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Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

As I continue my journey of training for a half marathon on April 30th, I realize more each week that I must listen to my body. After a week in Breckenridge of not feeling well and not training at all, I came home and ran 6 miles. It wasn’t pretty, but not too bad overall. I followed my training program the following week and felt pretty good. I did my long run of 7 miles outside, driving to a nearby town where the terrain is flat and there are sidewalks. I felt safer, but did a lot more walking than I wanted. But at least I logged the 7 miles.

Starting the next week, I took an extra rest day (I listened to my body!), and my next run I felt great! Yippee!! The words of my title “better today than yesterday” kept repeating themselves in my head. It became my new mantra that has gotten me through a few more workouts, and I think I will keep this thought as I continue my training.

But these words have so much more meaning than just for running and training. They can be really meaningful in everyday life, in how I treat others and in practically every activity. I like having goals for myself, and this is a new one I can adopt.

I suspect that many of you who read this are working towards goals – whether they be related to exercise or running, family relationships, work/career-based, and even our clients at Push to Walk and how they approach their workouts and everyday challenges. If we do our best everyday, but strive to do better than yesterday, we can achieve our goals and find success. If we can support each other in working on and reaching our goals, the results can be AWESOME!!

If you have a mantra of your own that works for you, please share! One of the ways I get through my long runs is to focus on a thought and “go deep” on it for each individual mile. The more ideas and positive motivation I have in my head while running the better!

Make today better than yesterday!!

Love Cynthia

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Hello everyone, and Happy New Year! I hope 2015 brings health, happiness and joy to your lives!

Yesterday was the actual day of Push to Walk’s 8th anniversary!! Wow! When I look back to all that has happened in 8 years, it is hard to comprehend it all. As a still young but growing organization, I believe we have a great combination of motivated clients, dedicated staff, active Board members and committee volunteers, and generous donors.  All of these groups contribute to the sustainability and growth of Push to Walk, of which I am very proud. So many people have contributed to our success, and I am grateful to each and every one of you, for whatever it is you have helped us with (more people than I can count; more things than I can remember!).

As a nonprofit entity providing a very valuable (and otherwise not available) service to our clients and their families, friends and others with paralysis, it is sometimes forgotten that we must run as an efficient business as well. I am trying to focus on this aspect of the business in 2015, always keeping in mind that first and foremost we are a mission-driven, people-based organization. We exist to provide the highest quality of service, 100% of the time, to help our clients reach their goals and live a higher quality of life.

With your support, we will continue this pursuit of excellence, continue to grow as an organization and as individuals, and continue our quest to help so many people on their journeys in life that have connected us. Thank you for believing in us, and “pushing” with us!

Cynthia

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You know that saying, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step,” well I am embarking on another journey – another half marathon! I am joining Team Push to Walk in the Long Branch Half Marathon on Sunday, April 26, 2015. Join me on “Templeton’s Team – Push to Run” and help me raise awareness and funds for Push to Walk!

I will be running each of the 13.1 miles for someone with a spinal cord injury, brain injury or MS. If you would like to join my team in either person or spirit, and help even more people, please let me know! As soon as I have my site up to organize everything online, I will put out the info.

WHO’S IN????

Cynthia

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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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Hello Everyone!

I’d like to give a shout-out to my friends at Pushing Boundaries in Redmond, WA. They are celebrating their ninth anniversary! I love their tagline: “Exercise, health and hope for people with paralysis.” It really sums up what they do, and they do it well!

Pushing Boundaries’ founders, Allan and Sharon Northrup, created a wonderful organization that has benefited so many people in the Northwest, and they continue to grow and expand. Their Executive Director, Tricia Lazzar, has been a tremendous help to me and to Push to Walk over the years, providing guidance and advice, and sharing information.

I know Pushing Boundaries is going to be a major sponsor at this year’s Working 2 Walk conference to be held October 17-18 in Seattle, and they are involved in the entire SCI and paralysis community for the good of so many.

Congratulations to Pushing Boundaries for doing what you do, and doing it well. We wish you many more years of success for you and your clients!

Cynthia

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On the tenth day of Christmas, my true gave to me………ten lords-a-leaping! My version will be ten “lords & ladies-a-lifting” for the work our trainers and aides do at Push to Walk every single day!

I would like to recognize our Push to Walk staff for the heavy lifting they do, literally and figuratively, for our clients. Some clients are able to move from place to place on their own; others need more assistance. Our trainers and aides, male and female alike, are ready at all times to give this assistance. It requires strength, good body positioning and not being nervous about placing yourself in another’s personal space. It takes practice, but our staff does what’s needed without hesitation, many many times a day.

Our clients rely on our trainers and aides to give them a challenging and worthwhile workout every time they come through our doors. I believe our staff does an incredible job, and are successful because our clients demand the highest quality. It is definitely a two-way street!

Thank you to the most awesome staff a founder could have! Push to Walk is what it is today because of the trainers and aides (in addition to our administrative staff!) we have, how they interact with the clients, go above and beyond their job duties and really care about our clients and their families. If you have a comment you’d like to make from your own personal experience about any of our staff members, please let me know!

‘Tis the season to share compliments and joy! Thank you, staff!!! Cynthia

 

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Hello Everyone,

I’ve written about Boyd Melson in prior posts, and we’ve shared his story in Facebook postings as well. In summary, Boyd is a professional boxer and donates all of his purse winnings to Just A Dollar Please in order to bring spinal cord injury clinical trials to the United States. Boyd’s best friend, Christan, is a long time Push to Walk client, and our relationship with him started many years ago.

Boyd’s next fight is coming up on Wednesday, December 4 at BB King’s in New York City. Again, he will donate his winnings to Dr. Wise Young and the clinical trials. You can buy tickets (if there’s any still available) at www.teamfighttowalk.com. But my blog today is really about Boyd coming to Push to Walk and working out with our clients. Under the program “The Mission Continues,” Boyd is working with Drs. Patricia Morton and Wise Young on a spinal cord injury exercise program and walking. When Boyd is at Push to Walk, he has his boxing gloves and gets the clients to throw punches, block punches and keep themselves upright. With his constant banter, encouragement, smile and laughter, he has these clients working HARD!

Here’s a video clip that says it all. Let’s just say I got as much enjoyment out of watching this taking place as I’m sure the participants had actually doing it. Only thing is, I’m not sore or tired afterwards. I only had to hold the camera! 🙂

Enjoy watching, and please support Boyd’s next fight and justadollarplease.org

Thank you! 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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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has again designated September 2013 as Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. This fits in nicely with the nationally recognized month, and will hopefully serve to educate, inform and advocate for all those people living with spinal cord injuries and paralysis.

One of my personal goals of SCI Awareness Month is to help people in general understand what spinal cord injuries really mean. Here’s a quote that sums it up:

“I don’t like it that media shows only “inspirational” people.  I want people to know what happens when there aren’t any accessible parking places left.  I want them to know about pressure sore issues, catheters, bowel concerns, pain, medications, the average income, assistance needed—the whole dark side.  I don’t want their pity.  I want them educated.  Only then can they understand the need for ADA compliance, rehab availability and medical research.”   —  Karen Miner, C4, Roseville, California

While there does seem to be more media coverage lately about SCI, and that is a good thing, (hopefully we contribute to that as well), there is a need for people to understand what the daily challenges are for a person with SCI. The things the able-bodied population (including me) take for granted every day. With our clients and interactions with family members, we hear what the realities are every single day. With persistence, determination and a will to move forward, people deal with and overcome these daily challenges, but as an outsider, we have no idea…….

The obvious challenges are physical mobility and lack of accessibility in still so many public places. Transportation challenges are high on the list: not being able to drive, affording an accessible vehicle, relying on drivers, even getting a vehicle repaired. All can disrupt a person’s schedule for days, even weeks. Usually the unspoken topic is bowel and bladder issues. When a daily routine of bowel movements is disrupted by any number of causes (diet, medication, anxiety, physical ailments or other unknown assailants) a person’s self confidence, dignity, and emotional well being are attacked along with schedule changes and missing work, school and exercise. When bowel and bladder accidents happen either at home or in public, even those who figure out ways of dealing with it can become frustrated, angry and upset.

Any little thing can trigger a downward spiral. Sometimes a person’s emotional state is so fragile, a “simple” disruption is anything but. I can list many more challenges that none of us really see when we see someone who uses a wheelchair. Please know they exist; just be aware. That’s one thing I hope SCI Awareness Month can help accomplish.

Thanks for reading! 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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