Tell us about you! Why and how did you get into your sport? Hi! My name is Kristine Krynitzki. I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario but I've been living on the West Coast since 2002. I’m obsessed with mountains. Hiking especially. There is just something so incredibly inspiring about looking out over a vast expanse of nothing but mountaintops and knowing your own two feet got you there. Ever since my first real hike up the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu back in 2006, I learned my true happiness lives amongst the magic of the trees and valleys and lakes in the high alpine.
What's a fun fact about you? I'm quite introverted. Given my public presence I'm often thought of as being a very social person but I'm actually quite a quiet person. I get shy meeting new people, I feel most comfortable interacting from behind a keyboard, and I love spending time alone or with those closest to me reading a good book, or listening to the crackle of a campfire. What are your goals and aspirations? I love doing things I think I can't do. Ever since I ran my first trail ultramarathon in 2019 after being a very casual slow jogger of short distances and thinking 55km up 2800 metres of elevation gain was wildly out of my league, I learned we are capable of so much more than we think and in those accomplishments is where the biggest sense of accomplishment lies. My big goals for the next 3 years include trail running a stage race (Golden Ultra Full Pint) in 2022, mountaineering (summiting a 14,000er) in 2023, and trail running the Tour de Mont Blanc in 2024. What has been your biggest challenge throughout your career? How did you overcome it? It sounds cheesy, but following one's heart is so much easier said than done and has been the biggest barrier in my career. We face so much pressure, from society and from within ourselves, to live our lives a certain way that what we truly want and need is often overlooked or pushed aside. The older I get, the more confidence I gain prioritizing happiness and personal fulfillment over money, security or people-pleasing. Injury is a part of life and sport - how did you deal with yours? Patience and gratitude are the biggest keys I have found to be necessary for graceful injury recovery. As a person who is always on the go and relies on physical movement as the biggest source of my happiness, being limited and restricted is so tough. About five years ago I rolled my ankle during a kickboxing class and tore my ligaments in 3 different places, rendering my ankle next to useless for months, and I was unable to do any activity that relied on ankle support (which is almost everything!) for a full year. No hiking or running for me was like torture. The first few weeks it was a pity party until I realized I was just making the situation worse. I decided to look on the bright side and continue living my life to the best of my ability, being grateful that I would eventually recover, and that there were so many things that I could still do like cycling and kayaking. What gets you the most excited about Stoko? Dealing with injuries is THE WORST. Working with Stoko to help people prevent injuries and to better manage them so they can continue enjoying an active lifestyle is so rewarding because I empathize so much with how frustrating living with limited mobility can be. Traditional knee braces are so bulky and cumbersome so it's incredible to collaborate with a company that is revolutionizing the experience to provide the support without compromising mobility. Do you have any pre-competition rituals? For me, it's all about the mind game. I need to mentally prepare beforehand every single detail so I can calm my mind and actually get some sleep the night before. I have to constantly remind myself that I am doing it for fun, I have nothing to prove to anyone, and that races are against myself only. On long-distance trail runs, hikes and backpacking trips, it's all about the Bloks, dried mango, shortbread cookies and grapes. Favourite snack before/after a sweat session? After a big day out in the mountains is the only time I can justify eating my favourite food: poutine!
Career Highlights: • Created the community Hikes Near Vancouver, educating, informing and inspiring tens of thousands of people worldwide about a range of topics related to hiking and outdoor/mountain recreation • Promoted to Executive Director of Northwest Wildlife Preservation Society • Completed the Whistler Alpine Meadows 55km ultramarathon
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