Though every single person who takes on our challenges is an inspiration to us, Kim Perry is one of our particularly fierce participants. She went from barely being able to walk half a block without stopping in 2016 to competing in the CrossFit Games Open this year!
Kim grew up in Indiana but now lives in Michigan with her son and her wife, Jackie. She works in a special education elementary classroom. In 2016, she found herself overweight, exhausted, and ready for change. The change came in the form of her son’s teacher, who suggested they start working out together. The two convinced the school secretary to join them, and they began doing free weight workouts a few times a week, and eventually decided to give the “Couch to 5k” app a try when Kim suggested adding some cardio. At first, even walking was a struggle for Kim, but she persisted even when her workout buddies fell off the program. Determined to continue on her journey to health, Kim joined a gym and continued strength training in addition to her running and walking regimen. The school secretary told her about Run The Edge’s Run The Year 2017 Challenge and Kim was instantly intrigued.
The three original exercise pals signed up and, as Kim put it, her fitness “blew up” (in a good way). After completing her first Run The Year challenge, Kim pursued health like she never had before. She completed her first half marathon in 2018, finished a 12+ mile race that included 302 steps and some extreme terrain, and she joined a Health Trackers running group! Between the live events, virtual challenges, and running group, Kim started to feel better than ever! She lost 80 lbs, and continued to become stronger and more fit. She continues to take on Run The Year every year as well as a Streaker Challenge here and there!
Once Kim could quantify her progress, she began pushing herself more and more, and was reluctant to take rest days. “I was hard on myself,” she said in her interview, “I became hooked on the data.” She was working out twice a day and one point and never wanted to break her running streak (her longest one was 91 days!) but could see the downside of overtraining. She stills sometimes struggles to find balance but has begun prioritising rest time and moments to herself while still chasing her fitness goals. According to Kim, seeing her miles in the Run The Edge tracker “awoke something” in her. “I have never in my life stuck with something for this long! These challenges have kept my journey going,” she says.
Kim’s love of CrossFit began in 2019 when she joined The Pit Fitness Ranch, a local crossfit box, and began doing “CrossFit Lite” workouts. After this initial introduction, she was eager to see more of what she was capable of, but hesitant about the demands of the workouts. In January of 2020, she did her first “real” CrossFit workout and even continued to do them (at a safe social distance) during the pandemic! Spurred on by the encouragement of friends and the excitement for a new challenge, Kim signed up for the 2021 CrossFit Open, which is an open CrossFit competition where anyone who would like to measure their progress can register and see where they are in their fitness journey. At first, Kim was intimidated by the required movements for the competition, which included wall walks, pull ups/muscle ups, and burpees (one of Kim’s least favorite exercises), among other feats of fitness. To use her words, she absolutely “KILLED it” and was pleasantly surprised at her own abilities! To give an idea of how much her work had paid off, the maximum weight that Kim can deadlift is 265lbs! She is excited to have the measurements now so that she can track her progress in CrossFit and see how far she goes in the future.
While Kim has been focusing on herself and her own health, she also gives back to the health of her community by coaching her local Girls on the Run chapter. Three years ago, a colleague at her school sent out a call for volunteer coaches, and Kim responded. She has coached girls in 3rd through 5th grade ever since and has watched the group grow under her instruction! “I watched girls transform,” she said about her experience as a coach. “Just seeing girls who would normally have an attitude cheer each other on— it was really cool to see!” Last year, Kim became the head coach/ liaison for Girls on the Run and will continue coaching them as covid restrictions are lifted and more girls will be able to join.
We are so excited to see Kim’s progress, not only in our challenges, but in her own life! We are so grateful to have her in our community and her determination inspires us every single day. She has blown us away with what she has already achieved in both running and strength training, and we can’t wait to see when she does in the future. Thank you, Kim, for bringing your determination, drive, and commitment to our Run The Edge community!