Weekend Warrior: Kelly Pledger Weeks

Triathlete, 48, Assistant Professor of Management at Rhodes College

Bragging Rights: I did my first super sprint triathlon in May 2014 in Shreveport, Louisiana. Since then, I have participated in 4 super sprints, 6 sprint distance, and 2 Olympic distance triathlons.

I have placed in my Age Group several times over the years:

  • 1st place in the Annie Oakley Super Sprint, June 2019
  • 3rd place in the Memphis in May Sprint, May 2019
  • 1st place in the Annie Oakley Super Sprint, June 2017
  • 3rd place in the Memphis in May Olympic, May 2017
  • 3rd place in the Memphis in May Sprint, May 2016

Bucket List: I had fun checking off one of my items this year. In May, I participated in the Amateur Challenge at the Memphis in May Triathlon. That means I completed the sprint distance race on Saturday and the Olympic distance race on Sunday. 

I ❤ Tri’s: I love the River Cities Triathlon in Shreveport. It has great swag and the course is around a beautiful and shaded lake. Even though I’ve been doing triathlons for several years, I still sometimes feel like a beginner. Everyone cheers me on as they pass me, and people are always willing to help out as I learn. 

Cross-Train: I really love the cross-training aspect of triathlons. It keeps things interesting and fun. I also believe that it helps reduce the likelihood of injuries. 

Motivation: Having a goal, like a big race coming up, gets me out of bed to go exercise, even when I don’t want to. I love that training keeps me in shape so that I can enjoy good food and wine without too much guilt!

Fit Kids: I have two children (12 and 14), and I like to be active with them.  We like to hike, camp, rock climb, and play disc golf. Being in shape helps me keep up with them.  A running friend says, “I am putting down an investment in my future.” This keeps me going when I feel lazy or unmotivated.

Next Challenge: Triathlon season is over for me this year, but I will be running the St. Jude Half Marathon again in December. I have run it three years in a row.

Get-Away: I love South Africa. The culture is so diverse, with such a rich and complex history. In addition, the environment is beautiful and the animals are amazing! My husband and I have taken several groups of students to Johannesburg and Cape Town for Maymester courses on the social impact of businesses and the intersection of race and social class across cultures. 

Passion: I’m passionate about social justice in organizations and in society. I do research and consulting on how organizations can become more equitable and inclusive for employees from traditionally marginalized backgrounds, and how all employees can work together across differences.

 INTERVIEW BY HAILEY THOMAS. PHOTO BY TAYLOR TARTERA.

 

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