To say Kristina Cocculoto is an inspiration is an understatement! We were honored to be part of her “Victory Lap” of strength and perseverance. Read her incredible story of determination to fight her risk for cancer and finish the Boston Marathon, despite a torn meniscus and several other setbacks. She’s pretty incredible. We think you will agree!– Jennifer Conroyd – Founder, Fluid Running
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Kristina Coccoluto. I’m 37 years old and a mom to three amazing kiddos. Siena (9), Emilia (6) and Roman (3). I have made it my mission as a woman and a mother to demonstrate by example that we can face difficult things with grace and grit. It’s important to never stop pushing toward the life you dream for yourself. I’m a BRCA1+, meaning I had an 87% risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer and a 60% risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in my lifetime.
I started marathoning when I took my health into my own hands at 29 years old. I ran my first marathon, the Chicago Marathon in October of 2015. A few months later I had risk-reducing double mastectomy, just 4 days after my 30th birthday. My risk for breast cancer is now under 5%. I ran the New York marathon in 2018. This past October I reduced my risk for Ovarian cancer with a complete hysterectomy at 36 years old. I decided I would celebrate the completion of my risk-reducing surgeries with the ultimate victory lap, the Boston Marathon!
What brought you to Fluid Running?
With the Boston Marathon 28 weeks after my complete hysterectomy, I knew there would be risk of injury since I didn’t ease into training after my recovery. On a 16 mile run I felt my hips hurt, which was no surprise since my laparoscopic tools went through my hips recently. My running form suffered during this run and I ultimately tore my meniscus. I panicked with the pain and knew I didn’t have time to rest or reset. I was DETERMINED to cross this finish line and would do whatever it took to celebrate my victory lap. Although I was determined, I didn’t have a solution until my coach said “Let me connect you with Jennifer Conroyd from Fluid Running. We will do whatever it takes to get you to that victory lap.”
Were you skeptical that it could help you? Why?
I had heard of aquatic jogging, but I had never heard of anyone doing all of their marathon training in the deep end of a pool. I was willing to try anything, but didn’t know for certain if my effort in the water would translate on land.
What was the result of your experience with Fluid Running?
The Fluid Running workouts challenged different muscle groups. My legs felt strong and I LOVED listening to the audio guidance. It helped me relax my mind and learn the importance of visualization. Fluid Running hands down is the reason why I was able to push through and cross the finish line on Boylston Street. It felt like the MOST epic victory lap, not just because of my hereditary cancer story, but because no amount of injuries or adversities were going to stop me from living out my dream.
Do you think you’ll continue to Fluid Run?
Now that I am halfway toward an Abbot Medal, I know I will continue to cross-train with Fluid Running for when I run Tokyo, London and Berlin “someday”.
Do you believe Fluid Running can help other cancer patients/survivors? If yes, why do you think so?
Fluid Running is great for EVERYONE! Think about it, there is no impact on your joints. And with water providing 800x the density of a land workout, you are being much more efficient with your resistance and strength training. Even if you are not training for something definitive like a marathon, it’s a great way to gain strength while being gentle on your joints.
Do you have anything else planned as part of your victory journey?
As a matter of fact, I do! Initially I felt like fundraising for cancer research was an incredible way to give back on my victory lap, but I now realize the greatest gift I can offer is to help others find their path toward their own victory lap. I’m collaborating with an incredible intuitive healer, Angel Amy. Her approach to healing propelled me to transform my energy, spirituality and emotional intelligence through some of life’s greatest obstacles. If I can transform, so can you. We believe helping others live a life with purpose driven joy and love is the greatest gift which is why we are offering an online 3 part Masterclass series to help teach others how to shift your perspective and find your path forward… no matter your circumstance. If life has made you feel buried lately, this series shows you how to blossom and rise. I deeply believe in the power of storytelling with vulnerability in order to help empower others. I would be honored to show you the way! And we are offering this online Masterclass for free. Register here
Do you have a favorite workout or workouts you like to do?
HIIT A 5K is such a great workout. I never knew I could sweat while in the water!