As I held the door open for someone that couldn’t do so their selves, but still had a smile on their face, I was instantly inspired. Walking into New York’s first citywide wheelchair boxing clinic located at 4224 church Ave Brooklyn NY, The program survives off of donations and sponsors like the Axis project. Donahue Fields owner and founder of the wheelchair boxing clinic, who I had the opportunity to sit and talk with, explained why he started the program. He called it his “downfall to Greatness”. Not giving up on something that he loved, even though the situation that he was placed in led him to be in a wheelchair. He now uses this platform to give others like himself a reason to wake up, get out and stay active. As I walked around the facility, designed to be 100% handicap accessible, placard against all the walls were words of encouragement such as hope, strength, wellness and good health. The venue itself, just a shell of greatness is pushed forward by a wide array of people, who love to give back, such as licensed instructors and trainers like Bosley and Lawrence who were both present working with the wheel chair athletes. The instructors/trainers push them to use their bodies with stretches, exercise, boxing lessons and so much more. They say that the lessons they teach are to keep them healthy, active and also for them to know to defend their selves if ever placed in that position. I spent some time with each instructor learning about this amazing program and getting some wonderful feedback and one thing stuck out to me. It was stated that most if not all of the individuals that benefit from this program were a lot stronger than most individuals. Yes physically stronger but also mentally stronger and determined to push themselves for greatness.
Wheeling forward and The axis project are both amazing programs looking to better their people and community.
Written by Raven Simone. Contact raven to cover your story at Ravens@loveandfashion.org