Kimberley Murray…a name you might not recognise at the moment…but a name I’m pretty certain you’ll hear a LOT about in 2022 when the Winter Olympics come to Beijing. Kim is training as a skeleton athlete and aims to be in the Olympic team (think of Amy Williams and Lizzy Yarnold throwing themselves head first down the icy track and you’ll know the sport in question!)
Kim first started off as a long jumper competing both nationally and internationally but unfortunately due to injury had to ‘retire’. Not wanting to give up on sport completely Kim worked as an exercise physiologist however despite it being a brilliant job, she wasn’t ready to not be an athlete. In 2014, she applied via UK Sport talent ID search who were looking for people to transfer into another sporting event.
Despite not having high hopes, Kim made her way to Lillehammer to start the selection process and before she knew it, was selected as one of 8 people who made into the squad!
I’ve known Kim for a couple of years now thanks to the amazing group that is #bathindiechat. I somehow plucked up the courage to ask Kim to appear on the blog…in exchange for a PT session and she jumped at the chance! Kim provides PT sessions through her business KimFit in her ‘spare’ time in the summer months when she is home in Bath.
What’s been the highlight of your skeleton journey so far? It’s probably lined to what was one of my worst experiences so far! I’d had a really bad session in Whistler, crashed at corner 13 (of 16), and lost my sled around corner 14, travelling on my knees at 97 kph through the final corners of the track and getting a DNF by my name. I was ready to quit the sport and just come home. HOWEVER…5 or 6 days later, we were in Calgary at the Inter-Continental Cup and I finished 3rd and 4th with the best performances of my career. It’s funny how a few days can change everything! Another highlight is probably being added to the long list for the Pyeongchang 2018 games just 2 years after starting sliding.
What keeps you motivated? If I think about my end goal (being in the 2022 Olympics), I get really overwhelmed. The trick for me is to break it down into smaller goals which will lead to the end game. I have bite size goals that I know I can try to hit on regular basis by having regular discussions with my coaches, friends and family. A lot can be said for a positive mindset and some positive manifestations! A fantastic training group also helps!
What’s your training like?! Around May, we really start to get our heads into training to become stronger and faster. We train Monday – Saturday with 2/3 sessions each day combing lifting, sprinting, stretching, core work, plyometrics and pushing.
I’ve gone with the opportunity given to me to take a chance on sliding. It’s 3 or 4 years out of my life where I can really work towards a dream that’s potentially once in a lifetime. I was sad to give up my job as an exercise physiologist but I know that I can always come back to this later on when I know that I’ve given my absolute everything to the track.
Is there part of your training you don’t like?! It took me a while to warm to pushing as it’s not something that comes naturally but I’ve worked really hard and it’s satisfying seeing myself improve. Every Tuesday and Thursday we do 3 hours of ‘stuff’ which includes things like 30 mins Pilates, 30 minutes of Yoga, core work and stretching – whilst I like all of these sessions in isolation, it can drag it’s not a particularly exciting session but I work through it and get it done!
Do you get much time off? We have 4-6 weeks off in April time. I try really hard to completely switch off and get out of the ‘bubble’. It can be difficult to get away the routine of not training all the time though! I spend as much time as I can back at home with family and friends in the Isle of Wight. During the summer months after I’ve done a day of training, I offer PT sessions, coaching and do some talks at schools.
Kim put me through my paces with a PT session. We started off with a gentle 10 minute warm up including some stretches. We then used 2 pieces of equipment – a kettle bell and TRX (expertly thrown around the tree branch) to do various sets of exercises. I’d been suffering with a bad foot that week so we didn’t do any cardio work to stay away from putting any pressure on my injury. Kim was great and full of encouragement and provided some tips on my form. We ended with a super killer core session…my abs were on fire for 2 days afterwards! I would definitely recommend KimFit for some PT sessions – don’t let her being a super fit athlete put you off!