Team Elevate – Kami Banks
Editorial Note: Last week, we had the chance to sit down with Kami Banks, a weight, life, and triathlon coach who has been participating in endurance sports since 1999. A mother to four children herself, Kami started Team Elevate in 2021, a coaching program that is aimed primarily at moms. This was our interview.
Aum: Tell me about who Kami Banks is and when Team Elevate got started.
Kami: So, I am a triathlete myself, which you probably gathered [laughs]. I started Team Elevate in 2021. I’ve been doing triathlons since 1999. I started doing triathlons and then raced for a while. Eventually, I got married and then I had four kids and took a pause [from triathlons]. Marathons came in between until 2007, when I began racing Olympic distance again. In 2011, I did my first half ironman and then my first full ironman in 2015.
From the start, my goal was to qualify for Kona. Luckily, I won my age group and I got in for 2019. That’s my background in it but my mom got diagnosed with ALS so she couldn’t come to my race. She got diagnosed the same weekend that I qualified. By the time I made it to Kona, she passed away. The reason I’m telling you all this is that this was a catalyst for me to start Team Elevate. I figured out there was something more than me racing triathlons. I thought getting the slot was what I wanted, then I went there and realized there was still more to my story.
Aum: Wow. How did that eventually lead to Team Elevate?
Kami: So in 2020, I found life coaching and became certified. So, I took my life coaching, triathlon coaching, and – my mom was a raw food chef so I studied underneath her and I’m a plant-based eater – my nutrients coaching and put it into my team. In 2020, I was coaching on the side and decided we needed a team. In Jan. of 2021 Team Elevate was born with a small group of women, and it has been growing ever since.
Aum: So what kind of athletes are in Team Elevate?
Kami: It’s women that want to move. Most of us are moms and we want to be able to live our lives to the fullest with our very full plates that we already have. So that’s where we’re at right now.
Aum: That’s so awesome. I just really love the backstory and how that was the catalyst for something bigger and I’m glad you saw that it was another chapter in your story. So Team Elevate is for moms. Is it a national or local club? And what kind of activities does the club do?
Kami: Team Elevate is primarily geared towards moms because we talk about our relations with our kids and our families, but anyone can join in. But the majority of members are moms. And yeah, it’s International. We do a weekly group coaching call over Zoom. If you join VIP coaching program, then not only do you get all the group coaching, you get one-on-one monthly coaching, weekly check ins, and personalized workout plans. . It is open to anyone who has the internet but it is honestly geared toward moms. We also have yearly retreats. For example, we had a ski retreat at a cabin. Lastly, if I’m doing a race, we open it up to the team. So, if an athlete is doing a race, we just post it and they’re like “you want to come to the race?”
Aum: What would say to those moms who are looking for the courage to participate in these events or your club? I feel like there are 99 other clubs that cater to the male audience.
Kami: [laughs] There’s just not a lot of places where moms can go to compete and have dreams and I’m like just because we’re a mom doesn’t mean we have to stop. We can show our kids it’s still possible. And we don’t need to be on the podium! I often get asked do I have to do this or win this? I’m like no! This is also for the moms that are getting off the couch to do a 5K or just starting to realize the importance of moving. People just don’t talk about it enough [laughs].
Aum: Where can people find Team Elevate?