Kristine Cunningham

Chandler, AZ

"I was diagnosed with Scoliosis at the age of 10 and wore a Milwaukee brace for 4 years. I eventually had surgery at the age of 14 fusing my entire thoracic spine into a 65° curve with Harrington rods on either side of my spine. I continued to pursue playing softball through college.

In 2007 I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called Ehlers-danlos Syndrome. This syndrome weakens the connective tissue throughout my entire body affecting my joints and my heart. I have since developed osteoarthritis in all of my joints causing chronic pain and fatigue. My weakened connective tissue has also caused several injuries resulting in 7 total orthopedic surgeries throughout my life. I eventually got to a point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. I hated that I let myself become a victim of my circumstances and a slave to my diagnoses.

Under the care of my pain management doctor I continued to workout and change my diet. I eventually got off daily anti-inflammatories and no longer need narcotics to control pain levels. My husband and I started participating in Rugged Maniacs, Spartan races, and other obstacle course races. I competed in my first bodybuilding competition in October 2019 and was instantly hooked.

I love how this sport instills discipline that I need to maintain my health and wellness. I love the challenge to better myself for each show! I am also incredibly thankful for the friendships and fellowship with my teammates and the instant connection and friendships formed with other competitors. I have never been more mentally or physically healthy since taking control of my health and wellness."

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