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UNC Swimmer, Spunky Skier and Adventure Aficionado: Katie Keel

Name:  Katie Keel
@tarkeel // @jolyncolorado

Nicknames: KK, Kate, Double K, Tarkeel, Kat, Special K

JOLYN Colorado Rep, Lover of all things active, swimmer for UNC-Chapel Hill, skier/snowboarder.  Total bookworm, builder of cool things (crafts, knick-knacks, etc.) and loves to travel! 

UNC Swimmer, Skier Katie Keel, four images
 What is your favorite dryland workout? 

Does tanning by the pool count? Ok seriously, I LOVE to ride my road bike. I’ll pack myself full of snacks, water and my phone/money and then just ride for hours and see where I end up. Colorado has lots of cute little mountain towns, so I’ll usually shoot for one of those and reward myself with a cold beer milkshake when I arrive. It's a great way to get in shape and explore my state, plus people are usually pretty bike friendly, so there are plenty of bike lanes and other cyclists on the road. However, I did get run over by a motorcycle once, so that’s something I hope never to repeat.


UNC Swimmer, Skier Katie Keel on a mountain top

What is your favorite water work out?

I love swimming and will always feel most connected to the water. I’d be happy as can be if I could be swimming in an ocean or lake every day. Unfortunately, Colorado is technically a “high desert climate” (a fact I discovered after moving here), so there is literally no water. Sometimes you can get in the water at the reservoirs if the bacteria levels are low enough, but it's weather dependent and hard to plan. So, I stick to the pool and frigid Colorado River! 


UNC Swimmer, Skier Katie Keel in front of kayaks

What activities do you do in JOLYN:

Swimming, triathlons, walking the dog, climbing, volleyball, daily life (in lieu of a bra), yoga, SKIING (spring time= slush time and sunny skies)

What's your favorite JOLYN color:

Blueberry! Classic. Oooh, or Cabernet. Hawaii Blue. Pink. Eeek, too many to choosee! 

What's your favorite JOLYN style and why:

Favorite top style is the vent, because it’s supportive and cute while still allowing me to do all the activities I want without exposing myself (a problem I’ve had in previous non-Jolyn suits).  For bottoms, Harley all the way. I like skimpy bottoms and that cut allows just the right amount of booty to be out, but still covers me and is functional. I’m obsessed and wear them all the time.
UNC Swimmer, Skier Katie Keel, in a bikini and raincoat
If you were stranded on an island and could only have 3 things, what would they be?:

1. My dog Saigon- DUH. I’m obsessed with her. She’d learn all sorts of cool things and could help me fish and forage and then we could work out on the beach and chill out together at night. Pretty sweet.

2. Vegan Chocolate chip cookies from Whole Foods. I’m not vegan, but I AM a self-proclaimed cookie connoisseur. After years of searching, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better cookie than the vegan choc chip from there. Guaranteed.

3. My kindle. As mentioned above, it’s hard to pry me from a good book. I’d be endlessly entertained learning all sorts of new things and reading adventure stories of how to survive on an island! Reading is a must for me.

Three things on my bucket list:

- Learn to break dance

- Go to base camp of Everest (and maybe further if I become a skilled enough alpinist)

- Become fluent in a few languages and live abroad


UNC Swimmer, Skier Katie Keel, skiing

Favorite athlete:

Lopez Lomong. Two-time Olympian and distance runner for Nike. He’s got one of the most AMAZING stories ever (book alert: Running for my Life), and is truly an incredible person. I interviewed him for my internship at the U.S. Olympic Committee and was immediately shocked and so touched by his story that I donated my entire paycheck to his non-profit on spot. I would HIGHLY recommend reading this book and getting involved with his organization. He’s a wonderful and inspiring man!

The craziest thing I’ve ever done:

Depends how you define crazy. I’ve got a lot on my list, but most recent example occurred two years ago. I was traveling to Asia for the THIRD time (I’m obsessed), and my hair got tied in this massive knot, so I chopped it all off. Like short boy hair. Then, I moved to Denver and began introducing myself as Katherine (more as a joke), but then it stuck. So essentially I chopped off all my hair and changed my name. I know what you’re thinking (witness protection, quarter life crisis, etc.), but I just needed a change! It was awesome and everyone should try it!
UNC Swimmer, Skier Katie Keel in snow goggles

What's in your fridge right now?:

It’s super rare that I have time to cook, but I went on a cooking frenzy last night and made four crock pot meals, so I’ve got some stir fry, Mexican dishes and two other Asian ones in there. And loads of fruit, along with something rotten, though I have yet to deduce what exactly is producing that horrid smell.

What motivates me:

While in college, my dad passed away and that was the biggest reality check as to how short life really is. I’m motivated not only by his memory (and to continue making him as proud as I can), but by the intensity and incredible richness life has to offer. I continually work my hardest to enjoy every day and challenge myself to try something new, expand my mind and truly reflect on my life. I’m so appreciative of every moment and am driven to keep pushing the envelope and constantly learn something new.

UNC Swimmer, Skier Katie Keel

Book recommendations:

Do you have all night? A few gooduns’ to start: Into Thin Air, Count of Monte Cristo, Scar Tissue, The Kite Runner and Shantarum.

If I was an animal and why:

I would totally be a penguin, because I love to swim and explore. Sliding on ice burgs seems pretty cool too and I’d be cute and fat and squishy.

How would you spend your last $10? :
Hitchhiking to a cool place

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