Exercising with Corp Fitness

Excerpt of Article by Anna Medaris Miller | U.S. News & World Report

2015-0507 Chris Kaag Uses Arm Bike
Photo credit: Gretchen Kaag

The Chris Kaag who people know is the no-nonsense former Marine who runs a gym and a foundation with the motto “No excuses. Just move!” He’s the fitness buff who mountain bikes 8 miles every day — with a 30-pound ammo can strapped to a trailer that he pulls behind. He’s the guy they look to for inspiration and motivation.

But to be that Chris Kaag isn’t easy.

Diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disorder the day before his 21st birthday, Kaag, now 38, has limited control of his legs. When he tries to get dressed, [his legs are] not trying with him. If he bends too far to pull up his pants, he falls.

“People see me doing the things that I do … but they don’t see the behind-the-scenes things,” says Kaag, founder and president of Corps Fitness and the IM ABLE Foundation in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.

Just Move

On the upside, technology to help people with disabilities is improving. “It’s the best time to be disabled, as crazy at that sounds,” Kaag says. When he first started to lose control of his legs, he stopped mountain biking. A year later, he found hand cycles. “[They] gave me another whole level of fitness that I had been missing,” Kaag says.

Kaag’s trick for helping members of his gym — no matter their abilities — stay active? Creativity. He’s figured out how to strap his legs into rings and do pushups, adjusting the straps according to his legs’ cooperation level that day. He got the idea from a young man at his gym who is paraplegic and does pushups off the side of his bed.

To read the complete article by Anna Medaris Miller, click here.

Credits

Thanks to Anna Medaris Miller for writing the article; U.S. News & World Report for committing its resources to the article; Chris Kaag for sharing his story; Google for helping me find the article; everybody who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture and text I used in this post.

3 Comments

  1. I’m interested in the wearable technology mentioned and encouraged by the invention that assists quadriplegics to use technology with their tongues!

    If I lived closer to Corp Fitness I would like to get assistance physically “pushing beyond my preconceived barriers” and meet the inspiring Chris Kaag.

    1. Esther,

      I am 99% sure there is a gym no further than 20 minutes from where you live, work, and play. I am also 99% sure there are trails nearby where I can walk without concern you may be hit by a vehicle. However, if you decide to walk on a trail, you probably want to go with a friend just in case you encounter a mountain lion, venomous snake, or some other flesh eating creature. No excuses. You could also exercise at home very effectively with a few therapy bands.

  2. Chris, I am proud of you and keep on Just Moving. Exercise is great for the entire body and mind!

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