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Meet Trailblazer Kim Constantinesco

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kim Constantinesco.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kim. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Growing up, I believed I was either going to be a woman who played in the NBA or a psychologist. Topping out at 5’7,” and with an average jump shot, I let the basketball settle into the corner of the gym, and went on to earn my Masters degree in health psychology. While I was seeing clients for assistance with weight management, smoking cessation, and pain management, I learned rather quickly that my true talent came in the form of composing patient notes after therapy sessions. I loved telling their stories. So, I took the back door into writing, specifically sports journalism. I covered the Denver Broncos before launching Purpose2Play, a digital publication that shines the light on the positive and inspiring stories in sports — the ones that usually get lost between the fantasy stats and trading block news. Feature stories on people without arms completing triathlons and blind runners navigating marathons courses by themselves fill the pages, showing that the human spirit has incredible resolve. A big catalyst for starting the publication was my own near life-altering experience on a snowboard in the back bowls of Keystone. After a miscalculated backflip led to neck surgery, complete with a cadaver bone and a metal plate, I learned how quickly life can change, and how lucky I was. I also realized that the world needs more stories of people who overcome the odds and make the world a little brighter. All said, this led me to writing my first children’s book, Solar the Polar, a tale about a snowboarding polar bear who befriends a skier girl who is missing her legs below the knee. I’ve had a blast visiting classrooms to read the story and give presentations on the incredible adaptive athletes who deserve more time in the spotlight.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’ve never met a writer who said that he or she has had a smooth road. You almost have to embrace rejection and realize that it just leads you to the next right turn.

It took me many drafts of Solar the Polar (this 600-word picture book was once a 60,000-word middle-grade novel), and four years, to find a literary agent. After that, it was a long road to find a publisher, too.

There’s no doubt that writing is an art. I think persistence and a strong desire to improve is key to being a good writer. A dear friend, and fellow writer, likes to remind me that anyone can sit down and write. The true magic — and growth — happens in the rewrites. It’s important to raise your own bar.

Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of. hat sets you apart from others?
While Purpose2Play and Solar the Polar has been incredibly fulfilling, I believe you have to give yourself room to evolve. So, nine months ago, I turned my attention back to my educational roots — integrating physical and mental health — and moved to New York City to work as a writer in the mental health care technology space. In between composing content that elevates mental health care and eliminates stigma, I’ve also been working on more children’s books that do that same. I want my writing to impact people’s health at the population level. I believe in the power of storytelling, one of our oldest forms of education, and I think we can use it to help people realize that mental health is just as important as physical health.

So much of the media coverage is focused on the challenges facing women today, but what about the opportunities? Do you feel there are any opportunities that women are particularly well-positioned for?
Women make incredible leaders. I think women can be tough on themselves, but with that, they raise the bar for everyone else. That, and a strong desire to see a positive change in this country can go a long way. My hope is that one day, we won’t see male leaders and female leaders. We will just see leaders.

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Image Credit:
Personal photo (by the river): John Leyba

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