EMPOWERING ATHLETES & THEIR STORIES
meet our athletes
Meet Kenyatta. A quiet lady that is a client at The Harris Center who eagerly signed up for the Bloom Fitness cycle class and showed up to her first class with excitement.
Even with assistance, it was obvious that sitting on the bike was a real challenge and she looked very uncomfortable, physically and emotionally. When the first class began, the music started, so did Kenyatta, going very slowly and physically shaking the entire class. Despite that, she completed the entire class. After it was over, she cried because everything had been so hard and none of it went well. The Bloom Fitness cycle instructor and The Harris Center staff thought she would never want to come back. But she did. Every week, twice a week, Kenyatta showed up dressed for class and with her Bloom Fitness water bottle in hand. Slowly and surely she got better and stronger. Now, once a month, Kenyatta has lead her class in one song.
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 and truly defines Bloom Fitness with her hard work, determination and willingness to be a part of the team.
Ashley came to her first cycle class in flip flops and struggled to get on the bike. She seemed to be a little overwhelmed being on the bike, did not say a word, and would not look at anyone. It was 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. Ashley’s name was announced as “Most Improved. Once she absorbed that she won, Ashley broke into tears. There is a good chance 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.
When we first saw Nicole, she was making laps around her Texana Learning Center using her walker
When the program was first offered at Texana, Nicole signed up. The managers at Texana questioned whether she could physically do the class. 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. No one has more fun in class than Nicole. During one class, after Nicole had been in the cycle program for 4 months, it came to the standing part of the class while pedaling the bike. Because Nicole had never performed that specific exercise, the instructor did not think to ask her about doing it. 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.
Christian E. earned the Bloom Fitness certificate of “Captain Positive” at the HUB Houston location.
At The Hub, the students are blessed to be able to have a fitness class before their school day begins. Christian East stood out early on in our introduction of the Bloom Fitness program to the school. He was absolutely showing signs of leadership, and earlier this year, it was time to have Christian share his gift of leading. He leads his first spin class to his peers and has continued to do so with enthusiasm, love, and encouragement. He is the 1st athlete in the Bloom Fitness program to have received an official “Instructor” shirt. We are filled with pride to witness this part of Christian’s journey. Keep up the amazing work Christian!
Luis has been coming to The Harris Center’s day program for 6+ years. For all of those years, Luis tended to be a loner and was not social at all. In fact, he rarely participated in any of the activities.
Luis signed up for the indoor cycle program and participated in the first class offered. 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 proudly gave the instructor a high-five with another big smile.
The staff noticed that Luis was always prepared for the days he had class and he seemed dedicated to the Bloom Fitness program. He was encouraging others to participate in class and has been extremely helpful in class. The trainers believe 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. Some believe that Luis could even develop into a Bloom Fitness trainer one day.
We are so proud to feature our Inspirational Athlete this month, Drew! At age 22, he had not actively looked forward to physical activity until he recently participated in two of our BloomZoom classes. His mother, Karen shared with us that he loved both of the classes immensely. She credits what the Bloom Fitness family offers as a combo of connection and fun so Drew doesn’t see it as exercise!
During this time of staying at home, he really needed the sense of community and sneaking in some physical activity, we see it as a win! Keep up the great work Drew! We look forward to seeing you in our online classes Tuesdays and Thursdays!
The Pilates program took off and the instructor decided to bring in balloons and started to work with props. It seemed to bring out the best in everyone and particularly Rodney. Rodney continued to progress, and one day Bloom Instructor, Beth noticed a smile on his face. And then something bigger happened, Rodney was caught laughing….a major breakthrough!
From there, things started to take off for Rodney. Beth asked Rodney to model his good form for the class. As Rodney showed his skills, the class cheered and applauded. Being put in a position of leadership made Rodney feel super proud and more smiles followed. Rodney’s growth was even uniting his class!
This is just another example of how our instructors impact our athletes. While Beth has made a difference in Rodney’s life, Beth would say that Rodney has also made a difference in her life.
Prior to Bloom, Des did not have a history of wanting to exercise. In fact, her parents were doubtful that Des would want to participate in any type of fitness program. When she walked into the first class and saw the bikes, she immediately walked up to one and said, “this is my bike.” That first cycle class was tough. She struggled to sit on the bike and making it through the entire class was a struggle. Despite that, Des kept showing up to class and rarely missed. She can often be heard encouraging her fellow athletes to be on time for class.
Even when she is not feeling well or is injured, Des wants to be in class with her teammates. Her parents have been surprised by her dedication to the Bloom program and reported that they have seen an improvement in Des’ weight. Des gives 100% in every class. She is an inspiration to the other athletes and to the instructors as well. That inspiration is seen today with her consistent presence in the virtual classes. Des is also one of the stars in some of our video classes.
The staff that supports Patricia at the Center for Pursuit will tell you that she loves Bloom Fitness and her participation in the program has brought out the best in her. Whether it is cycle, yoga, or dance, Patricia is there in her Bloom shirt, smiling and encouraging her fellow athletes. Over the years, she has won several special recognition awards for spirit and enthusiasm and was one of the first athletes at the Center for Pursuit to earn her blue (captain) Bloom Fitness shirt, awarded for attending 60 classes.
Today, we see Patricia’s adorable face working hard in our virtual classes. Patricia Randle, what a super Bloom Fitness Athlete!!!
Michael is a very vibrant young man who shows compassion for others and is always willing to help others. He greets us so warmly each time we see him, and always extends a hug when saying goodbye. Michael expresses to many of how much he enjoys being apart of the Bloom Team. Michael is the first to get in line for classes and encourage his peers to bring their Bloom towel/bloom sports water bottle.
He is the first in line, but he will hold the door open for others and allow them to go before him. He has a specific job in yoga, he’s in charge of the lights before and after class, and is always the one to call our standing pose out loud, “Tadasana!”
Michael has truly came out of his shell from being bashful and quiet. Michael represents compassion. motivation, dedication, and perseverance, and we are honored to work with him.