World-Class Athlete and Boise Resident Kristen Armstrong and Her Exciting New Project to Help Our Community Stay Active and Fit
When and how did you discover you were serious about cycling?
I graduated from college and began swimming and running to keep in shape. One thing led to the next, and I entered into my first triathlon. I competed for a number of years in the sport for triathlon, and unfortunately, injury ended up getting the best of me. It wasn’t until my late 20s that I fell in love with bike racing. Because of injury, I was forced to give up running as it was too impactful on my hip joints. I was asked by a local cycling team to join their team and compete in the HP Women’s Challenge, a top international cycling race that started right here in Boise, Idaho. At first, my response was, “Are you kidding me? This race includes the best of the best in the world! I don’t want to embarrass myself.” I was working full-time at an advertising agency and ended up accepting this offer. I took all of my vacation days to participate in this world-class event. After work, I would ride in the dark with a headlamp, and on the weekends, I put in the miles and did course re-con. Before I knew it, the race was upon us, and by the end of the competition week, I had three pro contract offers. If it weren’t for this amazing opportunity in Boise, Idaho, I truly can say that I would not have accomplished what I have in the sport of cycling—what a dream come true! When opportunity presents itself, you must recognize it as well as take it.
You have traveled all over the world, growing up in a military family and later for your sport. Is there any place you haven’t been yet that you would like to visit?
I have traveled across the world a number of times and have explored just about every country with my family or on a bike. I would like to take my son and spend more time in Italy and Switzerland, two of my favorite places on earth.
Why did you decide to make Boise your home?
I grew up as a military brat and moved every three years from when I was born to when I graduated high school from Kubasaki H.S. in Okinawa, Japan. I chose to go to college at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, and absolutely loved every minute. I fell in love with Idaho. After graduating, I decided to move south to the BIG city, Boise, and have been here since. I have traveled the world, and the grass doesn’t get much greener; Idaho is a special place that I love calling home.
What are some of the benefits of being the most decorated U.S. women’s cyclist of all time?
I have never looked or focused on the benefits of being the most decorated U.S. women’s cyclist of all time; however, I often have to pinch myself when reminded. I think of how lucky I am to have had the opportunity not only to compete at the highest level of sport but also reach the pinnacle of sport by winning gold three times consecutively in the Olympic Games. I love sharing my story and inspiring our next generation; that is the greatest benefit of all!
Do you find there are any challenges connected with being such a well-known athlete?
I think the biggest challenge presented is having enough time to be part of all the amazing causes and nonprofits in our state. The opportunities that have been presented to me are so flattering, all of which support amazing causes. Unfortunately, I don’t have the hours in a day to be present and part of all I wish I could be part of. I have to continually reassess and refocus where my energy is placed and where I can make the greatest impact.
What are you working on now?
I recently announced a new business venture called PIVOT Lifestyle + Fitness by KA. We are bringing the community a new 10,000-square-foot membership-based, state-of-the-art fitness facility in the Treasure Valley opening in spring 2019. PIVOT Lifestyle + Fitness by KA will empower people to take care of their whole self in an unmatched culture of support. We will meet you where you are in your journey of health. We are taking a holistic approach to health encompassing the whole body ultimately focusing on achieving optimum function and performance.
We will bring unique and key offerings that will inspire members to be their best. We pride ourselves in delivering high-quality classes and programs in our three workout studios through educating, empowering and achieving. We believe growth is an upward continual movement, and at PIVOT, we will provide structure to help one grow.
At PIVOT, we live by the mantra “Live for Today. Prepare for Tomorrow.” To learn more visit, PIVOTbyKA.com.
What advice do you give for staying active and healthy?
My advice is to believe in yourself, find your community and surround yourself by others who will support and empower you to your best. Prioritize your health, and make it part of your daily life; don’t look at health and activity as an add-on or something you are trying to balance in your day.
What advice would you offer to young athletes?
My advice is to keep it fun! If you aren’t enjoying the journey to achieving your goals, the end result is not worth it.