KelsieLou represents Kelsie Louise Smoot. I’m the daughter of Phillip and Alice Smoot and was raised in a household of four brothers: Phil Jr, Corey, Jason and Brad. With this family dynamics it was hard for me not to take a strong liking to sports. I was exposed to a wide range of physical activities starting with cheerleading for the Southfield Falcons football team to private tennis lessons.
At an early age I realized I didn’t want to be on the sidelines chanting “I said a Boom Chicka Boom” and so on and so forth. I wanted to be in the action and there I remained. I branched off to figure skating at the Southfield Civic Center and performed in the Ice Show from 1984-1986. Shortly after, I joined Motor City Track Club under the coaching of Ms. Bettye Robinson. I can still recall techniques I was taught on the track of MLK High School in Detroit and on various snow-covered hills for Cross Country.
I competed in track Semi Finals in West Virginia and earned a spot on the 1988 Track Team for the United States Youth games held in Patterson, NJ. The following year I qualified for the Swim Team and competed at the U.S. Youth Games in Baltimore, MD bringing home a 6th place medal for a ladder relay. During that time I was coached by Gary Peterson and trained at Johnson Recreation Center on the westside of Detroit. Gary’s no nonsense saying of “Don’t be shy do that fly. If you go to slow, you gone do some ‘mo” is permanently etched in the competitive portion of my mind.
My focus remained on swimming as Brad and I joined the Southfield Swim Club. Jason was swimming for Southfield HS and my Mom was coaching swim at Redford HS. Once HS rolled around I was not willing to practice in the a.m. and not have my hair styled for school so I joined the freshman basketball team as more of a social club. My Mother was not too happy about my decision. Basketball followed me through college at Indiana Tech but I quickly turned down being red shirted for a paid engineering intern.
The engineering degree was used for a couple of years until I decided my heart was geared for working with youth and helping them grow into healthy and active adults. I earned a Masters Degree from Wayne State University in Education with a Major in Physical Education and minor in Health. I am an example of how children being exposed to physical activity at a young age will more than likely chose to be active adults.
While running at Cherokee Park, I was told by a stranger that I should race and for my age group and pace I would do good. So far, he was right. I can never settle and I know there are runners in my age group and older who are faster. My goal is to compete in one race per month. I need to broaden that goal to get others motivated.
When I am not racing, I am a loving foster parent, an energetic teacher, and a proud health fanatic.