Ice Chamber’s 16 year-old National Champion: Miranda Robbeloth
by Sayaka Tora
At first glance, mild mannered Miranda Robbeloth may seem like any other 16 year-old high school junior. Born and raised in the Bay Area, the current Albany High School student likes Marvel movies and is an animal lover. She invites friends over to her home to watch “incredibly bad horror movies” and recently went to her first concert when she and a friend saw the boy band 5 Seconds of Summer.
But don’t be fooled by her shy smile and quiet demeanor. Miranda is a fierce competitor and one of the top junior kettlebell lifters in the country. This fall she will represent Ice Chamber and Team USA at the IUKL World Championships in Dublin, Ireland.
It was only 4 short years ago that Miranda grew an interest for lifting kettlebells at the young age of 12. At the time she was in middle school and had tried other team sports with little to no interest in any of them. Her mom Janet (who was already working out at Ice Chamber herself) insisted she pick an athletic activity for her overall health. Why not try kettlebells?
What initially started as a recreational activity grew into an avid curiosity and competitive outlet. A year after starting kettlebell lifting, Miranda’s first competition was at the Victoria Kettlebell Sport Classic in Canada. She performed 101 reps (50/51) in 12kg long cycle and hasn’t looked back since.
Champions Always Do More
Miranda’s passion and love for lifting is evident by her quiet determination. During the weekday while her peers are barely waking up to make it to school on time, she is often at the gym before 8:00am. She currently trains 5 days a week, sometimes twice a day.
Her hard work has paid off. Last year at the IUKL World Cup in Las Vegas, Miranda became the youngest CMS (Candidate for Master of Sport rank) in the US. At only 15 years old, she performed 100 reps in the 20kg long cycle event, a personal best. Miranda can’t help but smile recalling that special day. “It just felt really good. Before I had only gotten high 80s or low 90s and then I got 100. I didn’t think I was going to get that.”
Since achieving her CMS rank in Long Cycle, Miranda has recently shifted her focus onto another challenging lift: kettlebell snatch. A few short weeks ago, she recently hit a competition PR with the 16kg kettlebell with 160 reps at the All American Kettlebell Sport Championships at the 2015 Mr. Olympia in Las Vegas. That’s the same weight she’ll be snatching at the World Championships in November.
So which lift does she prefer? Given the choice between long cycle and snatch, Miranda doesn’t hesitate to say which lift she likes better. “I prefer long cycle, definitely. It’s more satisfying. It’s more fun.”
Her long term goal? To get her MS (Master of Sport Rank) in 24kg Long Cycle. She is not far off. Most recently Miranda achieved 70 reps with the 24kg bell at the 2015 USA Nationals in Chicago!
Like many high school students, Miranda isn’t sure where she wants to go to college or what she wants to do when she grows up. But given that much of her formative teenage years have been spent at Ice Chamber training and competing with kettlebells, she’s learned many lessons she will carry with her well after she graduates.
Kettlebell sport has taught her how to support friends and teammates. Competition has taught her how to win and lose graciously. The sport and gym have given her incredible role models; she says she looks up to all the strong women at Ice Chamber including her coach Master of Sport, Sara Nelson.
A Family Affair
Perhaps of all the strong women Miranda is constantly surrounded by, one that stands out in particular is her mother Janet. A fierce kettlebell sport competitor in her own right, Janet has been lifting by Miranda’s side since she started. They’ve traveled together all over the country from Las Vegas to Chicago to New York. In a couple months when Miranda travels to Ireland, Janet will be by her side as her mom and fellow Team USA member when she competes in the Veteran’s Division.
While some teenagers may seem resistant to having their mother constantly by their side, Miranda seems to enjoy the company. It’s brought her and her mom closer together; “It’s nice, it’s supportive. We can support each other”.
More than Just a Sport
While kettlebell lifting has undoubtedly made Miranda physically stronger, perhaps most important is that it’s made her mentally stronger as well. As a result of her naturally shy personality, she admits to once being apprehensive and afraid of doing things in front of people. Stepping on the platform has given her more courage to overcome these fears and gain self-confidence.
Mom Janet agrees: “Kettlebell lifting has definitely given her more poise. I’ve seen a real change. She feels really good about herself.”