Spartan Tri-athlete: KIN Alumni Pushing Physical Boundaries

By: Dr. Michael Dao, Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology

If there is one thing about a Spartan that can be true, it is that Spartans exude physicality, dominance, and an exceptional sense of self-discipline. Anna Guzman, a Kinesiology alumnus who graduated in 2011, epitomizes the physicality commonly associated with Spartans. At the same time, she is excelling as a triathlete who recently placed in the top 20 of Americans and top 100 of out 2000 in the Kona Triathlon. For those who may not know, the Kona Triathlon is one of the most elite and prestigious events for this kind of sport. As a former student-athlete on the SJSU Women’s Tennis Team from 2007-2011, Anna fell into triathlons because her brother was on the club team at Cal Poly. Thus, when she retired from competitive tennis, triathlons presented a very appealing form of physical activity and competition.

Anna Guzman, Kinesiology Alumnus

Anna acknowledged utilizing some of her Kinesiology background to help prepare for triathlons. Anna chose to study Kinesiology as an undergraduate student because she was always into sports, physical activity, and health and wanted to major in a topic that would allow her to work in these areas. As a student-athlete and always interested in sports, Anna was motivated to learn about the body holistically, eventually leading to her active lifestyle. For example, specializing in exercise and fitness, Anna has used her knowledge of exercise prescription, nutrition, and exercise psychology to manage her training for triathlons. What is important to Anna is the ability to understand how the body works, responds to training and rest, and how to better facilitate training to meet her goals. Moreover, Anna uses her kinesiology knowledge to educate others on how the body responds, how to better weight train, and how to prepare mentally for extreme exercise conditions.

Anna is currently the Senior Assistant General Manager of Sports Basement in Campbell. For her, it is great to continue to work in sports in her career and to be an ascending triathlete. Her most recent success was winning her first half Ironman in Santa Cruz. It has been nothing but hard work and discipline for Anna to get this far. She praises her time at SJSU for her ability to manage her work and training efficiently. She highlighted, “My day-to-day life consists of working a full-time job and training one or two of the sports every day while also maintaining a good diet. It can be difficult to maintain, but my experiences as a student and an athlete at SJSU taught me how to stay motivated and focused.” As a student-athlete, she learned discipline, time management, and organizational skills that have helped her be successful in all facets of her life. She keeps in touch with former professors and coaches who shaped her SJSU experience. Anna’s SJSU experience was meaningful, and she continues to hold her education and relationships now. Lastly, starting in 2024, Anna will be racing as a professional triathlete!

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