Today we honor children who are suffering or have suffered the effects of domestic violence and/or substance abuse and addictions. Senseless; a word that best describes the results of these circumstances. Karen and Adam Owens addressed the 0530 and 0930 crowds, saying this:
Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the US involving more than 6 million children (a report can include multiple children).
The US has one of the worst records among industrialized nations - losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect. A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds.
Yearly, referrals to state child protective services involve 6.3 million children, and around 3 million of those children are subject to an investigated report.
Our family is directly affected by this epidemic. At the age of 5 weeks, our son Jayden was beaten by his biological parents. He was left with no signs of life for over 20 minutes but was later revived by the many rescue workers called to the scene. The little boy born in August of 2009 was gone — a new child had taken his place, a new Jayden who’s life was drastically changed by the senseless acts of violence. Jayden suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. He was left with broken bones, blind, deaf and dependent on a ventilator. We adopted Jayden when he was 2 years old and are so thankful for the progress he has made but also grieve the child he could have been.
Physical abuse is just one way the children in our country are suffering. Our daughter Harper comes from a history of severe substance abuse and neglect. Harper was born addicted to a long list of substances including alcohol. Fetal alcohol syndrome is an epidemic — it’s a diagnosis that will impact her life forever.
These children are a good reminder for us all to simply live aware — aware that while some children live with comfort and endless love — many do not.
Not included in the 0530 class was Michelle Peterson’s story about her adopted son, Stevie, also a baby born addicted to many drugs. Stevie was born a day late and spent the first 3 months of life in the NICU. According to Michelle (a CF early AMer), he went into an amazing foster family who saw his potential. He was on a feeding tube and heart monitor, and his foster mother lovingly and diligently spent many sleepless nights caring for him. At 8 mos. old, Stevie came into the Peterson home, but functioning as a newborn. Along the way, Stevie has had many developmental delays, but a strong will, a loving family, and an incredible physical therapist named Erin (also a CF early AMer), has helped along the way. Stevie still has many delays and struggles, but he has so many great abilities and personality traits, most important of which is a great love for life. Michelle says that while bear crawling in today’s workout, she lovingly thought of her Stevie as he would scoot on his backside with a smile on his face because he did not have the strength to crawl. A picture of Stevie today in 3rd grade is below. What a good looking young dude!
So, while we honor these kids who have suffered greatly so senselessly, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also acknowledge these wonderful families within our larger Corps Fitness family who see the potential in their children, love them, encourage them, and give them the all they need to live the best life possible! Kudos to the Owens’ (including big sister Madison!), the Peterson’s and all other families who help these children!
Setting goals. That was Nat Gallen’s message early this AM as he spoke to 5:30AMers (and worked out with them too….along with dad, John) about Cystic Fibrosis and what he does to stay motivated and push past what others may see as limits due to having CF. In fact, while many told Nat that the idea of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro was crazy and not a good idea, his family knew what he was capable of, knew his abilities, and knew that CF was not going to stand in the way of his accomplishing this goal. So, just a few years ago, Nat did just what he set out to do, by climbing 19,000 ft. Setting goals…..and seeing them through. Again, an example like yesterday of maybe having challenges, but NOT limitations. Outstanding example of getting things done!
NO Spin / Krank class tonight!
**Notice** We will have shortened office hours the remainder of the week…
CF will close at 12 noon the remainder of this week..and reopen every evening 5pm-7pm, for normal class schedule.
Back to the regular schedule and hours in the New Year. ***
Saturday at 0930 (after 8:30 class), Chris will be training the Marine Corps Poolees, and CFers are encouraged to help out / demonstrate exercises, etc if you can stay. Stick around at 11:00 to attend Staff Sgt Rac’s promotion ceremony - he will be promoted to Gunnery Sgt, pinned by his wife and Sgt Kaag. All CFers are welcome to attend!
Some of you previously have met Ryan Noyes. Some had the pleasure to meet him today. And if not, check out this handsome young fella in pictures below. Ryan, age 4, and his dad Dave Noyes came in to speak to the 0930 class about Spina Bifida. What is Spina Bifida exactly? It is a neural tube defect that happens early in a pregnancy where the neural tube, the embryonic structure that eventually develops into the baby’s brain, spinal cord and tissue that encloses them, fails to develop or close properly. The location of the defect basically impacts all areas below it. As with many disabilities, it too has its variations, but could cause muscle weakness in the legs, seizures and orthopedic problems. Ryan walks with the assistance of canes, but has recently taken his first steps alone. He also has swung a golf club for the first time with Dad, an avid golfer. Ryan’s parents (and Ryan) see him as not having ANY limitations….challenges, yes, but no limitations. And, their live-by motto is “Never Give Up” which is printed on Ryan’s “Super Ryan” t-shirts he and Dad so proudly wear. What is really impressive, is that when given the chance to address a large 9:30 class crowd, Ryan first politely said “Good Morning”, then introduced his dad, but then went on to speak about his desire to raise money for a young girl named Emily who he would like to see have a bike (given from IM ABLE), just like his. He is 4. Quite remarkable. Truly an inspiration to us all…..
Hero Week Day 3. Adam Owens spoke at 0530 class and Karen Owens at 0930 class on behalf of 2 of their children, Angela and Siah, both who have Cerebral Palsy. Their words were this:
Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability of childhood. There are approximately 17 million people affected world wide. CP, for short, is simply an injury to the brain often occurring at birth. There are several types of CP and levels of severity. For some kids only parts of the body are impacted and for other it’s their entire body. Two of our children, Angela age 7 and Siah age 10 are diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic CP, meaning that all four limbs are severely affected.
For our kids, CP means that they will never walk, never talk and both have a long list of other conditions caused by their brain injuries.
As parents of kids with this diagnosis, we want the world to know this: children with CP are just that — children. What people don’t see and understand is that they have all the desires of any kids their age. They want to play, to joke and be loved and accepted. They so desperately want to be active and move and experience the same thrills able bodied people experience. They work hard for even the simplest of movement. Their everyday lives reflect that which only few of us truly learn to achieve — a desire to overcome, a willingness to push harder, and a unique ability to find joy in all circumstances.
The 0930 heard from Angela as well who was in attendance. Watch the video clip on facebook to hear what she had to say!
Hero Week Day 2. Honoring children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Chase DePue…..”exemplifies the spirit of Corps Fitness in his ability to improvise, adapt and overcome”. Chase, son of Kristin DePue, was diagnosed with autism at age 2. At that time 12 years ago, 1 in 150 children were diagnosed with autism. Today, that number is 1 in 50. Autism spectrum disorders are developmental disabilities that impair communication and social interactions, as well as motor skills, muscle tone, organization, and sensory processing. However, there are many variations of autism, and if you’ve met one child with autism, you have met one child with autism. Some children may have significant mental impairment while others may be very bright and can achieve great things academically, but struggle with daily conversations, developing friendships, staying organized, and recognizing emotions in others; the latter being the case for Chase.
Autism is a chronic and often lifelong disorder that can be devastating to families in many ways, but especially because many treatments are not covered by insurance. Kristin stated that one of the greatest gifts she personally received over the years, is the interactions with the village of people who have helped her and her family. “It truly takes a village to raise a child”. In her home with Chase and her other son Chet, Kristin embraces what is exemplified at Corps Fitness and that is to never give up and to push yourself to the limit…..WE ARE PART OF THE VILLAGE for Chase and all children with disabilities, illnesses and challenges Let’s celebrate their ability to improvise, adapt and overcome!
Hero Week Day 1. Honoring children with Type 1 Diabetes. Thank you to Eric and Noah Schippers and pro cyclist Ryan DeWald for speaking to a huge group this morning. Their messages were this…
2 years ago, Noah Schippers, son of Kathleen and Eric Schippers, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (or T1D, formerly known as Juvenile Diabetes). This autoimmune disease is an insidious disease wherein your body attacks your own pancreas. Many probably are not too aware of the function of the pancreas, but it produces insulin that carries fuel from the foods you eat into your bloodstream. There is a fine balance in testing your blood that needs to be done multiple times in a day to maintain the sugars in your body….to make sure they don’t get too low that you crash, nor too high that you crash. Type 1 diabetes never goes into remission, it doesn’t take a break….it is daily monitoring and awareness of your bodies levels….failure to do so, and failure to control your sugar levels can make this a life-threatening disease. But as pro-cyclist Ryan DeWald says, it’s about using the technology available to monitor yourself and “fine tune your system” to overcome the hurdles of T1B.
If you didn’t read the newsletter, here’s a simple and sweet condensed version of what you need to know THIS week….
Hero Week is a-comin’….New focus this year. Badass t-shirts and sweatshirts as always. Sign up for this awesome week starts today.
*Punchcard members: $125 for the week includes T-shirt
OR $135 for the week incl. sweatshirt
*Unlimited members: $25 if you want a t-shirt
$35 if you want a sweatshirt
***Must sign up on clipboard at front desk to purchase
t-shirt/sweatshirt. Picture of shirt is coming….or see it at the gym.
COLLEGE students…home for a few weeks? $70 1 month unlimited plan is available. Must show college ID to purchase.
Taking a shower at the gym and don’t want to worry about a towel? No worries…we will now have bath towels and hand towels available for a $1.00 rental fee. See front desk….
AND another cool Corps Fitness shirt is available….check it out below. New apparel style, and super-sweet new logo design. Pre-orders only….taking orders at front desk now. Get yours!
Don’t forget: ONE class only on Thursday 12/24 at 9:00AM.
Gym CLOSED Friday 12/25….Ho, ho, ho, and fa, la, la, la, la.
HERO WEEK starts Sat. 12/26!