Real Athletes. Real Stories.
Get to know our Athletes.
Meet Amy. Amy has always made an effort to be healthy. When it was mentioned that a cycling class was being offered, she was the first to sign-up. Amy also nudged others to join the class. She struggled at first with the program — it was the first time she had truly tried aerobic exercise. However, she was determined to improve and never missed a day, attending class at least once a week.
When she earned her Bloom Fitness towel, water bottle and shirt, her eyes beamed with a sense of pride, which has grown tremendously in her time as a Bloom athlete. She is full of smiles and determination when she is in the cycling class, and the improvement she has made is apparent. When she speaks to others, she says that Bloom Fitness means the world to her and getting healthy is very important. Amy encourages others in the class when it gets tough. She defines Bloom Fitness with her hard work, determination and willingness to be a part of the team.
Ashley came to her first cycle class in flip flops and struggled to climb onto the bike. She seemed to be a little overwhelmed, not saying a word and not looking at anyone. It was likely the first time Ashley had ever tried an aerobic workout and class appeared to be a struggle for her. To our surprise, Ashely came to class the very next week. She came again and again, becoming a regular. At times the instructor would need to help her onto the bike, but that did not deter her from participating.
Today, Ashley comes to class in her tennis shoes, in full Bloom Fitness gear and even has cycling gloves. One year later there was a party to celebrate all of the riders in the program at Texana Learning Center. Ashley’s name was announced as “Most Improved.” Once she absorbed that she won, Ashley broke into tears. (There’s a good chance she had never received any special recognition.) Then the audience began chanting, “Ashley, Ashley, Ashley”! It was a special moment for Ashley, and for all watching, one that everyone there will remember.
Those that know James would describe him as very quiet, clean cut, reserved, and slow moving. He is very cautious to try anything new. With a lot of hesitancy, James attended his first Bloom Fitness class. He did not participate, he just watched with no real expression. At his fifth class, James gently grabbed the instructor’s arm and asked to go on the stage. He wanted to lead a move — a huge emotional breakthrough. Since then, he has been an enthusiastic participant in class.
Kenny lives in an all-male home. When his home teacher recognized his Bloom shirt and asked him about it, Kenny immediately lit up with great pride. He then began showing his home the exercises and leading them through the movements.
Michele is in her mid-50s. At the beginning of a recent class, she approached the instructor to let him know that she did not like to exercise. Of course, the instructor accepted that. Michele then immediately followed with, “But Bloom is fun. Can we make class last longer?”
Dez lives with Down syndrome and had never attended a fitness class. She entered her first Bloom class apprehensive, almost scared. With relatively short arms and legs, it was difficult, almost painful to get on the stationary bike. The instructor checked on her several times to make sure she wanted to continue. She was not about to get off the bike.
Afterwards, the instructor wondered if Dez would ever come back to another class. She came back time after time after time which surprised her parents and the staff.
Demand for Bloom Fitness classes at this location was high. One day that original instructor was leading a class that Dez was not signed up for. The instructor looked over and saw Dez looking in the window, wishing she was in class. Dez has been an engaged participant in bloom for years now. In addition to the live classes, Dez never misses a BloomLive! class.
Anwar is one of our superstar athletes at The Harris Center. During the quarantine, his family was having a hard time motivating him to do any physical activity, until they had the idea to set out his Bloom Fitness shirt and shorts.
Something sparked in Anwar and he was reminded of the fun and pride he has while in Bloom Fitness classes. Since then, he is on his bike every single day at home. His mother told us that the only problem is that she must wash his Bloom shirt and shorts daily now. What a great problem, we say!
Truly, we are not sure if it was the shirt that motivated Anwar. Perhaps the shirt just reminded him that he is a valued part of the Bloom Fitness community. Whatever it is, we are so proud of Anwar for taking action to improve his wellness.