Hokie Feature: Kristen Chang
September 19, 2020
HNFE Instructor Kristen Chang has never stopped moving; After excelling as an athlete in high school she came to Virginia Tech looking to explore the recreational offerings available.
“I had a physical therapist in high school who was a triathlete, so that's how I heard about the sport. So I came to tech and luckily they had a Triathlon Club. I was like ‘Great! So I’m gonna check this out’ and was immediately welcomed by this huge group of friends and it was such a good way to connect with other people while also being active.”
Before there was online dating, there was the Virginia Tech Triathlon team. Kristen met her husband Jordan while they both competed on the Triathlon team.
“That is how I met Jordan, we met our Freshman year, we were friends, we both learned how to swim together, had awful adventures on the bike together, and just explored this new sport together, and eventually started dating. We had many married couples come out of the Triathlon clubs, four that I can think of.”
“Community can look very different in a lot of different ways. Get involved, find your people, surround yourself with them. Find ways to build yourself that sense of community, that’s what the Hokie experience is all about.”
The mix of being a new mom and the pandemic has yet to slow Kristen down when it comes to exercise.
“In terms of throwing a child into the mix, it was a lot easier earlier on before he was active, when he just slept all the time. It’s definitely becoming a little harder now that he is more active, he’s just harder to leave behind. After having a child, [exercise] has been very critical for getting back to a sense of normalcy.”
“I typically try to swim twice a week, quarantine threw a wrench in that, but to try and maintain some sense of normalcy with swimming I put a little pool in my backyard, which was also a nice creative outlet. I run two to three times a week, maybe twenty miles a week. Biking is usually where I spend the majority of my time and energy, I do a longer bike on Wednesdays and then long miles on the weekend, anywhere from forty to sixty miles, and then strength training twice a week.”
When asked what advice she has for students during this time, Kristen said,
“Adapt and adjust. That's the motto I'm taking towards this virus and the changes it has made from a work perspective. You have to roll with the punches and you have to maintain an optimistic mindset. Even though we can't all be together we can collectively take time to understand what everyone is going through and the different ways our lives have been impacted, be patient and loving with each other.”
Story written by Molly McPherson