A story about Kristin Stehly.
As a kid growing up in Escondido, Stehly played soccer and did gymnastics, hiked with her parents and enjoyed exercise and the positives that came from it.
“I always was into fitness,” she says. “I knew I wanted to teach P.E. and teach fitness classes and be in front of people. Even in the seventh and eighth grade, I would get up in the morning and lift weights. It was a priority of mine. I was never the best athlete, but I always wanted to be healthy.”
She stayed active throughout high school (doing varsity gymnastics four years, and soccer) and college and even while pregnant with twin boys. After they were born — and she took some time off from her 17-year teaching career — she started running.
“It was the easiest thing to do when they were in the stroller,” she says of her boys, now 8. “Just put them in and go.”
In January of 2011, she ran her first marathon in Carlsbad. Then came 32 more. Running became her passion.
“You just kind of fall in love,” she says. “It’s so painful and you’re running and you’re like, ‘I’m never doing this again,’ and then you cross the finish line and you’re like, ‘When am I going to sign up for the next one?’”
But running took its toll. As a girl, Stehly had Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, in which she didn’t get proper blood flow to one hip, causing damage to the bone. She had to have surgery and was in a brace for a year. Because one leg is slightly longer than the other, all those running miles caused hip dysplasia in the previously damaged hip and a stress fracture in her other hip.