As we finalize plans to attend the Medical Fitness Association (MFA) Conference in Orlando, Florida and present Strength Conditioning for Individuals with Intellectual, Cognitive and Developmental Disabilities, I remember the first discussions our trainers and friends had about designing a piece of fitness equipment that would make specific strength and cardio exercises easier to perform for clients with disabilities. Eventually, the ideas and dreams created a real sense of urgency to customize a piece of equipment for just that purpose. This led us to work with my brother-in-law, an engineer and a welder by trade, who put all the pieces together in his backyard garage in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Once completed, we officially named this piece of equipment The Slider to recognize its basic functional feature of sliding across the floor. What could be more perfect than inventing this unique piece of iron and steel in the hometown of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and former headquarters of U.S. Steel? The Slider continues to be a topic of proud conversation at Right Fit with our clients and staff. I can’t describe the feeling when I hear our clients Nick and Tommy, who have Autism, recite their exercise routine “Slider ten times Suzanne.” Since Lucky (my golden retriever) and I picked up "The Slider” over a year ago, it’s been obvious why parents, spouses, relatives and other clients are smiling as they observe it in action. I believe The Slider will continue to earn a special reputation and exercise notoriety as it assists individuals with and without disabilities increase their strength and endurance. Whether it’s a building, automobile, or piece of exercise equipment, let us not take for granted the power, energy and confidence one feels by moving steel. Even The Slider’s calming blue color offers hope and the potential to help others move and feel better.
On November 16th, Right Fit's own Director of Sports Performance, Eric Stone, will be presenting Effective Strength Conditioning Techniques for Youth and Adults with Autism and Special Needs at Family Time Magazine's Autism and Special Needs Seminar. The seminar will be held at Moraine Valley Community College. Be sure to look out for Eric and his presentation!
Copyright © 2017 Suzanne M. Gray.