Education was and continues to be a major force in my life. One of the reasons education is so important to me is because it is the foundation for all my accomplishments. Going to school showed me what strength, courage, perseverance and determination really meant and I was inspired to become self-motivated. By the way my mind and body responded mentally and physically to my “other workouts” proper cardio, strength training and eating balanced nutritional meals and healthy snacks I was able to persevere. This met my needs that enabled me to my achieve my fitness goals and go on to reach great heights that I would have never dreamed possible. Today, I continue to use the self- confidence gained from excelling in school in all my endeavors. I am a better husband and father, a stronger and more confident athlete, an author, a speaker, and the leader of the “Fitness 4 All 50 State Tour”. It’s a nonprofit organization that was founded to help educate, motivate, and inspire our nation’s youth, parents, teachers and the America people through educational presentations about proper fitness and nutrition.
The “Fitness 4 All 50 State Tour” is dedicated to providing the tools and resources to schools, parents and teachers in all communities. They will be able to use the their technology to download the information via the website to Mp3 Players, iPads, iPhones etc.This information comes from state of the art information , resources and tools that will actively engage people of all ages to set short and long term goals for their fitness, help them keep an accountability journal to write down their choices each day that they have made regarding fitness activities, sports or what they have chosen to eat that day for a meal or a snack. This will help each participant accept personal responsibility for their health and fitness regardless of their challenges, adversities etc. After the explosion that completely destroyed the building I was in at work leaving nothing but the concrete foundation and hurling me up over a 2 story building over 300 feet through the air onto a concrete parking lot. Ten coworkers were killed over and 40 injured in what expert’s said was one of the worst explosions of its kind in Texas and U.S. history. I was going to get my life back after becoming completely paralyzed from the chest down and being confined to a wheelchair.
I might never have recovered if it hadn’t been for the help of my Rugby coach and Rugby friends, Robert Hays and Bruce Acuna. We’d played together on the Corpus Christi rugby club before my accident, and they’d continued visiting me in the following days. Sensing that I needed a way to channel my hurt and frustrations in attempting to overcome adversity, they did the only thing they knew how to do – they took me to the gym. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to work out, but they wouldn’t take no for an answer. They drug me into the weight room and told me to start lifting and to “Never Give Up!” because “There’s Always a Way”. When I couldn’t do any more reps, they threw a medicine ball at me as hard as they could, taunting and daring me to return it with the same force. I started to remember what a big stress reliever exercise can be, and looked forward to longer, more vigorous workouts.
After spending almost a year in the hospital and hearing the doctors say; “Chances are Kevin’s NOT going to make it!” God gave me a second chance and I wanted to make the most of it. Thanks to their constant presence and wanting to see the great athlete that had helped them win rugby games, they pushed me until I was able to once again continue to use that self-confidence gained from excelling in school and fitness. Faith and determination is was what helped me to keep learning, growing, working out and eating right.
I have been blessed to be able to travel the world as a wheelchair athlete, a motivational and inspirational speaker and coach. Because of what I have learned from being well-educated through English, math, fine arts, science, correct eating habits and work out regimes from the Western cultures to the East, I can now apply these lessons to my particular needs and this has given me the opportunity to live a full abundant life. It is my deep desire to help all of our nation’s youth excel in their life’s endeavors by providing them with highly credible fitness and nutritional resources to help students lay the educational foundation necessary to build a solid base to help them establish fitness plans for their needs. This fitness and nutritional foundation will enable each student and person to make healthy nutritional choices that fit their needs as their activities and lifestyles change over the years.
When it comes to education for fitness activities and proper nutrition, I truly believe that “There’s Always a Way!” when you have credible education that enables you to maximize your potential through fitness activities which allows you to try new things that are challenging and rewarding, by being healthy and make healthy nutritional choices for meals and snacks so they NEVER- NEVER-GIVE-UP! On living a lifetime of fitness and energy so they are ready for whatever challenges or adventures come your way! ”
KEVIN’S PERSONAL JOURNAL
Total miles pushed: 66 today
Defiance, OH. It took almost 4 hours, where we met with the Defiance Crescent Newspaper at around 1P.M. and spoke with Jenny briefly who took our picture while they reporter was doing the interview. It should be interesting to see the differences in pictures from the start of this trip to the end. I’ve got a long way to go and will have to overcome adversity and tough times I know. Keeping my weight up and getting proper nutrition will be critical. As a motivational coach for Kansas State Football, I motivated the team to “Never Give Up!” and that “There’s Always A Way” to win. When all members of the team do this it usually results in a BIG Win and being a champion is great. But it doesn’t come without a lot of work mentally and physically for these young D-1 college football athletes. I always tell them that; “There’s no short cut to success just good old-fashioned hard work!” When you outwork all the other teams in college football you know you have made the ultimate sacrifice to be the best, you sweated the blood that it takes to be the very best! I firmly believe in those principles are true and whatever the hardship obstacles or challenges I will muscle through. After all, it’s only a few thousand miles; I’ll just take the revolutions of my wheels one mile at a time. That’s how you get things done. Just do the best you can and try to improve a little bit each day and the big picture will take care of itself.
Today I pushed 25 miles from Toledo/Perrysburg through Napoleon, OH, and another 37 miles through Mark Center, IN and Harlan, IN to Ft. Wayne, IN.
It’s the home of Johnny Appleseed and the Miami Indians who were defeated by major “Mad” Anthony Waynes for whom the city is named. He opened up the country to settlement and they begin construction of the Wabash Erie canal in 1840. It’s mainly a farming region and there are a lot of historical events that took place in that area. I would recommend any person research more on the historical Ft. Wayne, IN or take a visit, it’s a great place to see.
It was necessary for me keep my average over 12 mph uphill or downhill it doesn’t matter! Much like the mailman through rain, sleet or snow you have to get the mail to its destination. This ‘Big Push’ across America was carrying a message of fitness and proper nutrition. No exception whether its pouring rain, 120 degrees heat index coming off the black asphalt, wind blowing 20 to 30 mph right into your face, or crosswinds we had our share of challenges. Even with those obstacles and more, we always did what it took to make the scheduled meeting with the police in Fort Wayne. On days like that, my arms and hands get numb, sweat burns my eyes and my back and arms ached and my back hurt but I kept my speed on track and made my meeting. At highway 37 and I – 465, we arrived at Wayne’s gas station and food mart where we met a police escort. I pushed another 4 miles that took us on to the intersection of State St. and Maysville at St. Peters Lutheran Church to meet the media. We arrived to meet the media between 4:00 and 4:30 P.M. The people of Ft. Wayne were cheering me on. They pulled over and stopped for the police. It was an awesome town with great supportive people that got excited about the tour and me pushing across America in my wheelchair. There were trucks with the back full of girls and guys yelling and screaming “GO Kevin we are with you!” Then vans with their sliding doors open and girls hanging out yelling GO FOR IT! Truck and vans full of people yelling and supporting me I’d never seen so many in vehicles like that trying to drive by get a closer look and encourage you on, I greatly appreciated that. Oh, one note for the guys those girls in Ft. Wayne sure were pretty and I want to wish each you the very best and say; “Thanks again for that warm welcome!”
Everyone we met was very respectful and hospitable in the town of Ft. Wayne, Indiana as I’m sure they’re are to all their visitors. When the media asked questions I always rely on my training as a motivational coach, inspirational speaker, inspirational athlete, mission, purpose and passion for the tour allowed me to answer with tremendous enthusiasm. My mission was to help get every community more involved in physical activity and making healthy choices when it comes to the meals and snacks they eat. As you can see there are a lot of hats, I had to wear when it comes to speaking about fitness and proper nutrition to the media or to other groups I would speak to in each city to help improve the overall fitness of each community. It was a challenge but I loved to do it. I enjoy helping people learn and become more educated about fitness and give them information about how it can improve the quality of their life. I enjoy living that life by pushing approximately fifty miles a day spreading the word about fitness by sharing the resources and tools with the groups within each community, one community at a time like here in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Jennifer from CBS did a great job even though I almost ran her over during the interview. HA! NBC and ABC also did excellent work. ABC’s segment did not air until later in the evening.
The next day would be a big day as I would be speaking to the Ft. Wayne students about the importance of taking part in fitness activities and eating well balanced meals or healthy snacks. I met with the Ft. Wayne newspaper reporters another couple of early daytime TV and radio reporters. I also gave a health and fitness summit presentation to the Mayor, city and community leaders and had an open discussion afterword to get their thoughts on these important issues and how they are dealing with them and how they are affecting their community.