We are kicking off summer 2021 and our next Member Spotlight with a familiar face to anyone that has been part of CrossFit Tay Ho over the last seven years - that's right SEVEN years! Everyone, say Hello to Kim - the only OG CFTH Member left!
Kim is living proof that slow and steady wins the race. We have watched her improve and progress in her fitness, skills and strength over the years. Kim does not get frustrated (at least not outwardly!). She knows what she is capable of, pushes herself to that limit, and methodically improves on it. Kim is an extremely coachable athlete. She has goals she wants to meet, and seeks out the assistance to achieve those goals. And it has proved time and time again, that strategy works for her!
On top of her coach-a-bility, Kim is just a cool person. She is easy to talk to. She is friendly and supportive. She goes out of her way to make others feel included; whether that is sharing resources on something, or being the first to say hello. On top of it all, she has got a great family. A husband who is also a member of CFTH (Whats up, Ed?!), and a daughter who will be part of CFTH kids in the near future (Hello, Iris!).
Read on to find out more about Kim, including what it used to be like going to CFTH on the 3rd floor of a building above a boxing gym, how she only competes against herself, and her love of craft beer.
A lot has changed in Hanoi in the nine years Kim has been living here, but CFTH has been a consistent part of life in Hanoi for Kim. In her own words...
"To me, CFTH is a refuge. It is a place where I can go for support but also focus on myself and goals. As a mother of a young one with a full-time job, I do not get a lot of opportunities to focus on myself at this stage in my life. So, it is nice to be able to do something for myself but also be within a community at the same time."
How long have you been doing CrossFit/how long at CFTH?
My very first CrossFit experiences were with CFTH. My good friend, Sarah, convinced me to join in 2014 when Loris was still operating the box - that's right. I've been a member for a loooong time. There have been some breaks during that time, one was to have a baby, but I've always come back.
What was your very first class at CFTH like?
My very first CFTH experience was a bit weird. We were in the original location off of Au Co and went through a boxing gym, up the stairs to the second (maybe third floor?) to CFTH. I remember being perplexed because we had to take our shoes off to enter the boxing gym, carry them up the stairs and put them back on once we reached the floor with CFTH. Then, I was so wiped out from my very first WOD, that I almost cried thinking about having to wrestle my shoes off to get out through the boxing gym only to have to put them BACK on for the drive home. I wore flip flops to the gym after that.
What are some of your recent accomplishments/a-ha moments/or something you have been proud of in the gym recently?
I've recently gotten a strict pull-up, something I've had as a goal for a couple of years now. My a-ha moment is not recent, but I remember that it had a big effect on the way I approached the WODs. I think I finally figured out the difference in strategies/approaches to the sprint workouts as opposed to the heavy, more slow-going workouts. I also started paying more attention to what I could lift and how I could lift it so I could intentionally choose a weight and set a pace I could maintain throughout a wod. I've really started to focus on pace quite a lot in the past year.
What are some goals you are working toward?
I'd like to string together at least 3 strict pull-ups. I'd also like to be more comfortable without a plate underneath me for handstand push-ups.
Favorite movement/WOD and why?
I really enjoy any rig work. And, for some reason, kettlebell swings have always been my favorite - from the day I started in the original location. I love kettlebell swings!
Favorite CrossFit Tay Ho moment (doesn’t have to be during a class, just any favorite moment at CFTH)
I think one of my favorite moments was at the Turtle Lake dinner when the members all got together to discuss and listen to Rico and Ashish's presentation about why they wanted to buy CFTH and what their plans were to grow CFTH. I really enjoyed the box when it was community-run, some of my closest friendships with CFTH members were during those days, but I also knew that having steady ownership of the box meant it would grow, improve, and the coaching would become more consistent - which meant the members would also grow and improve. There's a lot to be said for knowing what you're going to get when you walk into CFTH. I have set and met so many goals since the coaching has become consistent, so I guess I can say that consistency is something that I really value - especially when it comes to training.
Something positive CrossFit has taught you?
CrossFit has taught me anything is possible when a bunch of like-minded people get together in a gym and encourage each other to be their best.
Any advice for someone just starting?
No one's going to keep tabs on what you're lifting or not lifting, how fast or slow you're running, or how many bands you're using except for the coaches. Try not to be self-conscious and try not to compare yourself to others. Every person in the gym started where you're starting. CrossFit is about what you can do in a community. Every contribution makes the community unique and special.
How has your health/fitness/mindset changed since starting CrossFit?
I've never had a very competitive personality. I'm not as interested in competing with others as I am competing with myself. I really enjoy setting challenges and testing my body to see what it can do. I used to be a distance runner, but since the pollution has gotten markedly worse since I moved to Hanoi, I gave that up a long time ago. I missed the test that a 20km run can offer, but I find that CrossFit has been a valuable and rewarding substitute. It's nice to know what others are doing on the board, and it helps me to set goals for myself, but really, CrossFit has helped me better understand what my body is capable of. Turns out that it's capable of quite a lot, actually!
What do you do out there in the real world?
I am a middle/high school English Acquisition teacher. I love to teach, but another important and rewarding part of my job is getting to work with teachers in other departments to support and coach them about including language support for their students during their regular lessons. As well, I've been promoted and will take the role as Head of the Language Acquisition Department next school year. (It's been a pretty exciting school year!)
How long have you been in Hanoi?
9 years this August!
Hobbies, Talents and or Interests? What does a day in the life of Kim look like outside of being a CrossFitter?
I am an avid gardener and crochet when I have a chance. I also like to read. My biggest role is being a mom to a super active 4 year old, and I like to get her out of the house on bike rides or long walks around the neighborhood. We generally like to look for new "shortcuts" in the alleyways and collect sticks and leaves for our compost.
Favorite thing to do in Hanoi (outside of CrossFit)?
Favorite Hanoi restaurant?
I cannot say. There are too many. There was a tiny little Bun Bo Nam Bo place in an alleyway off of Dinh Liet street in the OQ, but it's been quite some time since I've been there. I'm not sure if Grandpa is still overseeing the operation anymore. I should go check in on that...
What is a fun fact that would surprise us about you?
I'm not sure. I think Ed might be able to answer this question better. I guess maybe that I looooove craft beer.