Thursday, April 14

Preprogram-Survey for 21 Day CHALLENGE to Feel Great & Improve your Performance!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

This is a three week challenge (21 days)! Contact me, Jillian at (to send me your address) if you are interested in taking part in this program -- I promise you will feel great!

Do this to take part:
1. You let me know you are interested (email me with your address, so i can send you the challenge booklet.)
2. You take the online quiz (here) as a "pre test."
3. I will mail you the booklet (free).
4. You review and complete the booklet for 21 days.
5. You take the online quiz (here) as a "post test." after 21 days.

Wednesday, March 30

Making gardening easier for everyone

I reviewed an article by Jaipi Sixbear, and am interested in creating a bed similar to this, the ones found in the photos.  We have decided to make the bed as long lasting (8-15 years) and as comfortable and accessible as possible for a user. We will there for Create a “Table” at 32 inches high, for a wheelchair and a person’s knees to fit comfortably under it. We will then create an 8 inch high box (by 8 feet long), that will be filled with soil. We will dig area for 6 posts to act as the “legs” and the stabilizing foundation of the table. These wholes will be partially filled with concrete.  Of course, we will drill holes, into the table, for water drainage.

The following photos are examples of what our vision is...
Styles for accessible gardens. Contact for more info. Retrieved 30 March 2011 from                        

The article that most closely resembles my vision, by Jaipi Sixbear reads...

Physically [disabled] Denver gardeners will be glad to know there is a gardening technique for them. A wheelchair accessible raised bed garden is quite simple to construct. Physically [disabled] gardeners no longer have to give up their favorite pastime.

The Table

To construct a wheelchair accessible raised bed garden, you will need a cheap banquet table. Bring the table outdoors and choose a permanent sunny location where it will be accessible from all sides. More than one table may be used for avid physically handicapped gardeners.


Loosen the soil where the legs of the banquet table sit. Push the legs of the future wheelchair accessible raised bed garden into the ground until the ground meets the horizontal bar of the legs. Pack soil down around the legs to create a stable garden for physically handicapped gardeners.


The raised bed garden surface should now be about 6 inches lower than a normal table. This is plenty of room for a wheelchair to slide under. Handicapped gardeners should be able to easily reach the garden from either side.

Construction Options

There are two ways to construct the wheelchair accessible raised bed garden. One is to use actual pots. The other is to build a square frame box, open on top, which fits perfectly on the tabletop. Physically handicapped gardeners may need help with construction.

Mounting Small Pots

When using pots, there are two ways to mount them. Smaller pots may be screwed into the table top. Drainage holes must be drilled through the raised bed garden table under and through each small pot.

Mounting Large Pots

Larger pots will have to extend below the surface. This is accomplished by cutting a hole one inch smaller than the top rim of a ceramic pot in the table and simply inserting the pot. The rim of the gardening pot should hold it in place.

Sizing the Box

When building the square frame box, keep in mind that it must be deep enough for soil but shallow enough for physically handicapped gardeners to reach over from both sides of the table. The box is attached by screwing it to the wheelchair accessible garden table.

Box Drain Holes

Once the box is firmly attached to the wheelchair accessible garden and weatherproofed, drain holes will need to be drilled. Physically handicapped gardeners may be able to accomplish this step or they may need help. Drill holes through both the box and the table simultaneously for drainage.

Ready to Plant

The wheelchair accessible garden table is now complete and ready for planting. Fill the pots or the box with proper soil mix for raised bed gardening. Physically handicapped gardeners will enjoy this raised bed gardening table whether or not they are wheelchair bound.

Note : Pots or flats may also be simply placed on the table. Securing them provides better stability for physically handicapped gardeners.

Sixbear, J. (2009) How to build a wheelchair accessible raised bed garden. Dever gardening examiner. Published 16 July 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2011 from

Wednesday, March 23

AmeriCorps Project Site 2011

AmeriCorps Improving Health Throughout Indiana's (AIHTI)--AmeriCorps Project 2011, we will colaborate efforts with this nonprofit in the city and raise a couple of beds, to accomodate reach of individuals who use wheelchairs for mobility. 

Here is a glance at the pre-project site...

Dirt filled garden beds

On hand resources...

...5 gallon buckets & Portable Water Tank/Barrel

More Bed views

Columns of bed rows

Thursday, March 3

Disability Awareness Month at middle school

During part of this schools focus on Disability Awareness Month, with wheelcchair tennis athletes, we demonstrated wheelchair tennis in a school of the local community.

Pairs: students with the athletes

       Pair: faculty with athlete : )

Friday, February 18

Yoga Resources for People with Disabilities

Yoga Resources for People with Disabilities
by Kim Donahue, Disaboom
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Stretching is always helpful for the body. Yoga is a great way to calm your body, stretch your mucles. Even better, it's accessible to people with disabilities.

Yoga Helps All Disabilities

The gentle stretching of yoga and its centered-breathing discipline can benefit people who may have arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, or osteoporosis as well as those who have had a stroke. The “asanas,” or poses that make up a yoga practice can also help with balance and strength while helping you find a calming emotional space that helps not only with healing, but also with the day-to-day challenges of life.

In addition, notes the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD), yoga aids your:

• Digestive system, as the bending and stretching poses stimulate the digestive system
• Cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary systems (also known as your heart and lungs!), as the more active poses increase heart rate and lung capacity through aerobic activity
• Lymphatic system (essentially, the primary component of your immune system), which needs strong muscles and active interaction among the lungs, diaphragm, and thorax to stay strong
• Skeletal and muscular systems, which benefit from yoga’s focus on proper alignment, flexibility, and muscle-strengthening

Learning More About Yoga for People with Disabilities

One of the best free sources of information regarding yoga and its benefits is the NCPAD’s website section, “Yoga for Individuals with Disabilities.”

Included among its overviews, articles, videos, and online demonstrations are information about yoga’s benefits, yoga equipment, what to expect in a yoga session, demonstrations of specific exercises, a resource list, a directory of yoga organizations (definitely needs updating/expanding), and a relatively current (2005 is most recent publication date) list of books and articles about yoga for various conditions.

Although it would be great if this resource list could be updated, it is still nevertheless a great starting point to check out what’s been written about yoga and your specific condition.

So why not make yoga part of your September stretch – you’ll find the “Yoga for Individuals with Disabilities” website just what you need to get started.

Other Yoga for People with Disabilities Resources:

Chair Yoga Get Fit Where You Sit™
Reconnecting with My Body--Through Yoga
Yoga for People with Multiple Sclerosis
Yoga for the Lower Extremity Amputee: Intro and Part One
Yoga for the Lower Extremity Amputee: Part Two
Eight Simple Yoga Poses for Headache and Neck Pain
Yoga and Disability: Matthew Sanford Builds Bodies and Life Skills
Exercise for Energy

See Related Articles

Keeping an exercise routine intact as you age is important. See Staying Fit After 50: What To Do and Where To Go on how (and where) to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

See Resistance Band Workout for Wheelchair Users for more exercise routines you can perform in your chair.

Donahue, K. (n.d.). Yoga Resources for People with Disabilities. Disaboom: Live forward.

Friday, January 21

Getting back to the hub after your serve

Athlete: They were telling me, last week, to always turn after my serve to get back to the hub.  I don't want to turn my back on the the return though...
Coach: It is important to get in the back court after your returns, to prepare to get to the ball again.  On the serve, use your other hand to pull back on that wheel, so it's one fluid motion, you won't start and stop then.

Coach: See, and when i go back and turn, I can turn my shoulders back too, where you can't because you need to keep your other had on the wheel.  But when i'm back like this, it's all arm.  No wrist.  We'll work on that....

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, January 4

PASSED!! -- S. 1275. National Foundation on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition Establishment Act

S. 1275 would establish the National Foundation on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, which is a charity and nonprofit corporation.  This newly established foundation would not be an agency of the United States government and would not accept federal dollars or contracts.  The stated intent of the foundation would be to “further the purposes and functions” of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

The progression S. 1275 (Establishment Act):
Introduced on 06/16/09
Senate passed on 12/09/10
House passed on 12/14/10
President Barack Obama signed on 12/22/10

Official Summary
6/16/2009--Introduced.National Foundation on Physical Fitness and Sports Establishment Act - Establishes the National Foundation on Physical Fitness and Sports as a charitable, nonprofit corporation to promote participation by private organizations in the activities of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Subjects any person who uses the Council's or Foundation's official seal or any trademark, trade name, sign, symbol, or insignia falsely representing association with, or authorization by, the Council or Foundation for the purpose of trade, to induce the sale of any goods or services, or to promote any theatrical exhibition, athletic performance, or competition without the Foundation's consent to a civil action for remedies provided in the Trademark Act of 1946. Allows the Foundation, in conjunction with the Council, to authorize contributors and suppliers of goods or services to use such trade name, trademark, seal, symbol, insignia, or emblem in advertising under specified conditions.

Info retrieved Janurary 2011 from

Friday, December 10

A 21-Day Strategic Plan to Feel Great!

I am currently developing a program to implement with the athletes of the w/c tennis team, quad rugby team, and the power soccer teams.  I created this pamphlet (cover page, displayed here) to guide and motivate them to follow the program.  I want to find out if they really do see any difference in their energy or how they feel!!

  At the conclusion of this 21-day program, we expect paticipants to increase knowledge and improve behaviors related to healthy lifestyles, as indicated by the results of the instruments used. We expect participants to make personal lifestyle changes, by creating healthier routines and making them a part of their daily lives -- improving their athletic performance!