Have you met Kim Seevers? The first time I met Kim was during Strongman Class. We were flipping tires outside in the parking lot. It was a beautiful summer day – The sun was out. The guns were out.
‘I’m training for the 2014 Paralympic Games,’ Kim said.
‘Wait, The Olympics? In 2014?’ I asked. It didn’t seem real, an actual Olympian in our midst.
Kim Seevers is a guide Skier for visually impaired athlete Staci Mannella. Kim and Staci have been training together since 2009. Together they have traveled and trained in places like Hintertux Austria, British Columbia, Colorado, Park City UT, Waterville Valley NH, Whiteface, New Zealand, Australia, Big Sky Montana, Alyeska Alaska…and more. For their next stop, Kim and Staci will represent the United States at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
I have never had the opportunity to meet Staci, but have had the pleasure of getting to know Kim over the years at ACF. To know Kim is to love her. Her smile is infectious, she’s open and loving and kind. Oh, and she can lift.
Kim and Staci hop a plane on Friday for Sochi. The Games begin March 6. Below, Kim answers some very important questions:
How did you and Staci first meet? She’s been a student at Adaptive Sports Foundation where I work since she was four.
What could you tell us about Staci that folks may not know? She hates having bed covers over her feet so the minute we get into a hotel room or where ever we’re staying, she yanks all the covers off the bed and sleeps wrapped up in them with her feet sticking out.
What is your favorite CF lift? The Deadlift.
Least favorite? Overhead squats
Do you have a favorite Hero WOD? As much as I hate it while I’m doing it, I love doing Murph together with everybody. When you’re last in the run you get to pass everyone when they’re on the way back so you can see how everybody’s doing!
Some sports figures have rituals they do, or something favorite they wear, before competing. Is there anything you like to do right before you compete?
I wear the same stuff under my speedsuit as long as we’re doing well. I’ll give it two bad races and then I change everything completely. I pack almost the exact same clothes for every trip as well so I don’t have to worry about what I forgot or take something with me that doesn’t have a place or function. Right before a race, I’m usually off by myself imagining the course in my mind and going over how I’m going to take Staci through it.
Does Staci have a ritual?
Not really, she’s not nearly as superstitious as I am. She gets very loud and aggressive and I get very quiet and introspective but it works.
Do you have a secret handshake? Or something that you say to one another?
Our tech calls me the Big Dawg and after he snaps us both into our race skis for the start we fist bump and he tells Staci, “Go get the Big Dawg. Little Dawg, chase the Big Dawg.” When we’re in the start she says, “Kill it Kim” and I say, “Killin it Stace.” Always! Oh, and we also flip the Awesomization switch.
You wear headphones so you can communicate when skiing – Are you always talking about the run, what else do you talk about, or do you tell jokes?
There’s way more talking going on during a run than you can possibly imagine and not always about skiing. Especially if we’re free skiing or warming up we’re talking about totally random things, people we see, something I thought about while I couldn’t sleep, all kinds of stuff. The mics are awesome in the lift-line and on the lift because we can carry on a side conversation that nobody can hear.
You've taken your coworkers thru some WODs at work, do they think you’re nuts?
A couple do, but most of them like doing it. We actually just got a $5000 grant to buy a complete Rogue outfit for our workout space.
Have you ever skipped a WOD because it looked to hard? Be honest…. 🙂
Not very often because I’m limited in the nights I can come over and WOD so I pretty much have to go whether I like it or not. I think I’ve probably skipped a couple because they were a combination of movements that I can’t do (or there were 500 burpees). The only one I have to say I consciously skipped was that 10 mile run one they did on a Monday last fall. Then I felt so guilty because everyone was posting how they made the effort and were happy that they kept moving the whole time, etc. that I went in and rowed 16,000 meters by myself on Wednesday. Tristen can attest to this as he was working on box jumps the whole time… he was my entertainment b/c I thought he was going to kill himself a couple times. I had a few internal conversations about how badly he’d have to injure himself to cause me to quit my row.
Who is your favorite Super Hero?
Is Cean reading this? Should I say Batman?
What's one of your first memories of ACF?
Probably the same memory as most people…My first WOD was Bear Complex. I was struggling to finish and was all embarrassed that I was going to be last. All of a sudden Ali Meach was by my side yelling for me. Pretty soon, they were all clapping for me and I finished. I didn’t realize then that this is SOP for our gym.
So the next time you’re WODing next to a stranger at ACF, offer a friendly greeting and say hello. You just never know whom you’ll meet.
The Para-Olympics are streaming live, here’s the link to watch and cheer Kim and Staci: http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/nbc-olympics-and-usoc-present-unprecedented-coverage-sochi-2014-paralympic-winter-games