Our athletes demonstrate their determination and hard work every single day.
Across all Bloom Fitness locations, powerful stories take place each and every day that are a testament to the program’s success.
Bloom Fitness athlete: Amy!
Meet Amy. Amy has always made an effort to be healthy. When it was mentioned that a cycling class was being offered, she was the first to sign-up. Amy also encouraged others to join for the class.
She struggled at first with the program. It was the first time she had truly tried aerobic exercise. However, she was determined to improve. Amy never missed a day, attending class at least once a week. When she earned her Bloom Fitness towel, water bottle and shirt, the sense of pride in her eyes beamed. That sense of pride from being an athlete in the Bloom Fitness program has only grown. She is full of smiles and determination when she is in the cycling class, and the improvement she has made is apparent. When she speaks to others, she says that Bloom Fitness means the world to her and getting healthy is very important. Amy encourages others in the class when it gets tough. Amy truly defines Bloom Fitness with her hard work, determination and willingness to be a part of the Bloom Fitness team.
Bloom Fitness athlete: Ashley!
Meet Ashley. Ashley came to her first cycle class in flip flops and struggled to even get on the bike. She seemed to be a little overwhelmed being on the bike, did not say a word and would not even look at anyone. It was very likely the first time Ashley had ever tried an aerobic workout and class appeared to be a real struggle for her.
To our surprise, Ashely came to class the very next week. She came again and again, and became a regular. At times the instructor would have to help her onto the bike, but that did not deter her from wanting to participate in class. Today, Ashley comes to class in her tennis shoes and wearing all of her Bloom Fitness gear and even has cycling gloves.
After a year of the program, there was a party to celebrate all of the riders in the program at Texana. The instructors selected some of the riders for special recognition. One of the last awards presented was, ‘Most Improved’. Ashley’s name was announced. She did not respond. The presenter said, “Ashley, you won the award”. Ashley’s expression was one of true disbelief. Once she absorbed that she won, Ashley broke into tears. There is a very good chance that she had never received any special recognition. Everyone in the audience spontaneously started chanting, “Ashley, Ashley, Ashley”!
It was a special moment for Ashley, and for all watching. It was a remarkable moment and one that everyone will remember.
Bloom Fitness Athlete: Nicole!
Meet Nicole. Nicole needs a walker to support herself as she moves around. When we first saw Nicole, she was making laps around her Texana Learning Center, where Nicole goes on weekdays.
When the program was first offered at Texana, Nicole signed up. The managers at Texana questioned whether she could physically do the class. However, it was decided to allow her to try. The bike had to be adjusted to accommodate Nicole’s challenges. Bloom instructors were able to get her set up in a way she was comfortable. The instructor encouraged her to start slowly and participate according to her ability. Well, Nicole was having none of that. From the first song, she was peddling fast, smiling and laughing the entire time. That attitude never changed. No one has more fun in class than Nicole.
One of the more challenging things in the cycle class can be standing while pedaling the bike. When that was queued up, the instructor would ask Nicole if she wanted to participate and she would shake her head “no”.
During one class, after Nicole had being in the cycle program for about 4 months, it came to that part of the class where they were going to stand while pedaling the bike. Because Nicole had never performed that specific exercise, the instructor did not think to ask her about doing it. As the class for going through that part of the set, the instructor looked over and Nicole was standing on her pedals. He was taken back and Nicole beamed with pride.
It was another great moment in the program and yet another example that there are no limits to what our athletes are capable of.
Bloom Fitness Instructor: Glynn!
Glynn Johnson is in upper management at Gallagher Benefit Services, a 26,000-employee company. His job requires a lot of travel and long hours. Glynn is a cyclist and was looking for a way to help others, Bloom Fitness approached him about being an instructor for the cycle class at The Center. Glynn said he might be interested and agreed to go through instructor training to further explore that possibility. After going through the training, there was a slight apprehension from Glynn. He had almost no experience being around people with IDD and was not sure he was a good fit with the program. Sensing that uncertainty, we simply asked Glynn to be an observer at a cycle class at The Center to observe. He could make a decision after class….
After Glynn observed the class, he quickly made up his mind… he was going to become a Bloom Fitness Instructor! Today, Glynn will tell you that our athletes, “give him 1,000 more than he could ever give them.” Glynn mentioned that Bloom Fitness has forever changed his life.
That is just one story that demonstrates the impact that our athletes have on people’s lives.
BLOOM FITNESS ATHLETE: CHRISTIAN
Christian E. earned the Bloom Fitness certificate of “Captain Positive” at the HUB Houston location. Christian is focused on Spin and has attended 50 classes along with meeting the criteria for the Captain level at the HUB. Christian comes to class with a positive attitude and energy that is contagious to others. He remembers his water bottle and Bloom shirt consistently and is always in class on time. His enthusiasm throughout the week regarding spin class is inspirational.
Christian said, “It feels really good” when asked how it feels to be the first Bloom Fitness Capitan at the HUB. His favorite part of class is, “the really good music”. Christian is looking forward to achieving the Coach level next.
Luis has been a member of The Harris Center’s day program for 6+ years. For all of those years, Luis tended to stay by himself and was not social at all. In fact, he rarely participated in any of the activities.
When the Bloom Fitness program began at The Harris Center in May of 2018, Luis signed up for the indoor cycle program and participated in the very first class offered. The instructor noticed that Luis seemed hesitant about the class and was very quiet. About half way through the class Luis started to smile a bit and he seemed to be getting into the class and working hard. When it came time to put the sticker on the Champions Board, Luis gave the instructor a high-five with another big smile. Luis appeared to be very proud of how he performed in class.
The staff at The Harris Center started noticing that Luis was always prepared for the days he had class and he seemed dedicated to the Bloom Fitness program. He started encouraging others to participate in class and was even helping others adjust their seats, handle bars and generally reaching out to assist others in class. Luis has become a leader in the class and is taking great pride in his role in the program
The trainers at The Harris Center believe that the pride that Luis has gained from the Bloom Fitness program has opened him up in ways they have never seen in his previous 6 years there. He now gladly participates in activities at The Harris Center and feels comfortable socializing with others! All of The Harris Center staff have been amazed at his transformation.
Some believe that Luis could even develop into a Bloom Fitness trainer one day. That would be a great day for the Bloom Fitness program!