How a strategy for beating stress turned into a lifetime passion for Ironman athlete Lydia Harley
Published in 2022 Florida Super Lawyers magazine on June 24, 2022
Five years ago, Lydia Harley found the perfect solution for stress: triathlons. “It was the best decision I ever made,” says Harley, who competed as a gymnast at school in her native Germany.
Though she knew only conversational English when she arrived in the U.S., Harley earned her undergrad degree and MBA, then graduated summa cum laude from Nova Southeastern University’s law school. It was after going to work at Kelley Kronenberg that athletics returned to her life, thanks to firm CFO Heath Eskalyo.
“He introduced me to the three-discipline sport of triathlon at a time when I was seeking a counterbalance to the stress that our profession can often create,” Harley says. “Triathlon enables you to tap into the deepest corner of your character to find the strength, endurance and discipline that you didn’t even realize you had.”
Her alarm goes off at 5:15, rain or shine. “I start the day with my training schedule, which consists of either a run, swim or bike session,” she says. “Around 8 or 8:30 a.m., my work day starts. And as I get closer to my race day, a second training session follows my busy day in the office.”
Her first race was a 70.3 Ironman in Sweden (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride, followed by a 13.1-mile run). She chose Sweden to visit and honor her grandmother, who turned 100 that year and lived close to the race destination. This year, she has two 70.3 races planned, COVID-19 permitting: Amsterdam and Duisburg, Germany.