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Raise the Bar©

Gray and Stafford Ride for Child Obesity


We are gearing up to take on one of the biggest challenges of our lives: a three-day, 375 mile bike ride through the mountains of Puerto Rico. We will be joined by 600 riders from all over the world for La Vuelta, known to be a very challenging endurance ride.

But the daily struggles we will encounter on our trip are nothing compared to the struggles that obese children in the U.S. deal with every day. During our trip, we will be calling attention to the need for exercise and healthy living for the more than 100 million obese children living in the U.S.

Will you help us by giving a small donation to our cause: ProActive Kids Foundation, a not-for-profit program offered through area hospitals that changes the lives of obese children through a strict program run by experts in fitness, nutrition and psychological counseling?

ProActive Kids and Right Fit Make A Great Team

ProActive Kids (PAK) and Right Fit Trainers, Kyle Anderson and Steve Gray, were on the Channel 7 news this week! PAK is a comprehensive, inclusive program designed to treat the whole child physically, nutritionally and emotionally. It is built around the stability and commitment of family. Right Fit Sports Fitness Wellness has been working with PAK for over 4 years and designed and implemented the fitness program. In Karen Johnson’s “In Your Neighborhood”, segment, it highlights plenty of children working hard to reach their individual fitness, lifestyle, and nutrition goals. Two children in particular, brothers Hassan and Said Krahwish, have transitioned from PAK to the Right Fit Kids Fit and Fun classes. They can be seen in the news segment working harder than even they knew was possible prior to PAK. They carry the same devotion and motivation from PAK to their exercises at Right Fit. Kyle, their PAK and Right Fit Coach, says that he “can see great improvements in the boys overall health and wellness”. It is always wonderful to see young individuals being “proactive” and in control of their well-being.

Service and Motivation Can Make All the Difference

This summer our family (including the Right Fit Family) welcomed Tiger, a mixed hound dog from Moore Animal Control in North Carolina. Tiger’s journey to Chicago wasn't easy. In fact there were times when considering a local adoption would have been the “easier road” for everyone.

As each obstacle presented itself, clear thinking and plans were the only thing that made it possible for this “special” pet to reach his new home. I can still remember my son asking me “Why this dog? What’s so special about him?”

I am sure his name (Tiger) caught my attention along with the way he cuddled and licked everyone in sight with those big brown eyes. Wherever he went, there always seemed to be a little extra joy that followed him and was passed along to those who were fortunate enough to meet, pet and play with Tiger.

Autism: Fitness is an Essential Intervention Around the World

The Raise the Bar Autism Fitness Program travels to Happy House Centre in Hanoi, Vietnam. The Right Fit Team, Suzanne Gray and David Bellisario are thrilled to begin implementation of the Raise the Bar Program for children ages 3 to 8. Gray states, "Autism knows no boundaries. My team is ready and excited to work with our world neighbors and challenge them to utilize fitness as a solution for the many obstacles of autism."

Amanda Sets Fitness Standard for Everyone with Downs Syndrome

As we celebrate Amanda's 28th birthday, its a pleasure to cheer Amanda's personal victory! You have come a long way since the first day almost one year ago! Amanda's first 30 minute training session included many tears for her back, knees and feet were in pain. In those 30 minutes, trainers were available to assist her and family members to create a program that improved major imbalances and weaknesses. Today Amanda only works with trainer Jennifer Sallade and doesn't require assistance for exercises like backward walking and side-stepping. Breaks are shorter and exercise times for sled drags and weights are longer. Amanda starts every workout with a great attitude and ready to take on new exercise challenges.

Youth and adults with Downs Syndrome must keep fitness programs a priority to decrease all the health risks of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Amanda is an inspiration on how she doesn't give up and finishes exercises even when they become difficult. When you have a positive attitude and goals to reach, you cannot fail.

Happy Birthday, Amanda!


Copyright © 2015 Suzanne M. Gray.