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Thursday, Jun. 21, 2018
Amanda Kosmerly just keeps on going
2018-02-13
by Cambrian Varsity Athletics

Athletic participation has always remained the constant for Amanda Kosmerly.

As a youngster, it seemed only natural. Any opportunity to run, to swim, to play made for a good day. By the time she first attended Cambrian College in 1992, at the age of 21, Kosmerly had already been introduced to the triathlon scene as well, courtesy of Ron Beaudette.

Kosmerly, however, was far more than simply a participant in sport. She excelled at it. Making her OCAA debut in 1992, she ran to a silver medal, upgrading to gold a year later, with the Cambrian Golden Shield women’s crew capturing the aggregate team banner for both years as well.

“I loved this experience,” Kosmerly reminisced during a recent return to Sudbury. “The tri season would end and the college cross country season started up. I think my best memories of running cross country for Cambrian was being part of a team. Up until then, most of my running had been individual based. But in college, every runner counted, and we had just enough to make a team.”

By the time that Kosmerly returned to Cambrian roughly a decade later, intent on pursuing a degree in nursing, the world around her had changed. She and husband Jack had expanded the family notably, with children Hayden, Tayte and Shaylin all in the mix. It’s tough to maintain a rigid training regimen all while chasing three young toddlers around the house all day long.

“It was a lot tougher coming back once you have a family of your own, and I was pretty much out of shape when I started,” noted Kosmerly at the 2006 Cambrian Varsity Athletic banquet, the season in which she was named Female Athlete of the Year at the college. With more than ten years of separation, Kosmerly reclaimed the gold medal that she had first earned pre the new millennium, enjoying a much different perspective on a first place finish that came after her 30th birthday.

“Running for Cambrian was a test of time management skills when I returned for a second education,” said Kosmerly. “Not only was it a challenging program, but I now had three young children. I was very motivated to do well in school. But I must have been crazy to add cross country to my already overflowing plate. I managed to train between classes, and then I would give my books to a friend so that I could run home after class.”

Far more than any other particular accomplishment during the “Kosmerly – The Sequel” return to the OCAA cross country ranks, the very driven athlete walked away with a whole new awareness of exactly what was possible, given one’s beliefs. “Being a Cambrian really taught me that I could accomplish anything that I put my mind to,” she said.

“Over the course of those years, I grew stronger, both academically and athletically. I am still competing in triathlons, cross country skiing, open water swimming and bike races.” No great surprise there. In a very fortunate merging of lifestyles, the Kosmerly clan would enjoy the opportunity to move to British Columbia for work, almost ten years ago.

There may not be another area of the country that truly embraces general fitness in the manner that is seen in so many pockets of the west coast. It was the perfect setting for Kosmerly to remain committed to a lifestyle that is very much at the core of the person that she is. “Over the last decade, I got back into triathlon and have really enjoyed competing in the sprint distances,” she noted.

Morphing slightly to take part in the World Aquathlon Championships in Penticton (1 km swim + 5 km run), Kosmerly finished second in her age group. “I felt so proud to stand up on the podium with the Canadian flag,” she said. “I had worked very hard coming back from an injury (a fall during a ski loppet caused a second concussion that took some time to overcome). I was grateful for being able to compete.”

Looking forward, Kosmerly maintains that she is less about setting one or two particularly large goals, but prefers moreso the option of targeting several smaller ones along the way. “I’m competing at the Sovereign Lake Loppet in a few weeks, and managed to get a bucket list goal as well as I’m entered in the Alcatraz – Shark Fest open water swim (3 kms) in San Francisco in June.”

More than anything else, however, Kosmerly takes pride in trying to provide an entry level for others who might wish to pursue a similar path in athletics. “My biggest accomplishment, I believe, has not been an award or placing, but has been to motivate and teach many people to try and challenge themselves to participate in one of my favourite sports, or even just try an event."

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