Family, adventure, and fitness are three words that describe Veena Rhodes.
Veena, a Pittsburgh native and fitness advocate, was raised in a family of doctors in the suburb of Upper St. Clair. Her parents immigrated to the United States shortly before she was born. Consequently, Veena spent much of her early childhood participating in events within her local cultural community. She played competitive tennis and dabbled in field hockey, volleyball, and racquetball while attending Taft, a boarding school in Connecticut. Afterwards, she completed her degree in Eastern Religious Studies while simultaneously fulfilling her Pre-Med requirements at Vassar College in upstate New York.
Following her undergraduate studies, Veena lived in Boston for a year doing breast cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute before moving on to the Penn State University College of Medicine in Hershey (“Chocolate Town”), PA. In Hershey, Veena met her husband and possibly developed her real love for chocolate. After all, because she lived near the factory, her porch smelled like chocolate or cow manure, depending on which way the wind was blowing! Together, Veena and her husband then moved to Delaware to complete residency. Afterwards, they lived for several years in Charlotte, NC, where Veena worked in locum tenens urgent care. This work schedule allowed for more “play” and family time with her firstborn.
It wasn’t until two kids later and a move to Asheville, NC, that Veena developed a passion for running.
What started with some occasional social runs organized by the local running store, Jus’ Running, quickly developed into a passion for fitness. Veena started to attend the store’s weekly track nights. She happily joined its racing team, participating in many local and regional road and trail races. She started cycling in 2014 when her husband brought home a “too good to pass up” road bike. Together they have enjoyed several cycling events, with the cycling and farm tours in the western NC mountains being their favorites.
Veena’s husband is also an avid athlete on the same racing team. They can often be found with their three children participating in races and triathlon events in the area. Whether riding the Blue Ridge Parkway from the front door, trail running the local state forests, relay racing across North Carolina, or cold plunging Wim Hof style in a local lake, you’ll find Veena and her lovely family taking full advantage of their plentiful and easily accessible outdoor offerings.
Veena ran her first marathon in Pittsburgh in May of 2016. It was at this event that she qualified for the Boston Marathon, which Veena is looking forward to racing in April. She also has longer endurance events on her bucket list, such as 70.3 ironman and 50k trail races.
When she is not tri-training, Veena is a foodie, a traveler, a physician and a full-time mom.
Veena is always up for tackling an adventure. She is excited to be part of the Cocoa Elite Team!