May 21, 2013
King and Co.
By James Toland

“Not qualifying for Regionals was a disappointment, but, like I said earlier, I cannot put into words how excited I am to focus on Kristin ... I have no doubt that she will be kicking some serious ass ..."

Photos by: Christopher Parr

Balancing a job and a family with your training schedule isn’t easy for any athlete. Kristin King of CrossFit So Ill, in Carbondale, Ill., is no exception. She and her wife, Emma Moburg-Jones, are training partners and formerly competed side by side at the 2012 North Central Regional. But this year, King will be taking her shot at the Games alone as they await the arrival of their first child.

“Sometimes I look at her and think, ‘Man, I really just want to deadlift with you right now’ … but then I recognize that she is pregnant with our first child, so I check myself,” she says. “In all honesty, though, CrossFit is what brought us together and it is a very significant part of our relationship. Not only do we train together, but we own a gym together.”

King says living and working together has its advantages.

“(It’s) a circus, really,” King jokes. “Kidding … I wouldn’t have it any other way. She ‘gets’ me when I regularly dream of CrossFit (workouts) in the middle of the night. We’re able to share sports bras, tall socks, and headbands, so financially, we save money together. We never have to tell each other, ‘You’re spending way too much time at the gym.’ We get really excited for each other when we PR or accomplish something that’s been a challenge. Talking about balls and snatches is a typical topic of convo for us. It’s perfect, really.”

King and Moburg-Jones have been planning a baby since last year. Even though they aren’t both able to go toe-to-toe at the Regional, since Moburg-Jones is carrying the baby, they still support each other as if they were right there together on the floor.

“After both of us trying for (about 10 months), I happened to be the one who got knocked up first,” Moburg-Jones says. “I'm very happy it ended up this way for a couple of reasons. One, I became so emotionally and mentally engrossed in getting pregnant that everything else sort of went on the back burner, including my training. I was just ready. And two, I really feel that Kristin is peaking right now in her training. She blows my mind every day. And the fact that this year, she was able to keep up with the likes of Akinwale, Tovar, Cordner-Carson, Noyce, Jackson, etc., on most of the workouts in the Open … well, I would have just hated for her to miss out on that opportunity at this point in her CrossFit career.”

But she still put up a fight. Moburg-Jones completed all the Open workouts and finished in 113th place in North Central. Not bad for a pregnant woman. Now she’s focused on Team King.

“Not qualifying for Regionals was a disappointment, but, like I said earlier, I cannot put into words how excited I am to focus on Kristin,” she says. “Coaching her, cheering for her and being there for whatever she needs to do her best in Chicago. After the first day, I have no doubt that she will be kicking some serious ass, and my goal for her for the rest of the competition is simple: place in the top five to 10 on every remaining workout.”

It’s not all fun and games for these two at CrossFit So Ill. King worked hard for her eighth place finish in the Open. She’s now established herself as a contender for a podium spot at the North Central Regional, and says she knows when to flip the switch when it comes to live competition.

“I try to approach every workout throughout the year as I would when I’m in competition mode — go as fast and hard as possible every day,” King explains. “Our programming is typically pretty heavy, whether it’s a strength or a met-con. During the Open, I feel I get myself too consumed with that week’s workout. Now that the Regional workouts are announced, I will be dedicating most of my time to those movements, especially on the ones that are a big challenge for me.”

For King, it’s not about going at it alone. Her support system will be right here with her.

“I have a great wife and great group of members (and) friends that will help me push and train and work on the things that I struggle with,” she says. “I used to do two workouts per day quite often, but backed away from that during the Open this year.”

Unlike many, King doesn’t have a typical athletic background. In terms of experience, she admits she didn’t have much to start with.

“Cheerleading and marching band — seriously,” she says. “I played basketball and softball when I was in grade school, but quickly realized it wasn’t my thing. Before I started CrossFit, I was over 40 pounds heavier and had very poor nutrition. It wasn’t a priority for me. So when potential members tell me they need to lose weight before starting CrossFit or they have no athletic background whatsoever and are scared, I can empathize. And (I) let them know what CrossFit can do for (them). I’m so happy I found something that has challenged me mentally and physically. It completely changed my life for the best.”

At 5-foot-1, King doesn’t view her height as a limiting factor or an advantage. While some have cried foul in terms of advantages or disadvantages for taller athletes in a few of the Regional Events, King brushes it off.

“People can say that about every workout in CrossFit. I hear all the time from my fellow CrossFitters, that I have an advantage at so many movements because I’m a shorty,” she says. “So I really don’t look at workouts in a way of height being an advantage or disadvantage for me. It’s just not my mindset.”

In the end, King says she’s just happy to compete and show what she can do.

“I like long chippers, although 100 chest-to-bar (pull-ups) will be the most challenging for me,” she admits. “I love pistols and love dumbbell snatches, especially when they aren’t 70 lb. I liked the deadlift/box jump (event) a few years ago, so it will be good to see the difference in my time this year.”