell yourself to get through the challenging times?

The races definitely aren’t the easiest activities you could do on the weekends, but to be honest it is the consistent training that’s even more difficult. Whenever I’m having a tough time with any of the events, race or not, I try to distract myself. It’s pretty embarrassing, but when I was younger and used to go on jogs with my mom and when I was having a hard time, she started singing “just keep swimming”…what Dory sang in Finding Nemo. Funny, I know! But it has stuck with me, and I’ve gotten in the habit of singing that to myself instead of thinking that I can’t do it. If not that song, thinking positive instead of negative thoughts motivates me to run that last mile or swim that last lap…thanks, Mom!

4. You are a part of the Iron Bruin event at UCLA. Can you tells us more about it?

Sure! As a part of the team, I am volunteering. The race was on Sunday, March 6th, and it has a traditional sprint-distance swim, bike, run format. The swim is 400 meters, the bike is 13.5 miles, and the run is 5km (about 3.1 miles). It sounds intimidating, but with appropriate training it is an accomplishable race for everyone! There are separate waves of the race, based on what a person puts on their entry form for how fast their pace is. Usually the collegiate triathletes compete together in a wave, and the general public goes after. You could even compete in a relay—one person swims, another bikes, and another runs! Triathlons are really fun, especially when it’s a fun course like UCLA’s is!

5. How do you think fitness can add to people’s happiness?

Well…like we all remember from Legally Blonde, exercise=endorphins=happiness! But in all seriousness, I do really think exercise contributes so much to a person’s overall life satisfaction and well-being. I said earlier that working out makes me feel SO much better for the entire day afterwards. I think once someone becomes more adjusted to working out on a daily basis (even if it’s just for 20 minutes), they get over the initial exhaustion from working out and really feel more alert and positive, I think this can contribute to so many other aspects of life including school, social life, and yes…sleep. I find I sleep so much better when I’ve worked out, and still wake up feeling alert. So many studies have found positive links between exercise and lifetime health, and healthy=happy!
Keep shining,
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
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