April 2020 Athlete Focus: Kim Whalen


“Kim is ALWAYS smiling! When I say always, I mean ALWAYS. Even when she may respond to a workout brief with “this sounds hard!”, it’s with a smile :). Kim brightens up the gym when she’s there – we are lucky to have you with us!” -Coach Amanda

Start Date: December 30, 2015.

You may already know, I’m a little chatty (voted “most talkative” in high school … total shocker, right?) so I’ll try to keep this short and sweet. I grew up in the little town of Wrentham, Ma with my large family of six, my parents, older brother, older sister, myself and my younger brother, Billy, who most of you already know from CrossFit Torque. My big, loud family has since grown into a crazier, louder, larger extended family that I adore … 99% of the time (wink).
My husband, Scott, is from the city of Somerville, MA (insert thick boston accent), but we moved back to Wrentham to raise our own family. At first it was a culture shock, but 13 years later, he’s adjusting to a ride-on mower vs a plug-in, I never even knew those existed!
We have two amazing kids, Kenzie and Brody, and they keep us busy with many activies and sports. Family is a huge part of my life and fortunately for us, half my family lives on the same street … FOR REAL! My parents live at the end of our street which is great not only for us but the grandkids. FUN-CLE Billy and my BFF/sister in law, Kerri (also known at CrossFit Torque) live on our street (a 200 meter run away). They have three awesome kids, Bradley, Brynn and Brooke, that I love like my own. The cousins rarely go a day without seeing each other and my house is a revolving door. We tend to get a little crazy all together, but it’s the best and I wouldn’t change it for anything!
Fun Silly Facts:
  • I went to Northeastern University and majored in Graphic Design.
  • I worked in print design until our second child then decided to stay home to raise our kids.
  • I love to draw and paint, although I rarely have time to anymore.
  • Ironically, I met my husband, who doesn’t enjoy working out, at a gym in Cambridge.
  • I get crazy and cranky by day three if I haven’t gotten some kind of workout or movement.
  • Math isn’t my strong suit and sometimes adding up my barbell plates seems longer then the workout itself. (lol)
  • I’m a night owl … in fact I wrote this at midnight!
  • November 1st means Christmas light stringing and decorating (’cause I am that crazy Christmas lady)
  • My favorite holiday is Christmas Eve because it’s about family, anticipation and magic.
  • Summer is the BEST and I live for hot 90 degree days.
  • My happy place is the beach, specifically Narragansett, Rhode Island.
  • I enjoy snowboarding mainly for the apre ski (I don’t crush the mountain but I’m always happy I went).
  • My favorite color is orange.
  • I have a fear of balloons and I hate balloon animal night at UNOS!
  • I can’t stand naps.
  • I’ll always pick salty over sweet – bring on the cheese plate or nachos.
  • I tore my calf from overuse which led me to try yoga for rehab. At first, I didn’t enjoy yoga at all but I stuck with it and ended up loving yoga so much that I took the 200 hour teacher training.
  • I’ve been teaching yoga for close to 5 years (hot power vinyassa is my favorite!)
  • Typically, you’ll find me at the gym, yoga studio, kids sports, shopping mainly at Target (when out of quarantine) or almost always with Kerri causing fun or trouble somewhere.
What was it about Crossfit Torque that made you want to join:
I was taking a variety of classes for years (kickbox, boxing, step, spin, pilates, barre, body pump, any group class) and it felt like I was living at the gym. CrossFit boxes started opening up everywhere and friends/family kept saying “you should try it”! How could I not at least try a workout that offered strength training and high intensity done in an hour or less? My gym was closing down, my body was in a routine so it was the perfect storm to make the change. Today, I find CrossFit and yoga to be the right combination for me. It’s the perfect balance of a great workout and mobility.
What has kept you coming back to Torque day after day? And / or favorite thing:
The community is great. It’s like a little family that looks for you when you don’t show up and encourages you to keep going when you think you can’t go another step. When you are at a larger gym, it’s easy to not show up or take one, two, three days off which then can lead to a week/month, but at Torque, they reach out and look for you! It keeps me accountable to myself and the community. Whether you’re nursing an injury or need to scale for other reasons, the Coaches are great at finding safe yet still challenging alternatives. Every workout can be customized for your needs.
Once you get out of your own head and realize you are there for yourself and no one else, it easy to just show up.
Proudest Accomplishment so far:
Pull-ups! I remember during the CrossFit Open Event somehow they just clicked and I was stringing them. It’s always cool to leave the gym and think I DID IT!
What has been your biggest challenge:
I think if I had to pick a challenge there are two that stand out most. One has been pushing myself to try to go faster, heavier, or try the next level even if that means I get less rounds or time runs out before I’ve finished.
And my second biggest challenge has come from a little shoulder overuse. It’s frustrating to take steps backward but I’ve realized that I can still workout and the coaches are always ready to customize as needed . Although, I may have taken 10 steps back for pull-ups and toes to bar, I’m re-learning movements and finding new ways to engage and strengthen areas. My end goal is to get back on the bar stronger than before.
Favorite Movement:
Squats and Handstands! Front, back, air squats, ANY squats make me feel stronger. My favorite days are handstands (especially handstand walks) for the skill and sprinkled into the workout. It just makes the workout feel fun and fly by.
What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to start Crossfit but hasn’t yet?
Just do it! Someone will likely always be stronger or faster, but you’re there for YOU. The people around you will inspire you to do better and you’ll surprise yourself with what you can do vs what you can’t do. The progressions will make you both physically and mentally stronger.
There’s a first for everything in life so why not give it a try. You have nothing to lose if you try, but you’ll always wonder if you don’t.
There are days that I look at the workout and think, “NO WAY”! The reality is, even if I don’t ‘crush’ the workout, I always leave feeling better than I felt before I walked in the door. And that’s a win.
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people working out in a group fitness class


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