Athlete Profile: Kimberly Johnson



Athlete Profile: Kimberly Johnson

By Copy Editor

Kimberly Johnson grew up running around Homer Glen and Lockport, Ill., where she graduated from Lockport Township High School in 2013. The high school salutatorian and AP scholar then took her track talents to Washington University in St. Louis, where she competes in track and cross-country.

The freshman philosophy-neuroscience-psychology major started running track in junior high but did not join the cross country team until her sophomore year of high school. She ran the mile and two-mile races in high school and said she plans on running the 5k and 10k for the Bears.

The Chronicle spoke to Johnson about running track in college, keeping up with her personal life and finding balance in her busy schedule.

THE CHRONICLE: How did you get your start running track?

KIMBERLY JOHNSON: I’ve liked to run ever since I was little. It was a way that I could do that in a competitive setting and be involved in a sport and keep fit.

CC: What inspired you to start running cross country?

KJ: It was mostly because I ran distance in track and the other girls on the team would encourage me to go out for cross-country in the fall, so I did and I love it. I’m so glad that I did it.

CC: Who encourages you to continue running every day?

KJ: My teammates definitely motivate me to try harder and practice every day and just keep going because we formed a bond and we definitely have great friendships. That’s definitely one of the best parts of being on a team.

CC: How do you handle running in extreme weather conditions?

KJ: [I] mostly just take it day by day. I would say if it’s snow or rain, you just have to go out there and be careful. Pick where you’re running carefully, make sure you’re going to run somewhere that’s plowed and doesn’t have too uneven footing. I’d say the things to look out for most would be the ice and severe cold. If it’s too cold, then I would definitely say not to go out that day and stay on the treadmill or go on the elliptical.

CC: What do you like most about running?

KJ: Day by day, running is a way for me to let go of some of my stress and my worry and kind of connect with other people like my teammates. It keeps me from stressing too much about school and it just gives me a break.

CC: How has running played a role in your personal life?

KJ: In school, a lot of my friends come from running and it’s just a way to meet new people. It gives you something to talk about and relate to other people just because a lot of people run and it’s just something anybody can do.

CC: Is running more of a hobby or a lifestyle for you?

KJ: I would definitely say it’s a lifestyle. Running definitely affects the way I live my life whether it’s getting enough sleep or watching what I eat. I’d say running is kind of ubiquitous throughout my life.

CC: How do you balance your time between running and schoolwork?

KJ: It’s all about time management. Just keeping your priorities straight and keeping a schedule. Knowing when you’re going to do this work or study for this and always making sure you’re planning around when you’re going to run and eating and sleeping.

CC: Does it matter what time of day you go out for a run?

KJ: I definitely prefer running in the morning just because it’s a good start to my day and it wakes me up. I make sure that I don’t sleep too late and that I have time to do everything that I need to do. Really, I like running any time of day.