Kari James is a fixture at here Lynwood CrossFit. When Kari shows up, she has a smile for everyone and is extremely supportive but when Coach yells 3, 2, 1…GO!, she has a game face that rivals an Apache warrior. We have been talking about doing an “Athlete of the month” section on the website for a while and after Kari did 13.2 twice in one morning, the choice for the inaugural interview was obvious! Here is a little bit about Kari in her own words.
How long have you been doing CrossFit?
Kari: I started crossfit four years ago this September.
How long have you been at Lynnwood Crossfit? Why Lynnwood Crossfit?
Kari: I used to workout at the now closed Mieko’s Fitness with Mike Todd and he had me doing a version of CrossFit (as much as one can in a globo gym) and I fell in love with it! Mike moved on to a new career and told me to look Jesse and Lynnwood CrossFit up. It took me a while to find my way there but the minute I walked thru the door I was sold and I’ve never looked back.
This past year, you have been in quite a few competitions. What drives you to compete? Are you going to compete as much or more this coming year? Why?
Kari: I am planning on competing again this year. Competing is fun, and it keeps me focused on being a better athlete. I enjoy the social aspect of traveling to other locations, hanging out with other crossfitters, seeing other boxes and how they do things, seeing how I stack up against other athletes throughout the area. The only change I would make from last year is to not to do two competitions within two weeks of each other. That was a little much. Mostly I compete as a team with my training partner CC. (Jesse, is there any way you can make the teams for Cretus this year to allow CC and I to partner up?) Answer: maybe.
Speaking of competitions, let’s talk about the open this year. You did open WOD 13.2 on the Wednesday evening and had a good score. You attempted it again on Sunday morning and got 30 more reps! But then realized you had mis-loaded your bar, making your score invalid. Most people would have just taken the score from Wednesday evening and been done with it. Instead you waited about half an hour and did the workout again! Despite having done the same rather nasty workout just a short time before, you did better on the third attempt than the first! What got you through that? What was the driving force to get you to the end of those 10 minutes? Were you satisfied with your final score for 13.2?
Kari: 13.2 what can I say….I’m not sure if this makes me crazy or not but here is my thinking.
I had just proven I could do better than Wednesday, albeit with a mis-loaded bar. In competitions it is quite common to do WOD’s close together with not too much rest; so that was my thinking on doing it so close together. I knew if I left I would not find my way back in before the deadline and I would end up kicking myself for it. The support of the people there not only cheering for me while I was doing it but each one taking a turn doing rounds so that I was not in the pit by myself. There was a moment (second round of box jumps) that I was thinking “what the ____was I thinking!” What kept me moving was people cheering and Kelsey letting me know that I was on pace to meet my goal. Yes, I am satisfied with my score. My first score was 240, second 271 (not valid) and final of 262. That’s only 9 less reps from the second attempt!
What is your favorite workout or movement?
Kari: My favorite movement is probably the Pull Up. When I first joined I was doing jumping pull ups. I remember watching Renee Lirette doing them and thinking “I want to be her”. Now I am able to do strict Pull Ups and my most recent one rep max weighted Pull Up I was able to get 30# .
What workout or movement makes you want to turn right around and walk back out when you see it written on the board? Have you ever see the WOD and walked back out?
Kari: I have never walked out of the gym once I have seen what is on the board but I certainly think about it when I see “5k row”….
Can you tell us something about you that we don’t know about you or might surprise us about you?
Kari: I can’t think of anything right off hand, I’m kind of an open book. Maybe my love of red wine but that would not really be news to too many people 😉
What are some of your fitness goals for the coming 12 months?
Kari: My 2013 goal is a Muscle Up!!! I am currently having a hard time with the false grip. I know that Bar Muscle Ups are supposed to be harder but as you don’t need false grip there I am thinking that might be more of a reality than the Ring Muscle Ups. The 2012 goal was the Handstand Push Up. I was pretty sure I would need that movement for a competition that we did in August 12’ and sure enough it came up. I managed to get the HSPU just a few weeks before the event. CC and I spent many hours working on that movement together. I ended up getting 25 in the competition.
In closing, is there anyone you would like to thank?
Kari: There are so many people that have contributed to my progress that I need to thank. Jesse of course, without such an amazing and knowledgeable coach that continues to push me harder than I think I am ready for. Jesse coming up with creative ways to work around my knee when I couldn’t bend it for 3 weeks. My husband, Kevin for being so supportive and understanding and also helping with some coaching. My training partner, CC. CC and I feed off of each other and continue to try to push one another to be faster, stronger. We bounce ideas off one another and talk strategy on how to do a movement or workout better. The Ladies of the 5 o’clock five, without you guys class would be not be the same, love you Ladies!