Healing Through Art & Travel
Kristen Kantounatakis, MA, AT
Founder of Artful Expeditions


Please share your thoughts, favorite quotes, and anecdotes! 
Personal Gratitude Story

Today I am truly grateful. Today I ran for the first time since breaking my foot on July 26th of this year. I ran three miles with no pain [in my foot]. I gradually increased my speed choreographed to a playlist, and when I reached the peak with Madonna in my ear I felt like I could fly (The song was “Die Another Day,” which I will include in this post!). More importantly, I got back the feeling that I can do anything, which I had not felt since the break.


It might sound overly dramatic and analytical, but hey- it’s what I do to myself! (Sound familiar?) This break did something else to me. Like my choreographed playlist, this break could not have had more perfect/awful timing. I had just been forced to close my art gallery that I owned and operated for five years, which is also why I hurled myself into training.


I strongly believe the mind, body, and spirit work together as one. When my business had to close, I still felt capable and strong through training for this half marathon. The day before I broke my foot, I reached a personal best of 7.5 miles! Once I broke my foot I was helpless. I had crutches and a boot for three weeks, and then the boot for another month.  Taking a shower was a nightmare because I had to hop on one foot over the tub to get in and out (don’t even ask about shaving…). One time doing this I had a really bad fall out of the tub, and at that point I had a melt down right there on the floor.


I have never felt so defeated. It’s just that... Well… I am a proud person, and I have always prided myself on independence. That ended abruptly both physically and financially. And in hindsight, I find this to be a blessing. I had to let people take care of me. My mom came up for the day to do my laundry, make a week’s worth of food, and paint my boyfriend’s bathroom that I started and couldn’t finish. The whole day was spent with me nervously hobbling back and forth trying to accomplish anything while my mom yelled at me to lie down while she accomplished everything. It was amazing. I had to let myself rely on people, and even ask perfect strangers for help. Most importantly, it made me rely on my now fiancé, which forced a trust in him I have never been able to achieve with another human being. It’s not a coincidence that I’m pulling out of my career-transitional-funk in tandem with myself being able to run three miles after four months of nothing…


I still have a ways to go to figure out how to make a career doing what I love, but what is different is that the fear is gone and that is what running meant for me today. I am truly grateful for a healthy and strong body, and a deeper awareness of love and trust.     


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Kristen Kantounatakis MA, AT