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Posts Tagged ‘adaptive sports’

I’ve just posted a new topic on Push to Walk’s Family Corner section of our website (click here) that talks about resuming activities and starting new ones after a spinal cord injury. Now that it’s been 10 years since Darren’s injury, he has tried a lot of different things. Some sports and activities had to be modified from how he did them prior to his injury; others were brand new to him. He’s liked some – skiing and wheelchair rugby, for example; and not others (at least not so much) – tennis for one. But he tries new and different things, and that is the important part.

I know I tend to stay in my “comfort zone” when it comes to physical activities and challenges. Setting a goal of completing half and full marathons was difficult on many levels, but not what you would call a risk. At least my feet were touching the ground! Leaving that comfort zone to try new things can be scary. Trying adaptive sports that require modified equipment, helpers, lots of extra time and patience is not always easy – either physically or mentally. But those that do try sometimes find a new outlet for energy, competitiveness, camaraderie and socialization.

I hope you’ll read my website section and maybe you’ll want to try something new or encourage a loved one to do something new – whether it’s sports, art, yoga, or skydiving! Whatever you do, have fun out there!

Cynthia

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Push to Walk’s 3rd Annual Summer Boot Camp is NEXT WEEK! Events start Sunday, July 13 – Saturday, July 19. Come and join the fun!

Please check out the calendar of events HERE.

We offer a variety of events, vendors, products, education, information and FUN for everyone!

The idea behind Summer Boot Camp is to bring current clients, prospective clients, friends, family and YOU, the general public, together!

Some events are held on site at Push to Walk, 6 North Corporate Drive, Riverdale, NJ and some are at other nearby locations. All the details are listed on the calendar linked above.

This is a great way for our clients to meet one another while participating in fun, sporting and social events, to learn from each other, to learn about new products and services and to meet Push to Walk friends and donors. Please join us for our Opening Event, an Ice Cream Social on Sunday, July 13 at 4 pm with Guest Speaker Dan Monzo, Team USA Paralympic Snowboarder. Other activities include seated yoga, adaptive tennis and trivia night. We will attend Dr. Wise Young’s Open House at Rutgers on Thursday, July 17, as well as host our own Open Houses for visitors and vendors on Tuesday and Thursday.

This is a great way to see Push to Walk in action, and HAVE SOME FUN!

Please register for events by calling 862-200-5848 or emailing Stephanie at slajam@pushtowalknj.org.

Thanks, and hope to see you next week!

Cynthia

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The Abilities Expo is today, tomorrow and Sunday (Friday, May 2 – Sunday, May 4) at the NJ Convention & Expo Center @ Raritan, 97 Sunfield Avenue, Edison, NJ 08837. Come visit us at Booth #808!

One of the reasons I love this Expo is because it truly does center on abilities. What people CAN do, what products can help them live life to the fullest. In addition to vendors with products and services, many nonprofits are there which provide valuable information, all kinds of accessible vehicles and lots of adapted sports equipment and activities.

There is also a full schedule of presentations in adjoining meeting rooms and a schedule of demonstrations like wheelchair dancing and quad rugby. The full schedule of events can be reviewed by clicking HERE.

Go and spend a few hours – I am sure you will find it worthwhile!

P.S. Don’t forget to keep voting EVERY DAY for Push to Walk to win a $25,000 State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grant. Click here to vote for us!

Thanks, and enjoy the weekend! Cynthia

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On Sunday, April 27th, 18 members of Team Push to Walk completed the full, half and half relay as part of the NJ Marathon event in Long Branch. Congratulations to all!

Each team member raised a minimum of $500 which will be used for our Client Scholarship Fund. A special SHOUT OUT to Team Snyder, comprised of Mandi, Bob, Paul, Maureen, Kristie, Mark and Katlyn; clients Lois, Kevin and Tim; and friends/staff including Ken, Karla, Wes, Aimee, Margaret, Matea, Eugene and Sean.

Pushing a handcycle among thousands of runners is a difficult challenge, but Lois found a way and finished 13.1 miles strong! Kevin placed third in the handcycle division of the full marathon, and was flying through the course for his first ever race. His fan club joined him at the finish, sporting matching t-shirts and race flags to congratulate him! Tim trained for the event (and raised a LOT of money!) but was unable to compete that day. He doesn’t want to let his supporters down and plans on riding the entire 13.1 miles in the next few weeks. That is dedication!

Eugene finished first in his age group for the full marathon – way to go! He was running for his cousin, Anthony, a Push to Walk client.

Having completed a few endurance events myself, I know that it takes determination and commitment to even sign up for an event like this. Push to Walk is very grateful to all our team members who not only dedicated themselves to the task, but enlisted support from family and friends to raise money for our clients. Thank you to everyone who participated, donated and came to cheer the team on!

As of this writing, we are just a few dollars short of our $30,000 goal. Donations are still being accepted – please help us exceed that amount, enabling people who face financial challenges the opportunity to take advantage of our Push to Walk program. If you’d like to donate, click here. Thank you!

Cynthia

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Happy Friday everyone!

Sunday is the big day for Team Push to Walk and the thousands of runners participating in the events related to the NJ Marathon on Sunday. Yes, only 2 days away! We have hand cyclists and runners entered in all three events: the full marathon, half marathon and half marathon relay.

I know what it takes to commit yourself to a goal, dedicate time and energy, and the feeling of accomplishment in reaching it. I am running and cycling with each one of you in spirit! I admire your dedication and am especially grateful to our Team Push to Walk members for raising funds for our Client Scholarship Fund.

We are oh so close to reaching our goal of raising $30,000 this year as I write this blogpost. YOUR donation can help us reach that goal or EXCEED it. That would be AWESOME! Click here to donate to our Team or an individual member.

If you are in the Long Branch area or surrounding towns (check out the event site for spectator locations), come and cheer our Team members on!

Thanks, and have a great weekend! Go Team, go!!! See you at the finish line!

Cynthia

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Happy Monday! I hope anyone who experienced the snow this weekend is safe and sound! Back to the twelve days…..

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me………five golden rings! Since 2014 will be an Olympic year, I thought I’d tie the five golden rings to the five colorful rings that are the symbol of the Olympic games.

On February 7-23, athletes from all over the world will compete for their country’s highest prizes – Olympic medals. I always love the “up close and personal” segments to find out more about the athletes themselves, their families and lives. If there’s any TV coverage at all, I’d love to do the same for the Paralympics, which take place from March 7 -16. Past coverage has been little to none of the Paralympics, but I am sure there are equally interesting and inspiring stories about these athletes as well (if not even more so).

At Push to Walk, we like to treat our clients like athletes. Repetitions, challenges, hard work and dedication are just a few of the qualities that define both our clients and Olympic/Paralympic athletes. Setting goals and working hard day after day, week after week, month after month. While the Olympic athletes have to overcome obstacles to achieve their goals, Paralympic athletes and our clients share the challenges that every day living poses to them every minute. Paralysis, loss of bladder and bowel functions, inability to regulate body temperatures, etc. The list is a long one.

Please cheer for ALL the athletes I am referring to! And if you’d like to make a contribution to support our Push to Walk athletes and help them reach their goals, please visit our website at www.pushtowalknj.org to make a contribution. Our slogan: A Little Push Goes a Long Way seems very fitting to today’s post. Thanks for reading!

Cynthia

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Happy Friday Everyone!

I am so excited to pass along this link! A video about my son Darren’s story and the reason we founded Push to Walk was recently produced and is featured on CNN.com. Check it out!

CNN Stories Worth Watching: Paralyzed Adventurer Moves Forward

Many thanks to our Board Chairman Ralph Rathyen for initiating contact with Sarah Galus Esteves at CNN and her commitment to bring it through the process for story development. Thank you to Sarah, Holly Firfer and the entire team for bringing our story to the public!

Please share with others through email, Facebook, etc.  Help us spread the word!

Enjoy the weekend! Cynthia

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Summer Boot Camp Week Progressing!

Happy Summer! Of course, now everyone is complaining about the heat, but it doesn’t seem so long ago that the complaints were about the cold and rain…………I hope you are enjoying the warm weather, and staying cool when needed!

Summer Camp started off on Sunday with a fun Ice Cream Social and guest speaker, our very own “Push Girl” Christan Zaccagnino. We are very grateful to Curly’s in Riverdale for donating their delicious chocolate and vanilla ice cream for all to enjoy. I’d like to thank so many our staff members, clients, friends and family members for coming out!

Monday evening was devoted to art and yoga, and I’d like to thank Laurie Kammer and David McCauley from Rise Up Gallery for donating materials and providing inspiration for the art workshop, as well as Nancy Witters and Kula for Karma for providing a great yoga experience.

Our first Open House this week brought several vendors, visitors and prospective clients to Push to Walk on Tuesday. The place was busy! With demos of the Re-Walk, and the Standing Company wheelchair, we learned a lot about these products, and also had the Morph Wheel, Coloplast and Drivemaster here with samples and information. Lunch and sno-cones topped off the day!

A Wheelchair Rugby exhibition was held on Tuesday evening at the Wayne YMCA, and a few members from the Warriors Rugby Team demonstrated the game to clients and staff members. Many thanks to the YMCA for allowing us to use their gym!

Tonight, Wednesday, lots of people have already signed up to meet at Hooters in Wayne for Trivia Night. We have a large group, and last year was so much fun, I am looking forward to a great night tonight!

UPCOMING:

Thursday is our second Open House and will be held from 9:30 am – 3 pm. We’ll have more demos, including Matt Courson and the Restorative Therapies RT-200, an exciting new piece of “hybrid” equipment that combines an arm and leg workout in a seated elliptical machine.  Come and visit us! Invite others who might want to check us out!

On Thursday evening, we will be traveling to The W.M. Keck Center at Rutgers University in New Brunswick to hear Dr. Wise Young speak about the SCI Clinical Trials and results coming from China, and his plans for U.S. clinical trials. Other speakers and vendors will be present as well. Tours of the Lab start at 5 pm and the presentations start at 6 pm. Please call or e-mail Stephanie for more info: 862-200-5848 or slajam@pushtowalknj.org.

Join us for a Sled Hockey demonstration put on by the New Jersey Freeze at Floyd Hall Arena from 10:30 am until 12 noon.  The Arena is located on the campus of Montclair University and their GPS address is 28 Clove Road, Little Falls, NJ.

While we are all busy enjoying the Summer Camp activities, I’d like to recognize Stephanie Lajam, our Communications and Special Events Coordinator for doing an OUTSTANDING job of arranging the week’s events. She has secured lunch donations for the whole week, scheduled many vendors, and worked out all venue details. THANK YOU, Stephanie, for all of your hard work!! Thanks also to our staff members for participating in so many activities, especially after putting in long days and many hours of training. A special shout out to Tommy Sutor, our Program Director, for managing the client schedules this week.

Thanks to our clients and family members for joining us; I hope everyone has enjoyed the week so far!

REMINDER – We do have Macy’s 25% coupons for sale for $5.00 each, good at any Macy’s store on Saturday, August 24. Buy some today!!! Share with family, friends and co-workers!!

Thanks for reading! Cynthia

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This weekend, there are two totally unrelated things for me to write about. While they really don’t belong in the same blog, I only have one day to write about them, so here goes!

Happy Hanukkah to all our friends who celebrate the holiday also known as the Festival of Lights starting on December 8 and continuing for eight days. As I understand it, Hanukkah honors the perseverance of Judaism during ancient times, and the story of how the Menorah lamp miraculously remained lit for eight days. May you enjoy time with family and friends during this holiday season!

Also this weekend, the 5th Annual NY Warriors Al Youakim Invitational Wheelchair Rugby Tournament will be held at The Henry Viscardi School, Albertson, NY. Games will be played Saturday December 8th and Sunday December 9th. The daily schedule will be 9-7:00pm on Saturday and 9-3:00 on Sunday. Awards Ceremonies will immediately follow the final game.

If you have not seen or experienced quad rugby and are in or near Long Island, this would be a great time to see the sport. I am very excited to learn that the NY Warriors will have two teams – that is awesome! And one of our own Push to Walk Summer Campers who tried the sport during the camp has joined the team! We are very excited about that! Adaptive sports like quad rugby offer an opportunity for healthy competition, socializing and camraderie. All the players I have met the last several years going and watching the games have been the nicest people (off the court, anyway!), and they really enjoy the sport. Go and check out a game or two!!
Teams that are participating: New York Warriors – 2 Teams, Philadelphia Eagles, Gaylord Sports Association’s Connecticut Jammers  and Northeast Passage Wildcats
The Henry Viscardi School is located at 201 I U Willets Road, Albertson, NY 11507
Saturday:
9:00 – 10:30: New York 1 / Philadelphia
10:30 – 12:00 Wildcats / Connecticut
12:00 – 1:30: New York 2 / Philadelphia
1:30 – 3:00:  Connecticut / New York 1
3:00 – 4:30:  Philadelphia / Wildcats
4:30 – 6:00:  Connecticut / New York 2
Sunday:
9:00 – 10:30: New York 2 / Wildcats
10:30 – 12:00: New York 1 / Wildcats
12:00 – 1:30: Connecticut / Philadelphia
1:30 – 3:00:  New York 1 / New York 2
Maybe I’ll see you there! Enjoy the weekend, whatever you do!
Cynthia

 

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Working together with Burke Rehab Hospital, their staff and clients has been an amazing experience. From their top SCI doc, Dr. Stampas, to their PT’s, OT’s and Recreation Therapists, everyone is committed to seeing their patients make progress in their physical capabilities, emotional well-being and social interactions. One recent event that Push to Walk participated in was one of the hand cycle clinics that Burke hosted in conjunction with Helen Hayes Hospital , and it was great!

A variety of equipment vendors were there and had bikes for people to try, lots of volunteers to help and great food. At Push to Walk, we love getting clients to consider hand cycling as a complement to our exercise program, and have brought several newcomers into the sport. With so many choices of bikes, it is important to try a few different styles to see what is more comfortable and easy for you to use. We can also tailor your workouts to include specific exercises that will help you become stronger and make cycling more enjoyable.

Using a hand cycle can not only be a great way to exercise, but a fun and social activity with friends and family, too. While you may not think October is the time to think about an outdoor sport, you may want to start looking into different models, talk with people who ride, and start considering your options for the spring. There are several events that would be great to train for, especially Team Push to Walk’s participation in the NJ Marathon/Half Marathon on May 5, 2013, and the annual Richard West 5 Mile ride on Long Beach Island in June.

We’d be happy to provide you with information on hand cycles and the events mentioned above – please e-mail me at ctempleton@pushtowalknj.org. We are already signing up team members for the May Marathon, and would love to recruit hand cyclists and more runners, too! All funds raised are used for client scholarships at Push to Walk. We’d love to have you join us!

Cynthia

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