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Kris Fabbri Knows Sharing Our Struggles Makes Us Stronger
Join the conversation at Miles for Mental Health
Anyone who’s ever met Kris Fabbri will tell you she’s a ball of positive energy. As a fitness coach and Lululemon Ambassador, she is constantly motivating class participants to test their limits while finding joy in movement. But, while her demeanor might be one of the brightest around, she is the first to admit that life can get hard.
Physical and Mental Health Are Linked
Kris grew up, like many, in a home where mental illness was a poorly-kept secret. But, despite the fact that it set the mood of family life, mental health wasn’t a welcome topic of conversation. “You have to be okay,” Kris remembers hearing throughout her childhood. Even as a young person, Kris understood how problematic the stigma around mental health is—a fact reinforced when, at age 11, she lost her brother to suicide.
Around that time, Kris developed a passion for physical health and took up running, hiking, field hockey, and later weightlifting. “You can’t tease [physical health] apart from mental health,” she says. “Feeling strong physically convinced me that it was possible to withstand the mental struggles.”
Decades later, Kris enjoys physical activity as both a participant and a coach, and emphasizes moving in positive, joyful ways and the power of exercising in groups. No one is immune to mental struggles, and she sees building physical stamina and strength in a group setting as a way to cope with these challenges as a community.
Miles For Mental Health Brings Together Community Members of All Ages
To support this work, Kris is proud and excited to announce the first Miles for Mental Health community celebration, to take place on Sunday, October 15 at the Marshall Simonds Middle School Track in Burlington, MA. This is not your typical 5K—in fact, it’s not a 5K at all. The intent is for this event to be an inclusive celebration of the power of community and movement to help us overcome our challenges. There will be music, yoga, and the opportunity to walk or run on the track for participants who are moved to do so.
When planning this event, Kris was most impacted by the number of people who reached out to share their stories of mental health struggles. Knowing that you’re not alone in what you’re going through, hearing that someone else understands and has been where you are, is empowering, says Kris.
Kris was also overwhelmed by the generosity of local businesses. Many restaurants donated gift cards and services, and a fellow Lululemon ambassador will be providing yoga classes for kids. Local DJ Adam Averback will be donating his services to keep the dance moves flowing, Wegmans and Eddie V’s will provide food, and Chris Cucinotto will be taking photos and video to commemorate what will hopefully be the first of many annual Miles for Mental Health Events.
Together, We Can Overcome Mental Health Challenges
The idea for this free event came out of Kris’s work as a Lululemon Ambassador. The Ambassador program supports people in making a difference in their communities, and that’s just what Kris hopes this event will do. “This is a family-friendly event for people of all ages and all abilities to show our kids that people struggle,” says Kris. She knows how important it is to talk about mental health, and Miles for Mental Health is a celebration of the strength we can find in sharing our stories and supporting each other. “I just want to stop that cycle,” she says of keeping our challenges to ourselves, “and show people it’s okay to not be okay.”
Sign up for Miles for Mental Health—it’s free, and it’s for everyone. You can make an optional donation to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) with your registration or on the day of the event.