Hi, friends. Does anyone else have a love-hate relationship with Timehop on Facebook? My memories are either photos that recall good times or cringey statuses/shares. Gah. Anyways, a status popped up in my memories from five years ago…”First day with a legit personal trainer. Hellz yeah.” Yes, I used to say “hellz.” It’s hard to believe I’ve worked out regularly and with professional assistance for five years now. Time flies!
I was going to start making posts about exercising while disabled, so the timing of this memory was convenient! Tons of thoughts and ideas on my experiences are swimming through my head. I’ll try my best to keep the posts focused on one story or concept. Today, I’ll tell you how I met my trainer.
I moved out with my best friend at age 19. We were sophomores in college. I still walked, but it was obvious I wasn’t “normal.”
I’d gained some fluff during freshman year, and I knew that working out would be beneficial for my disability, so I started visiting the gym in our apartment complex. Like most people, I had no idea what I was doing, so my routine consisted of several minutes on the exercise bike + arbitrarily wandering among the weight machines + crunches (the only thing I knew to do on the mat/floor).
One day, a random black guy with huge muscles approached me in the gym. I’d seen him around a couple times but didn’t know him at all. He introduced himself and explained that he’d been noticing me and thought he could help me because he was a personal trainer. He didn’t say so initially, but I soon learned that he was working with (and still works with) the able-bodied, the mentally disabled, and the physically disabled. Tobias works out of Greensboro; he earned a bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science from ECU.
I logged his info into my phone without feeling certain whether I’d call him or not. Fast forward five years…safe to say that I did, and I’ve never regretted it. Thank God! I might be much worse by now if I hadn’t met him.
Here’s a pic of us from last year on May 17th, Friedreich’s Ataxia Awareness Day. The sign says #curefa.
How many wheelchair users do you know who are this tough? 😉
Thanks for reading!