Sunday, December 9, 2007

YMCA Christmas Party

I'm pictured above with two of my friends who attend the Partnership Program - Niki (L), and Carol (R).

Tonight I attended the annual Christmas Party for my local YMCA. I work out at their Partnership Program for People with Disabilities.

Physical Fitness plays an important role in my life, and was the focus of my platform speech in the Ms. Wheelchair America competition. I believe improved health for its own sake is reason enough to stay fit, but the secondary benefits may be even more important. Physical Fitness promotes self-confidence, improves self-esteem and combats isolation.

This is my personal trainer, James Finn. He volunteers at the YMCA to help me train.

Staying active is more difficult for people with mobility-impairments, but new technology and disability-specific design have changed the products and services available in fitness programs. The Partnership Program at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts, has an adaptive exercise program for people with disabilities consisting of Nautilus, free weights, stretching, yoga, and an FES Stim Bike (Functional Electrical Stimulation), which propels inactive leg muscles to pedal a bike.

I work out every week with a terrific group of trainers and other people in wheelchairs, and I feel tremendous benefits.

Pictured here are some of the guys from the gym: Keith, Joe, Paul, Taso and some friends...