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Athlete of the Month: Kim

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Kim is an integral member of our morning crew here at Upper East Side. Her consistently positive attitude and willingness to try is an inspiration to those around her. Seeing her go from ring rows and single unders to chest to bar pull ups, double unders, and handstands is proof that dedicated, consistent effort over time pays off in a big way! – Coach Jenna

How/when did you get involved in CrossFit?
I’ve had a very love / hate relationship with exercising over the years since leaving college where I was a rower. I completely fell off the wagon for a bit, then tried the running thing for a while. I started doing ClassPass and trying a wide variety of classes, but I wanted something more stable where I could track my progress over time. I had gone to EVF 360 a few times, so decided to just fully lean in and try out CrossFit!

Do you remember your first workout? How was it?
I remember the definite look of terror on my face when I walked in – which I think Jenna probably saw as well. We did a WOD where we had to attempt a max set of various exercises, one of which was handstand push-ups, which were completely out of my realm of understanding at the time. The only thing I could do in that workout was burpees!

What were your goals when you first started? How have they changed?
I think when I started CrossFit, I generally thought of exercise as a mechanism for weight loss and I hyper-focused on that, which was not smart in retrospect! Now, I’m much more focused on trying to gain proper form on lifts as well as gaining strength. I can move quickly but I can’t move a lot of weight, and I want to change that! Also, I am really trying to focus on mobility and rectifying my tight ankles and hips!

How have you grown in that time — health, body, mind, etc.?
I think I have a much healthier relationship with exercise than I ever have, and I really appreciate how much my body can do. I get excited about working out and testing my limits versus forcing myself to do something every day just because I feel like I have to. I genuinely look forward to CrossFit every morning and seeing what I am capable of each day!
Also, I really appreciate the need for protein in my diet and generally understanding what I need in my diet to succeed. I am way more cognizant of what I am putting in my body.

What do you enjoy most about CrossFit?
I love that there is always something to aspire to. There is always a heavier weight to lift or a new gymnastics movement to learn or perfect. I especially love the open because I’ve hit so many milestones during it, pushed myself to limits I never knew I had, and it gives me goals for the next year.
And of course the community! There’s a special place in my heart for the people I see every day at 5am; people who remember details about your life and notice when you’re not there for a few days. Honestly, CrossFit is the one thing I look forward to every day.

Favorite lift and WOD?
Deadlifts would have to be my favorite lift. It just feels so badass to load that much weight on the bar and pick it up. For WODs, “Randy” has a special place in my heart because it was the first workout I ever did RX, even though I’m not great at snatching. I also really like “Kelly” because it’s such a grind. I’m all about slow and steady winning the race.

What about your least favorite?
Front squats! I blame my hatred of squats on my height because I have further to go and I really struggle in the front squat position, hence my need to work on mobility. I used to want to skip front squat days but I’ve realized those days are most important.

What motivates you?
Gaining new skills!  I was TERRIFIED to kick up to the wall for handstands until this past open (and still sort of am!), but now I look forward to days where we work on handstands and handstand push ups because I am excited to work on that skill and push past that barrier.

Do you have any advice for new members?
Don’t be so hard on yourself, especially in the beginning! It took me a while to realize that CrossFit was a marathon, not a sprint, and it can take months to learn a new skill or multiple cycles to hit a new PR. Scaling workouts isn’t bad! I remember my first Saturday partner WOD where everyone was (seemingly) faster and stronger than me. I was so intimidated that I never wanted to come back on a Saturday, but now I found my Saturday buddy (thanks Eylem!) and look forward to it!

What do you hope to achieve in the coming year?
I really want to build my strength in Olympic lifts, especially squats, while maintaining good form. On the gymnastics side, I really want a non-banded ring dip, and FINALLY getting to a no ab-mat handstand push up (though I’ll take one with one ab-mat).