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Soldier brings home gold and silver in World Kettlebell Competition

Aug. 5, 2022 | By Bailey Hittle
There’s one thing the members of Kansas Army National Guard’s Company B, Recruiting and Retention Battalion can be sure of about Master Sgt. Kimberly Fox: She can pull her own weight, professionally and physically.

On May 28, Fox took part in the World Kettlebell Sport Federation’s 2022 World Competition in Maia, Portugal, testing herself against more than 200 other competitors from 26 nations in the women’s double bell long cycle and snatch events.

During the long cycle event, a competitor swings two bells, each weighing approximately 53 pounds, through their legs and up to their chest and then jerks the kettlebells overhead. This is done for as many reps as possible in a 10-minute period. The snatch event is done with one bell. The competitor swings the bells between their legs and back up all the way overhead. They also have 10 minutes to do as many reps as possible with only one hand switch.

“Every time I go to a competition, I still get nervous and doubt myself,” said Fox, who has been involved in the sport for nearly 10 years. “I use that nervousness and self-doubt to push me through to finishing, because, trust me, at minute three I already want to put the bells down. At minute five, it’s really starting to hurt, and five more minutes feels like so far away. But then, all the sudden, it’s minute seven and I’m saying to myself ‘What’s three more minutes?’”

Her perseverance was rewarded during the competition as she placed first with a world championship title in the long cycle event with 61 reps with 2x4 kg bells and a second-place finish with 124 reps with a 24kg bell in the snatch.

When Fox joined the Kansas National Guard in 2003, kettlebell wasn’t on her radar. She said had anyone asked her then if she thought she would ever be a world champion at anything “I probably would have laughed.”

“I guess the key to success is to apply yourself 100 percent in everything you do, and sometimes you suck at those things, and sometimes you find unexpected enjoyment, and on the rare occasion you may find something that you are both good at and truly love. The key is you have to do that “100 percent thing” over and over, otherwise you will never give yourself the opportunity and quit difficult tasks every time.

“Perseverance and resiliency is the Army’s flagship and being in the National Guard, I feel, has definitely enhanced those skills.”