This month’s featured member is David Ballmann. He has been working out at Capital Fitness for 10 years now and has accomplished many things along the way. Here is his story:
Hi, my name is David. I am a little bit different than your average gym member. You see, I was born with a partial visual impairment in both eyes. It wasn’t until age 27 that I went completely blind and felt a total loss of independence. It’s a struggle when you’re able to see your world for your whole life, and then suddenly have to start over again. I spent many years feeling sorry for myself and my circumstance, but I knew that eventually I would have to take control and learn how to be self-sufficient.
During the day, I work as a Transition Specialist (similar to a guidance counselor) for the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. I help students with disabilities figure out what they will do after graduation regarding employment and continuing education. I find it quite rewarding to see people become successful despite their life challenges. I love to encourage and motivate students to step outside of their boundaries. Similar to my students, my biggest obstacle everyday would be overcoming people’s beliefs on what blind people are capable of.
Part of my journey to be self-sufficient meant figuring out a way to be active and maintain my physical health. That’s where my membership at Capital Fitness comes in. Some would think that a visually impaired man has no business in a gym setting, but I’m actually pretty good at finding my way around. In fact, I’m even able to run on the treadmill. My biggest accomplishment is now being able to run 60 minutes on the trailblazer route at 6.0 speed and 9.0 incline…it’s my favorite! In addition to cardiovascular exercise, I also do a regular upper body strength training routine with free weights and machines. It’s taken a while to be able to do this, but with personal motivation and help from the Capital Fitness staff, I am able to safely complete my workout each time I come in.
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