Kimberlee Dekrey – Strength specialist
What is a brief overview of your origin story. Where you grew up, early family situation, athletic background, school, early jobs, travel, etc?
I was born and raised in Gainesville Florida by my mom, who is half Japanese, I am a quarter. I have one sister who is a year younger than me. My Dad moved to Hong Kong when my parents split up when I was 5 but he stayed close to me and my sister and we saw him every summer and winter. We even lived with him there for half a year at one point.
My mom was a professional pianist so my childhood years consisted of going to rehearsals for local musicals and classical concerts.
I participated in a lot of extracurriculars growing up such as piano, chess, art and sports. I was a shy, insecure, anxious kid.
When I was in school or social situations, I felt like an outcast because I didn’t know how to socialize with other kids. But when I was in sports, I felt powerful. A sense of confidence would come over me and I would turn into a different person. I loved co-ed soccer because I could go up against the boys and race them in sprints at practice. I liked that I was naturally muscular and I had a lot of pride in my strength.
I played soccer throughout most of my grade school years and had goals to play in college until I tore my acl playing the summer before my junior year. I was determined to play a collegiate sport so I put my focus on track my last two years of high school and I ended up getting a minor scholarship to FIU in Miami.
In college, I was not the fastest runner and I was not able to bring any points for the team my first 3 years.
Then at the beginning of my senior year, I was struggling emotionally from depression, wasn’t eating, and stopped showing up to practice. When my coaches threated to kick me off the team, I changed everything. I became very motivated to succeed and worked very close with the current head coach, Ryan Heberling, to maximize my potential. That year, (my last year) I was the only one on the team to make it to div. 1 NCAA regionals.
What is your current occupation, family situation, and focus in life?:
I work for a fitness equipment company called Valor Fitness, in marketing and logistics. I live in a condo that I own in Largo, FL with my boyfriend. My mom and my sister and I are like my best friends (even though my sister recently moved to Connecticut) and my mom still lives in Gainesville. My Dad still lives in Hong Kong and we still remain close. He just bought a retirement property in St Pete.
What is something interesting that people would like to know about you?:
I love creating, whether it’s baking or art or videos. I used to make videos all the time and it was a huge hobby of mine growing up.
Describe the biggest hurdle or challenge you have overcome in your life?:
I tore my acl in training during my 6th year of doing crossfit. In January of 2020, I had to get ACL surgery for my 3rd time on the same knee and that surgery turned into an infection, which meant an emergency surgery to clean it out. I then had to have strong antibiotics inserted though an IV in my arm for a month and could barely get out of bed for a month.
How do you prepare to play on the GRID and other forms of competition. How do you think about nutrition, training, and other factors that contribute to your readiness?:
When it comes to fuel, I make sure I am eating full, nutritious meals, hitting all of my macros. I use a meal prep company called NTT Nutrition to get good quality food throughout my week without having to spend too much time to cook. I also use supplements such as protein and carbs from 1st Phorm and dear antler recovery from Ten Performance. In the mornings, I like to use Bubs Naturals MCT oil in my coffee.
When it comes to training for grid, my coach, Chris Garrand, sends me what I will be doing for each match and I will practice the movements and send him videos before the match.
Describe what is it like to play on your team?:
It’s very fun to play on my team. It feels like I’m playing on an all star basketball team. Everyone is so passionate and talented. I really like my team because the players are so fun and enthusiastic about Grid and coach Chris is awesome.
How did you get involved in GRID? Did you come through the American Grid Trials? Tell us the story!:
I had a friend who told me I needed to do it so I decided to try it out. I went to the trials almost 4 years ago in St Pete and they took me on the team right there.
Watch Kim racing against the Orlando Aces
What is important for people to know about the sport of GRID? How does it compare to your other forms of competition?:
It’s a lot of fun. Grid has an energy that is very hard to replicate. The matches are so fast and exciting and the players and the crowd both get so into it. Because it is so fast and exciting, it gives you this adrenaline rush you do not get in other sports.