One day after just finishing up working with client at nearby recreation center, I happened upon a stunning site.
Picture this: A man, mid to late 40's, and in a wheelchair. It appeared as though the curvature of his spine and lack of muscle strength in his back prevented him from sitting straight in his chair.
He was very hunched over and leaning to one side. While in this position, he was actively using a hanging punching bag. He was hitting it hard enough that the bag was moving quite a bit. He was only able to use one arm.
This experience made my mind travel in many directions. I pondered a great deal about him and the fitness effort that he was making.
I also had the sense that though his body wasn't ideal for the boxing effort, he didn't seem to be a stranger to the punching bag in anyway.
My client also watched this man for a moment as we were wrapping up and rescheduling. I could see that my client was also moved by the experience.
After my client left, I walked over to the treadmill to get some running in while I had the chance. I ran on the treadmill for 30-minutes, in between clients. The wheelchair boxer was there punching the entire time! That is an extremely long time at a punching bag. He was slow, but very strong, and very consistent.
He stopped once someone who looked like a health aid arrived, this was near the end of my run. The aid and the boxer conversed in a way that appeared as though the boxer was teaching the aid something. They then cleared and left the area.
It is when I see things like this that I am just blown away by how much effort it takes for some people to be involved in life and various events that the general population take for granted.
These people are often times more involved and more engaged than fully able bodied people. These efforts often go unnoticed, unrecognized for what it is, or we actually avoid looking.
I challenge you to not only look at these people, but give eye contact and smile. Look at them, talk to them, learn from them, and train with them.