Hi! I’m Kristy Thibodeau, a 37 year old female American from Boston, Mass, now expat in Metz, France. I’m an orthopedic doctorate of physical therapy, sports masseur and fitness trainer. I have been a runner for 23 years. Running is important to me because it provides me strength, endurance, happiness, freedom, learning to perservere when the going gets tough and helps me outside of fitness and in my daily attitude and actions.
//// Why did you start running - what was your motivation?
I began running as I was a member of team sports in high school and it helped me keep in shape. Later in university, it helped me keep a clear mind to focus on my studies. Early into my profession, it helped me push past goals that seemed nearly impossible when training for my first marathon. Current day and 10 marathons later, it’s allowed me to travel the world and see new cities and different cultures.
//// Do you remember your first race? How was your feeling when you finished?
My first race was the 300m hurdles in high school. Prior to running, I remember the nervousness, butterflies in stomach feeling and the fear of failing. I finished in 2nd place and alive! This was my first time feeling proud of myself for overcoming my fears and this in turn helped me to become a better athlete in the future.
//// What is the one run you'll never forget, and why?
The 2014 Boston Marathon. I was invited to participate by the Boston Athletic Association after sending an essay on my experiences being near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon during the explosions. I suffered a year of post traumatic disorder with anxiety around large crowds and noises, and having survivors guilt. The 2014 race helped me tremendously by bringing me back to the sport that I loved and helping me overcome mental health setbacks.
//// Why are you a 361° ambassador? What motivates you to go beyond expectations?
The ideology of pushing one more degree makes so much sense to me. Being an ambassador for 361 is a way to share my story. Life has highs and lows, sometimes a big win is just getting out of bed somedays. Running mimics life. Not everyday is a personal best, it’s work, but it’s worth it. Running can teach passion, perseverance, health and happiness which are huge goals of mine and that I know 361 embodies as well. Knowing that the good days typically outweigh the bad and having a team that supports me are what keeps me motivated.