Boxer and Rumble DC Founding Trainer Sharon Kim uses movement as a form of self-care. She talked to us about running as moving meditation, her experiences with therapy and the role self-compassion plays in goal setting. Note: This interview is a part of our 20 Masters of Mindfulness, Movement + Connection roundup, which ran in our Winter 2021 issue.
Tell me about your journey and how it brought you to your current role.
I used to work at a stock brokerage as a senior analyst when I left to pursue fitness full-time in 2018. Boxing is something that has always been profoundly important to me since I started in 2016, and I just wanted to share that passion with my city and community. I knew I was sitting in a puddle of wasted potential at my desk and my talents were best used elsewhere.
My first job in the fitness industry was at Equinox as a personal trainer, where I had the chance to become a subject matter expert in movement science. The Rumble DC founding team then had to move to New York for four months for onboarding and to bring this concept to our city. Fast-forward to now, [and] I can confidently say I have made an impact on my clients’ lives, mindsets and boxing technique.
How are you practicing and prioritizing self-care, especially mid-pandemic?
It is important to give the world the best of you, not what’s left of you, so I take my self-care and alone time very seriously. I make sure to tend to my thoughts, anxieties, fears and emotions instead of suppressing them, especially during such a stressful time. One way to do that is with a licensed professional. My therapist has been such a blessing throughout Covid. Going to therapy is like brushing your teeth, but for your brain. I also make sure to move. My runs have served as moving meditations for me as I log in mile after mile.
Our bodies are not meant to sit for eight hours a day – they are meant to move. So even on days when I really do not want to get outside, I drag my feet and head out the door. One hundred percent of the time, I feel better afterwards. The hardest part is just getting there. Yoga and boxing have also served as a yin and yang for me physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It’s important for us all to find what works for us and what we need as individuals.
What does self-compassion mean to you, and how do you incorporate it into your practice?
It means that I release myself from all judgments I make on myself. It’s not a one-time thing, but rather a constant practice. Let’s be honest. We all do it. For example, if a particular day my legs just felt heavy and my miles are slower, I extend the same grace to myself that I so easily extend to others. I enjoy the run just for the sake of running – because I don’t have to move, I get to move. Then the whole perspective shifts to one of gratitude and enjoyment.
It’s easy to fall under the comparison trap, so I also make sure to eliminate any Instagram accounts from my feed that trigger any type of self-deprecating thoughts or comparisons. None of my clients have ever reached their goals by hating themselves, so it’s important to remember that self-compassion and positive self-talk goes a long way. I incorporate this mindset into all workouts, client relationships, nutrition habits and so on. This requires a deep level of self-honesty where you can recognize when you aren’t being compassionate with yourself, and challenge those thoughts and continue to train that muscle in your brain.
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