Fitspiration Friday: I Modified CIZE for My Wheelchair

Fitspiration Friday: I Modified CIZE for My Wheelchair

If you’ve tried a Beachbody program, you’ve probably had a goal in mind that you wanted to achieve. Maybe you wanted to lose weight. Maybe you wanted to get stronger. Maybe you wanted to improve your health. Maybe it was a mix of all three, or something else entirely. But, along the way, no matter what your goal, everyone needs a little inspiration. Every other Friday, the Beachbody Success Stories team will share inspirational fitness stories from some of the folks who have done Beachbody programs. Maybe one will inspire you!

Meet Mindy. She’s a wheelchair user who doesn’t let that get in the way of her passion for dance. 

“When I was 7 months old, a drunk driver hit our car head on. My biological dad was killed instantly, my mom and sister had some injuries, and my spinal cord was stretched width-wise. In the accident, my odontoid process [a break in the bone in the top of the spine] was fractured. Within 7 days of the car wreck, I had a seizure which caused the odontoid fracture to dislodge, leaving me paralyzed. My injury level is a C7-T1 Quadriplegic, but God has blessed me with the ability to move my arms, like a paraplegic. We didn’t take this blessing for granted.

My mom and stepdad put me in Cleveland Ballet Dancing Wheels when I was little. There, I learned how to do ballet with other wheelchair users, as well as stand-ups — that’s what we called people who weren’t in a wheelchair. I danced with them for 5 years, and got to perform in the State and Palace Theaters at the Playhouse Square in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio. As a 10 year old, that was pretty awesome! Unfortunately, when I was in 5th grade, I was taken out of dance for personal reasons; I was completely devastated.  I tried many different things, just never found something I loved.

My first introduction, after dance, to fitness was in 2008 through Shaun T’s Hip Hop Abs and Rockin’ Body. I fell in love with his workout programs! They were so energetic and fun, and, I got to enjoy some form of dancing again.

Fast forward to September 2015, my friend tells me that her boyfriend is opening a gym and that she was getting CIZE Certified. She told me all about CIZE, so I went home, watched videos, and decided to get the DVDs. To say I loved them would be understating it: I learned all the dances and perfected them in 4 weeks! I found the dancer within me again.

So, I joined the gym, took the CIZE Live classes and modified them on the spot, during class. I had never modified anything before CIZE, but I perfected them, and even did a mash-up of rounds 1 and 2, and posted videos of them. Never did I ever imagine how many people those videos would reach. I never would have guessed that it would have encouraged, touched, and inspired so many people! I’ve had people in wheelchairs message me asking me how to modify different Beachbody workouts. I noticed I was inspiring people in wheelchairs to try something that they never thought they would be able to do, simply because they saw someone in their situation do it.

To me, that’s enough reason to dance: to inspire others in your situation, to help people reach goals they never thought they could achieve. When someone in a wheelchair says that another wheelchair user inspires them, it’s more than just saying it because they know they can do it, and should do it; they’re saying that you’re giving them hope, something that they never had before.

Because of the astounding support and encouragement from everyone, and the hope that I have brought to fellow wheelchair users, I’ve decided to go a step further:  I am going to get CIZE Live Certified!

On January 16th, I’ll be back in Georgia—for the first time since the car wreck—to attend Tania Baron’s CIZE Live Certification class and become the first Beachbody Live Wheelchair Instructor! I want to bring this class to wheelchair users across the nation; I believe in it that much. It’s energetic, the dances are a blast to learn, and the music is current. It’s like you’re going to a dance party whenever you go class! What’s not to love?

I know everyone can do this program, stand-ups and sit-downs alike. So, what’s stopping you? If I can do it, you can do it. And if you say you can’t, then I can show you how! So, let’s get up and dance!”