Upah beats all at being busy

“People might not know this, but I actually do manage to maintain a social life,” sophomore Kristin Upah laughs. That certainly may be hard to believe, considering she juggles a busy schedule, chock full of AP classes, sports, music and other activities. Kristin has lived in Ames her entire life with her mom, dad, younger sister and yellow lab, Honey. For Kristin, one of the highlights of living in Ames is the weather. “I like how you can get the best of all four seasons,” Upah said. “I actually kind of like winter. There’s something about the way the cold hits you when you come out of a building that’s refreshing.” Other than spending time standing out in the cold during winter, Kristin devotes the majority of her time to athletics, academics and band at Ames High. “My schedule is intense,” Upah said. “I always have to be doing something because I hate to feel lazy.” Kristin participates in three sports: cross country, basketball and track. “Running is one of my obsessions,” Upah said. “I love to run because it’s something that you can always feel good about doing, and something you can always improve on. I’m really competitive against myself and others, so I also like running because it’s really easy to see how I either improve or get worse with each race.” Another aspect of running that Kristin likes is “the relationships you are able to build with people after running alongside them everyday.” Kristin has been playing basketball since she was in Little Dunkers in the 1st or 2nd grade. “It’s a lot different from cross country and track because there are so many more points to it,” Upah said. “It can be really stressful at times, but I enjoy it because it’s a challenge. To escape from the stress, my teammate Robin, aka 5 dolla’, and I, aka two hands, are working on a rap about sandwiches and basketball.” When Kristin is not being an aspiring rapper, she is first chair clarinet in concert band, though she is not looking to become the next world famous clarinet player. “A kind of weird thing about band is that I name my clarinets,” Upah said. “Each name has story behind it. My marching band clarinet’s name is Fregene, my concert clarinet’s name is Elodie and my contra alto clarinet’s name is Claude.” Kristin also manages to take a grueling schedule full of AP and honors classes. “AP Biology is my strongest class because, in some sick way, I actually really love that class,” Upah said. “It’s kind of, if I dare say, fun to learn about all of the different things that allow organisms to function.” Whether she is leading the pack in track, blowing her heart out in band or owning others in academics, Kristin applies her competitive nature to everything she does. “My competitive edge can be seen as I continue to basically own others in academics, not to be modest or anything,” Upah said. “Really, though, I do try pretty hard in school. Some of it comes naturally, but I work really hard, too.” Other than being more competitive than the normal high school student, Kristin has a few unique traits and mannerisms. “I have this weird superstition where I have to make my last basket every time before our coach calls us in,” Upah said. “Sometimes I think people think I’m just ignoring the coach when I continue to shoot, but I just have this weird theory that it’s bad luck to end anything on a missed shot.” Kristin is also a horribly unorganized person and quite the klutz. “I swear that I trip or knock someone over at least every other day,” Upah said. “I don’t wear white shirts because I always spill on myself when I do.” As far as the future goes, Kristin has a few tentative plans but does not like to plan too far into the future. “I do plan to continue to run and take both AP Physics and Psychology next year,” Upah said. “Even though I probably won’t have time, I also like to fantasize about being in a play next year. Maybe if I get bored, I’ll invent a way to go to Mars, cure heart disease or make instant five course dinners.”