Athletes stand out in our minds, and are portrayed in our media, as super-humans, created differently that the average Jane or Joe. They achieve amazing feats of physical aptitude, and are compensated generously for sharing their talents with the world. Every so often we hear a story about a professional athlete who making efforts to impact the world outside of the sports realm, but rarely are we allowed to dive in deep and discover the human behind the athlete. These are people who discipline their bodies and minds in efforts to train, race, and compete. In this sense, they have much to teach us about vitality, resiliency and how to redefine boundaries of possibility.
Photo by Liz Kreutz
Kim Constantinesco is no stranger to sports coverage, and is working diligently at transforming the way we engage with sports media. In December 2013, Constantinesco founded Purpose2Play, creating an avenue for the truly inspiring and uplifting stories of athletes to be shared with a world that is starving for this kind of media. Her passion for life, the pursuit of personal bliss, and her interest in giving voice to athletes (in a way that goes beyond scores and stats) makes her an inspiring woman who is transforming sports media.
Photo by Brittany Alvarado
While overcoming certain obstacles in her own life, Constantinesco developed a healthy respect for fear and an admiration for people who are out there crushing it. In her own words, she states that, “Fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just something that you can’t fight against because it will ultimately put up a bigger battle. If you make room for fear and give it a little respect and appreciation, it won’t bite back so hard.” With this mindset, she is emphasizing new pathways of influence in sports media.
Not only do athletes inspire us, but we too can inspire them. Constantinesco has honed in on this unique opportunity that we have to influence the athletes who have power to make things happen. She explains, “We’re at an interesting point in time when a simple 140-character plea to an athlete can be the catalyst for a giant headline-grabbing, life-changing act.” As we begin to take advantage of this semiotic relationship, we can witness incredible things happen. This is what Purpose2Play is all about, and ultimately what sportsmanship is about; we get to witness and partake in people achieving inspiring goals.
Photo by Steven Cobert
With a masters in psychology and a background covering the Denver Broncos, Constaninesco has found a way to fuse her passion for people and for sports through a third passion she discovered later in life, writing. Like most people who find themselves doing what they love, her path was paved by a series of events that lead her to suddenly taking the leap of faith, and starting her own business. When she was writing about the Denver Broncos, Constantinesco found that people wanted, “authentic narrative on the athletes who are doing something remarkable, because it instills a sense of hope.”
Sensationalized negative stories tend to gain the most traction because people want to get together and dispute the facts, but seeing human goodness in action is indisputably beautiful, in and of itself. These are the stories Constantinesco tells. Her perspective on the importance of sports coverage is uniquely well balanced, as she sees the need for athletes to continue to bring forth inspiration. Athletes are the people who are paving the way and pushing the limits on what is humanly possible. Unless we have reason to train our bodies or push against adversity, we wont. Constantinesco stated it plainly when she said, “We live in a very comfort-minded society. We no longer have to hunt for our food or walk long distances to find a new home, but we still have bodies that are capable of doing such things. Not many, with athletes being an exception, pursue building resilience.”
Photo by Liz Constantinesco
Constantinesco could be considered the star of her own inspiring story as she proved her physical and mental capacity to bounce back. On February, 13th, 2011, she and some friends were riding out at Keystone in Colorado, where they had built a pretty rad jump in a secluded location. After a great morning of riding, they took a break and came back to the jump with some friends. Someone decided to alter the lip of the jump, and without testing it first, Constantinesco went for another epic backflip, which she had pulled off flawlessly earlier in the day. That’s when things went wrong. The lip crumpled and Constantinesco ended up landing on her head. Though she was unaware at first, her injury was severe, and required a unique surgery to repair her crushed c5-c6 disc and chipped vertebra.
The recovery process was long and frustrating, but required Constantinesco to finally test-drive her personal resilience. No, her recovery was not met with her family encouraging her to get back on the proverbial horse. In fact, her father admonished her to never flip again; like any father would after his daughter had come out of a surgery that could have left her paralyzed.
As time went on, and she felt her recovery was complete, it was serendipity, and not a solid plan, that lead her back to the same location of the accident exactly one year, to the day, later to repeat the same maneuver. On February 13th, 2012, she faced the event that could have crippled her in fear forever. She describes her thoughts as she approached the jump again, “As I sat at the top of the jump, I just used a lot of mental imagery to picture myself successfully completing the flip. Honestly, that one was scarier than the first backflip I had ever done because I knew first-hand what the potential consequences were.” Then she went for it, and the landing was smooth, just as she knew it would be, as she had grown to trust and rely on her body’s abilities.
Photo by Julie Huynh
Having a clear mission in life makes it easier for one to push back against the obstacles placed in the path along the way. An interesting connection can be made between landing on her head in a back flip and jumping into the unknown as she ventured into starting her own business. By adjusting her perspective on fear and creating a bit of room and respect for it, Constantinesco has been able to trudge on ahead in boldness and certainty. “In a way, running my business is no different than throwing a flip on my board. I have to be willing to take calculated risks and full ownership. I either have to be all in or nothing at all. I can’t make half-ass attempts in business or in flipping. That’s a good way to land on your head.”
Passion is contagious, and this is a woman whose passion is clear at first contact with her. Calling the process of telling these stories, “the wind in her sails,” reveals how uniquely she has nestled into her own sweet spot. When asked what she thought her purpose in life was, Constantinesco answered, “I believe that my purpose is to very intentionally and authentically entertain and foster human connection through storytelling, by connecting certain dots for readers who might not otherwise connect them in their own worlds. If I can do this all while spreading love, accepting love, and changing the way sports media prioritizes their stories, then I think I’ll have reached my highest good.”
We, at Snowbunnymag, love Kim Constantinesco! Not only can she shred like a super-human, she also propels deeper connectivity of the human experience. We look forward to hearing more stories of hope, courage, and human kindness. We could all use a little extra boost of wind our sails as we each pursue our individual, and collective, highest good.
Be sure to like Purpose2Play on Facebook to engage in the amazing stories Kim Constantinesco and her team are covering!