Kimberlei has been with us for just over 6 weeks and she’s one of the most interesting situations we’ve worked with since inception. We’ve trained doctors, lawyers, baristas, law enforcement fire…but we’ve never had someone come to us to get physically prepared to become an overseas missionary.
One of the things that delights us most is knowing we were able to prepare Kimberlei for her vocation.
Where’s your favorite place to eat?
My favorite place to eat with friends or family is probably a cafe with a good vibe and good food. I love trying out new places and love trying recommendations from other people as well.
Best purchase you’ve ever made under $100?
I think my most recent purchase under $100 that has positively impacted my life is my Osprey day hiking backpack with a water bladder. It has encouraged me to go on more hikes and has made it a lot easier.
Kimberlei knows she’s called to bring a message of hope to other nations. She ventured on her first mission trip to Thailand with her church as a college student, and from then on, she knew. She was in the traveling biz now — not to satisfy wanderlust, but to uplift the lives of people she traveled to with hope and good news. After an incredible 2-year experience serving in Malawi, Africa, Kimberlei planned on embarking on another mission trip to Myanmar in March 2020.
But then COVID-19 rocked the globe. Her mission trip plans were thrown backwards. The trip was delayed to October 2020. When the pandemic worsened instead of improving, their travel plans were pushed back further – to August 2021. 2021 rolled around, and circumstances weren’t looking any better. The trip Kimberlei was anticipating in August got pushed back again. Travel plans were also complicated due to the coup in Myanmar and Visa difficulties. Kimberlei had to pivot. But with a positive attitude, she recognized this delay as an opportunity to improve her health and fitness before heading out on mission, so she jumped on it. With a spirit on fire, she sent it.
Kimberlei first heard of Reason Fitness when she was staying with her friend Esther Chan. Esther got up for an early morning workout at Reason, and Kimberlei was intrigued. She signed up for Reason onboarding with Luke, started a Hybrid membership with Miguel, and embarked on a different sort of trip altogether.
Before starting CrossFit, she was under-eating. Her mom always told her she “ate like a bird” – and it was true; she snacked throughout the day and ate small portions. After working through her nutrition with Drew, she realized that she needed to eat more and in better quality, not just for her increased training at Reason, but to have the energy she needed to power through the day as she continued to prepare for her upcoming mission trip to Southeast Asia. Kimberlei has also drawn from the strong togetherness of the 6:30am class. She notes that it feels like a family, and it has taught her that it’s always better to do things in community –
“to have people there push me when I need to be pushed.”
And that’s what it’ll be like serving out in Thailand with the rest of her team (composed of several young adults and even a family). Kimberlei’s mission trip team members have been given different roles of responsibility addressing emotional, spiritual, or practical needs; she will be tasked with meeting practical needs for the refugees from Myanmar – food, water, clothes, medical supplies. Her Reason Hybrid experience with Miguel has armed her so appropriately for this with knowledge of nutrition, hydration, proper sleep, and quality movement.
Kimberlei reflects on everything she’s learned at Reason since she started in August and plans to keep it up even as she transitions to living across the world for 18 months. She’s done her research and found a CrossFit gym in Chengmai, near the area her team will be posted up. Bringing hope to the world doesn’t mean just refugees in Thailand. It also means CrossFit athletes and the people within Kimberlei’s immediate vicinity. When asked what advice she has for the rest of the Reason community, Kimberlei smiles and says this:
“Stick with it, don’t give up, even if things seem hard, it’s always worth it in the end.”
Her prolonged perseverance to answer her calling to do mission work is certainly evidence of this. That when God sends you, you send it.