I love to have fun! I also love to watch young people have fun too running, jumping, moving and growing up to healthy young adults. The problem is too many young folks today are enjoying sitting still and using their favorite tech gadget more than they enjoy being active.
When I started MECKids my idea was simply to help give kids a different way to look at and take care of their bodies. Enter Kevin the first young person I trained. Kevin was only 9 years young when we started. His grandparents had left him a small inheritance to take care of himself and since he had cerebral palsy his mother felt like having a trainer would be a great way to help Kevin’s body become more flexible, nimble and improve his agilty. She wanted him to be stronger (because at the time he was falling in and out his wheelchair a lot). She also wanted him to develop his own self identity and not to use the CP as a crutch of weakness.
All that happened and more. But what was even more extraordinary is that by working out and improving his level of strength and fitness, Kevin’s confidence and self esteem improved as well. I remember one day when he was meeting me after school some of the students from the TC Williams Football Team where Kevin also attended high school came over to the fitness center where we were working out. They had such a love and respect for Kevin I remember having to excuse myself because I GOT SO CHOKED UP. Here were the heroes of the community (at that time the TC Football team was hot stuff) looking up little Kevin like he was their superhero and he was giving THEM advice and encouragement on being BETTER, FOCUSED athletes. Wow…it was powerful.
Another cool thing that happened while I was training Kevin is that little by little other students started asking for training and advice to get in shape. Besides 14 year old Lisa Perez, (read Lisa’s story) the little FORCE behind the creation of MECKids, I realized that many kids just wanted to know HOW to get fit and eat better AND they weren’t looking for an adult to hold their hands through the process. Just like Kevin eventually learned to do, they wanted to be fit AND healthy on their own terms even if they weren’t interested in joining a team sport, being a cheerleader or being in a gym class. “Fitness on my terms” as Lisa pointed out to me.
So whats’s next for MECKids? I get this question at least a couple times per week. And honestly each time I answer that question with a different goal in mind. We’ve covered so much ground and touched thousands of lives since our initial launch in 2009. Since our relaunch in 2014 our online community has grown by leaps and bounds. We’ve developed wonderful partnerships and added cool new features and programming to the MECKids platform including a family portal for parents to explore.
So what’s next for MECKids…..only time will tell. But be sure to stay tuned….
What do you think we should do next? I’d love to hear from you so connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or @frandeanbishop.