Culture

Faces In The Pack: Actress Katherine Kelly Lang

Meet the Emmy Award winner, actress, entrepreneur, philanthropist and triathlete.

Meet the Emmy Award winner, actress, entrepreneur, philanthropist and triathlete. 

Though Katherine Kelly Lang is best known for her longtime role as Brooke Forrester on the CBS daytime drama “The Bold and The Beautiful,” Lang has also been making a name for herself on the triathlon scene. She is not the first celebrity to tackle the challenge of swim-bike-run, but she is one of the first to roll up her sleeves for the sport as a whole: As a founding board member of the Women for Tri initiative, Lang has been hard at work promoting the growth of women’s participation in triathlon.

I’ve always been drawn to the idea of endurance. For more than 20 years, I raced horses in 50-, 75-, 100-mile races. I was obsessed. When my show, ‘The Bold and The Beautiful,’ was putting together a team of actors, producers and directors for the Malibu Triathlon, I jumped at the chance.

Like most beginners, I was daunted at first. I bought a wetsuit that was too tight, and when I was swimming I couldn’t breathe. I had to unzip my wetsuit while I was in the ocean, or else I think I would have been in trouble. Being comfortable with all your gear is so important. You may have to try some different items before you know what works for you.

I love swimming in the ocean, but every time I am training out in the deep blue water, I think about sharks coming to get me. I think that fear may always be there.

The 2015 Ironman World Championship in Kona was by far my favorite experience as a triathlete. I was so lucky to have the opportunity to compete as a way to raise money for Women for Tri. [Lang, along with fellow board members Moira Horan and congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, raised more than $75,000 for college scholarships for female triathletes and tri clubs focused on supporting women].

People have asked me what feels better—winning an Emmy Award or finishing Ironman Hawaii? That’s definitely hard to answer. You can’t ask me to choose between those two!

Triathlons have really taught me to take care of myself. Nutrition, sleep, hydration, being fit are all necessary ingredients of training and racing, yes, but there’s so much more. You have to stay healthy. You have to organize your time and prioritize. You have to push yourself to your limits and beyond.

My favorite part of working with Women For Tri is encouraging and helping women to do their first triathlon. I know what it’s like to be in their shoes—or their too-tight wetsuit. There are a lot of women out there who just need a little bit of support and guidance to get started in the sport. It is very exciting and gratifying to be helpful in this process and watch them learn, grow, and—this is the best to see—fall in love with the sport.

Female triathletes inspire me every single day. I am always awed by how incredibly tough they are. Every single one of them, from beginners to professional triathletes, is so strong.

I have so many mantras for training and racing: Anything is possible. Believe in yourself. You can do anything you set your mind to. You are strong and powerful. There is no limit. Never give up. If I believe these things with all of my heart, I know nothing can stop me.

It is difficult at times to fit everything in with a hectic schedule. It means early morning workouts before work, after work, running during lunch hour, extra long workouts on the weekend and also when we travel for work. Sometimes I get off the plane with my bike and go cycling for 100 miles.

In addition to her volunteer work for the Ironman and Life Time-backed Women for Tri, Lang uses her visibility to advocate for Breakaway from Cancer, a national initiative to connect people affected by cancer with the resources needed to navigate their diagnosis. Lang, who lost her father to colon cancer, serves as the organization’s ambassador at the Amgen Tour of California, an eight-stage professional cycling race.