Belfast Telegraph

America Ferrera: 'My first triathlon terrified me'

Working out is an emotional experience for the actress.

Actress America Ferrera cried while training for her first triathlon but she has a healthy new love for her body now she's completed two.

The 33-year-old is the stunning cover star of July's Triathlon magazine and admits in the accompanying interview that she spent years obsessing about how her body looked and what she could accomplish, but completing her first triathlon last year (16) has led to a healthy new attitude towards exercise and her shape.

"Nobody taught me to appreciate and love my body for what it's capable of," she explains. "It was always about what it wasn’t and couldn’t do, and what it could be."

Her triathlon training has prompted America to embrace all her fears.

"I think recently, in the past few years of my life, I’ve started noticing a pattern of when something scares me, that's an indication that I should do it," she adds.

After a friend's mother died of leukaemia, America and her husband Ryan Piers Williams signed up for the 2016 Olympic-distance Nautica Malibu Triathlon and started asking friends and family to sponsor their efforts to raise money for the U.S. Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. But she wasn't at all sure she'd made the right decision.

"There were absolutely times where I doubted whether I could do it," she shares. "When we started, I was not a swimmer at all and I remember one night at swim practice where I was just literally weeping in the pool. I just started crying because I had to swim 600 metres in a row."

But she did it, completing that first triathlon the day before the 2016 Emmy Awards, and finishing her second in April (17).

"Everything we feel, everything we experience, everything we do is contained inside of our bodies. And to be challenged physically is to have to meet all of your experiences," she acknowledges. "That’s why, personally, working out has always been an emotional experience for me."

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