We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristen Thomasino and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kristen, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
What would you do if you were losing your mobility? I overcame a debilitating condition called Fibromyalgia, accidents and injuries that left me struggling to function in my late 30s. My Doctor told me it would take me years to recover my abilities and it would hurt a lot. I had to decide then if I was going to be committed to my rehabilitation and everyday after that to stay positive through the excruciating pain and setbacks that happened as I spent 150+ weeks focused on restoring my abilities. I had been working with my Doctor of Physical Therapy already for 9 months when I had a major setback in the summer 2019 and my body went into full body weakness and I suffered from severe brain fog. I stayed the course and kept on trying. 66 weeks in the clinic, 1500+ Intramuscular Stimulation needles and lots of lessons helped save my life. No matter what happened I wanted to give it my best effort. I made significant progress over the years. In 2022, I published 20 publications already about my experiences to teach different demographics the lessons I learned about investing in self love.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

After my experiences in physical recovery I had to decide how I could best communicate what I went through to various age demographics. I created a Collection made up of various pieces. First I started with a 8 volume children’s series called “The Life of Gumbo.” Its based on my rescue dog Gumbo and I’s adventures traveling from Charlotte, NC to Los Angeles, CA. 

The next series in my Collection is called “KT’S Casebooks” There are 10 I’ve released so far in 2022 that cover various subjects of study and include some meditative exercises I do. This series is very important to me because I think with all of the negative imagery and news it’s time we counter that with positive imagery and techniques that help people come through the hard moments in life. 

The next piece that I created is a Magazine, it is intended for general audiences age 13+ and meant to help others consider how they approach their day to day and seeking solutions and opportunities within your community. In “The Social Good Magazine,” there are various examples of individuals leading lives focused on Social Good.

 The final piece I published so far in 2022, for adult audiences only, “Discipline, Rigor & Accountability.” This piece shares some summary learnings from my case as well as select journal entries from what I experienced while in physical rehabilitation. My goal for this book is to raise awareness around the importance of having a full health team and investing in Self love. What I went through personally with my conditions, injuries and accident experiencing long term chronic pain and specifically during the summer of 2019 when I had difficulty holding my body up for longer than an hour and just breathing was life changing for me. If I can help others with learnings from my case that is my intention because I understand how horrible it is to suffer and for long periods. My brain fog was so bad I lost my ability to count, speak well, cook, remember things and other unpleasant feelings of pain. I made a goal though that one day I wanted to be in California for other options for my environment and access to other goods and services. So I practiced and did what my Health teams told me to. My brother was partnered with me and he found the answers that we were looking for that really helped increase my speed to reduced suffering. Once I was able to hold my body up for longer than 4 hours and lift a certain amount of weight then it was safe to leave and drive across the country to complete my training.

The other big factor in being able to produce this collection and upcoming documentary series, I quit my 13+ year career as a Data Scientist and Revenue Growth leader for AvidXchange, Inc. It was not easy putting together this collection and also document my experiences for my upcoming documentary series. I was cared for with a phenomenal benefits package from my long time employer. Michael Praeger, CEO, used to always challenge all of us to be Bold. So I got Bold. I made a tough decision to go out on my own to do this Social Good Project and find my way to reduced suffering and increased abilities. I had lots of future Investing to do in lots of services and products to help me regain my abilities. It was scary and lots of unknowns. I did it, I forgoed my disability benefits and salary plus even let go of some company stock options to do this social good project.

That part was hard yes. Later there were other hard parts. The content for some pieces was very emotional due to the trauma I experienced having these severe medical conditions. If I lived or died, I didn’t care. I wanted to see what was possible. Could I reduce my suffering and could I maintain my results, that was the question. So in November 2019, I resigned and made my way west to California. I spent 17 months at Rancho de Chiquita, a 225 acre property in Malibu, California at the top of Corral Canyon. There I worked on myself from December 2019, through all of 2020’s chaos until May of 2021. I trained with a Martial Arts professional, Sifu Ryan Scott and spent a lot of time in Muscle Beach in Venice. It was a fantastic experience getting as strong as I could for that time. After May 2021, I started the next phase of my project and kept on building my collection. I went to Minneapolis, Minnesota and did a show at the Granada Theater as a Milestone for my recovery. I did other tests throughout and later started a Health Council. I found some fantastic minds focused on helping others and as I continue through 2022 my main push is going to be sharing my learnings with various support group leaders and other associations to be an example for others who want to focus on empowerment and building strong immune Health.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?

Los Angeles is a wonderland with so many different cultures and natural wonders. I love the Malibu hikes, heading down to Bob’s Paradise Cove for a mound of seafood and exploring the Canyon drives in Topanga and Malibu.

City life is a blast too heading out to West Hollywood to go dancing at the Abbey, Roccos, and Doheny Room has been so much fun especially with all the great DJs playing Techno, House and Trance music. DJs like FEMME A and DJ Les Ortiz know how to make a vibe for a crowd if you like to dance like I do. I love eating at my favorite Bottega Louie and people watching too. Being a member of the LA LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce I am also getting to know more fun spots like Mickys, Sunset Distillers, and other great venues around Los Angeles.

Walking down the boardwalk from the Santa Monica Pier to Muscle Beach in Venice Beach is great exercise and a ton of fun. I love to go to workout and do boxing and martial arts on the heavy bags. Afterwards I like to eat at one of my mentor’s restaurants, 30 years on Main Street, Lula Cocina Mexicana has amazing carnitas and other tasty dishes.

For more chill times I go out to Korean Friendship Bell in San Pedro. I also enjoy Royal Palms Beach and White Point Beach to swim with the local dolphins and other wildlife.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

I would like to dedicate my shout out to a long time friend and later my Doctor, Tatum Robinson and her team Phoenix Physical Therapy and Sports Performance. In the pain Dojo, the physical therapy Rehabilitation clinic, I rose from the ashes and fought to keep my mobility and strengthen my form with their lessons on how to keep moving. Without her specialty also in a unique practice where she placed 1500+ needles into my contracted muscles I would not have made the unique progress I have. It was paramount for me to tell our story for other patients who suffer from muscle spasms with other conditions besides just Fibromyalgia.

Website: www.kristenthomasino.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/kristen_thomasino?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/mwlite/in/kristen-thomasino-91776b4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100078322816516

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