Sunday, March 10, 2013


I had another great workout at the RIC gym, thanks in part to yet another volunteer named Ashley. She like a couple of other volunteers are actually fitness instructors, needless to say I utilized her expertise to my best advantage. She worked me really hard and my muscles were sore as a result.

I am trying to figure out a way to go to the gym more often, I can only go two days a week; and those are the two weekdays, my assistant, Frank, works. There is a para transit bus/van system here that is designed to transport people with special needs. I have filled out an application and still need to schedule and appointment to be officially qualified to use this para transit system.

By utilizing para transit, I will be able to go to RIC gym four to five days a week. Para transit costs $3 each direction, so if I go two days using the system it will be $12 a week, three days would be $18 a week. That may not seem like much but when you multiply it times four weeks, it becomes an additional expense.

Nonetheless, at this stage using  the para transit bus/van and having my assistant take me two days a week, seems like the most viable and most economical plan. I could drive myself but then I have the hassle of loading and unloading my wheelchair, the cost of gas, and it is $10 per day to park, even with the parking validation from the gym, out of the question.

I guess having to figure out all of the logistics of this gym thing is and of itself a good thing, at least I am now going out into the public more and working out at an actual gym, something I have not done in over two years.

It is great to be doing exercises again that I have unable replicate at home like the smith machine. Now I realize that some of my readers may disagree with using the smith machine at all, and I can't say I blame them, however, given my circumstances, I am at least going to start out on the smith machine and within the next couple of weeks I will switch to using the barbell for bench presses.

The point is I have not been able to bench press using any type of barbell be it on the smith machine or a free weight, I was relegated to dumb bell presses because I was working out at home. Now my world has opened back up again, thanks to my eventual decision to join the RIC gym.

As I have been discussing off an on over the past two years, learning to live life as a bilateral amputee takes time. Unlike my buddy, Bruce, I have not been surrounded by like minded amputees who know the importance of staying strong both physically and mentally.

Fortunately for myself, I never gave up on working out and have kept a work out routine going at home, by myself, with relatively good results, of course it is never good enough. Now, however, after going back to a gym I am demonstrating to myself, that even though I have lost both legs, I am not going to let the rest of my body go as well.

Can you feel the revitalized vigor in my writing? I hope my words convey as powerfully as my actual conviction is about being back at the gym again. Another heartfelt thank you to my friend, Bruce for his words of encouragement and his belief in me, which means so much considering he is also a bilateral AK amputee. He understands fully the amount of energy and dedication it takes to accomplish these tasks without the benefit of either leg or either knee.

It is true that you may not feel like working as much on some days as you do on others, but always be mindful of the fact that you are able to work out at all and what a great void not being able to work out would be in your life, at least for people like us.

I realize not everyone is like me but if you are a fellow amputee; and love to work out, I am telling you there is always a way to do most things that we used to take for granted and do so easily.

The biggest hurdle is finally making the commitment to yourself  to venture out beyond your comfort zone and follow through on your conviction.

There is much to be gained and little to nothing to be lost, be brave, be strong and be happy.

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