ADDISON, TX — If life’s a race then just try keeping up with Ariana Luterman, our Class Act of the Week, brought to you by Time Warner Cable.
Ariana is a sophomore at The Greenhill School, and she is already an elite triathlete!
“I didn’t really train much for the first one. I just finished and the minute that I crossed that finish line I knew that this is what I wanted to do. This is my sport,” Ariana said.
And her favorite part of the grueling race, is the one that usually scares most off!
“Most people don’t like the run, because it’s the end and you’re tired, but I love the run because that’s when you beat people,” Ariana said, smiling, “That’s when you outsprint people, that’s when you prove yourself that OK I’ve made it two-thirds of the way. One more third, let’s go!”
Ariana has some big goals for herself: Run an Iron Man triathlon before she finishes high school, and one day become a professional triathlete.
“I’ve been told that I have big dreams and big aspirations for myself,” she said. “But why not do it?”
And out there in the heat of the long distance competition, Ariana has a great teammate.
“As a 12 or 13 year old competing in these elite, adult races, it’s a little terrifying so I was like dad, if I’m doing them, you’re doing them!”
“Doing something you love with the person you love, that’s such a great feeling,” she added.
But it’s not just running the races that keeps her going forward. Ariana also works closely with the Vogel Alcove, a charity for children from homeless families, as part of her Team Ariana foundation.
“They don’t have a pillow to call their own, much less a room or a bed. That stuck with me.” Ariana recounted, “So I went back to triathlons and I thought 'I’m getting a lot of recognition for this. What if I use this recognition and put it towards a more worthwhile cause.'”
And that’s precisely what she did, recently being named Texas’ top youth volunteer by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
For Ariana, her whole life is defined by the thought that’s in her head as she sprints to the finish line:
“Why not go harder?" she said. "What’s the hurt in pushing yourself harder?”
On March 31, Ariana was presented with a silver medallion to recognize her selection by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards as one of Texas' top two youth volunteers of 2016 for her work with her foundation.
As a state honoree, Ariana will receive $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip in May to Washington, D.C.; while there, she'll participate in several national recognition events.
You can read more about Ariana's volunteer work here.
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