Lauren

Lauren loves fitness/exercise, traveling and cultural immersion, habit building and mindset shifts, disability inclusion (of course), a good local brunch spot, and taking advantage of the beach life in Florida :)

I was born premature, weighing 3lbs 2oz. My adoptive parents did not receive the diagnosis until I took a while to begin walking and experienced noticeable differences when I did.

I didn’t really think much of having CP as a child because I only knew how to live with it, not without it. But some of the phrases like “it’s not safe to…” or “you shouldn’t try…” or “why don’t you try something different,”or “why do you walk that way” sunk in as an adult.

Even though it’s the most common motor disorder in the U.S., the knowledge, funding, and medical resourcing for it is lagging behind; so many adults with CP are limited by the systems and structures in so many places that present barriers to access, even with law like the ADA.

I have found a home in my corner of the fitness space and, despite fears of being judged or incapable of becoming a personal trainer, I took my certification course in 2020. I am also encouraged to see some fitness organizations step up to create training in the disability space, or programming and competitions that honor how fierce the disabled fitness community is.

The number of people I interact with who experience a lack of someone who looks like, or personally empathizes and experiences their unique struggles and desire to have and maintain mobility, flexibility and quality of life via exercise, is sobering. I feel like this is a space where I can use my voice and my passions to create space, implement change, and try and shift the culture and the socially accepted norms and narratives around disabled and adaptive fitness.

Want to keep reading? Meet Iris.