My name is Tristan Starling-Smith, and I am thrilled to join the Lake Nona Performance Club team as the Metabolic Health and Human Performance Lab Manager!
I am from Jupiter, Florida and have always been drawn to the active lifestyle that Florida provides. Growing up here allowed me to experience and pursue hobbies like snorkeling and surfing, which continue to be passions of mine to this day. These hobbies make me truly appreciate the unique environment we have the pleasure of calling home here in Florida.
I began participating in team sports as early as I could and fell in love with lacrosse the first time I played it. I played the mid-field position and one season my high school coach pulled me aside after conditioning practice and said “I need you to be able to be able to run all day without getting tired.” Unbeknownst to myself at the time, this is where my journey with exercise science began. I started experimenting with running speeds and distances after practice and noticed continuous improvements for years.
I followed this interest and received my Bachelor’s degree in Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Central Florida. My experiences in the research environment during my Master’s degree reinforced my desire to continue my studies as a doctoral student in Exercise Physiology.
During my time at the University of Central Florida, I have had the opportunity to contribute to the design and implementation of a variety of investigations in the field of exercise science. The diverse group of investigators I have collaborated with has exposed me to numerous research designs and populations. Due to this collaboration with my Professors and colleagues, I have co-author peer-reviewed scientific publications on a wide variety of topics, including Hypoxia, Supplementation, and Assessment Methodology.
As a Ph.D. student, I taught several undergraduate courses and also held a supervisory position in the Wellness and Research Center on the University of Central Florida’s main campus since 2017. The Wellness Research Center is a work-site wellness facility exclusively for faculty and staff. During this time, I managed the undergraduate practicums selected to staff this facility and supervised all faculty and staff activities. The responsibility I was given in this position is one of my proudest accomplishments in Graduate school, and this experience taught me so much more than I could have hoped.
On a Personal Note
I met my fiancé Justine in graduate school a few years ago. She is also pursuing her doctorate at UCF researching the circadian rhythm and how it may effect performance in multiple populations. She is from Pittsburgh, so I have enjoyed the opportunity of sharing my water based hobbies with her. We rescued our dog Nova from a shelter here in Orlando when she was a puppy. She is one year old now and enjoys shredding stuffed animals and sprinting as fast as she can.
I look forward to helping as many people as I can achieve their wellness and performance goals here at the Lake Nona Performance Club.
“The key to wellness at any age is exercise with intention.”