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Why I Sport: Kreations by Kittles

Life Update

“@KreationsByKittles” (sharing my disability on Instagram) began when my occupational therapist suggested that I use kindergarten items to help improve movement in my less dominant (left) side affected by Cerebral Palsy. At 27, I started making kindergarten-style crafts for family and friends with my left hand (AKA LEFTY). Even though it’s a struggle, I've found a new love and confidence in art and living with a disability. Most of my posts were about the paintings/crafts I made (and gave away) with my less dominant (left) side affected by Cerebral Palsy. More recently, I’ve been focusing on my journey as an adaptive athlete, and I post tips and tricks I’ve found along this journey to improve my quality of life. Just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish great things.

I was diagnosed at the age of six months with Left hemi Cerebral Palsy. I’ve always had to concentrate extremely hard anytime I use any part of the left side of my body so using it is very tiring physically and extremely tiring mentally.

Why I sport: Being physically active is something my parents always pushed from a young age (if my sisters were doing it, I was going to try it as well).

So throughout childhood, even though I wasn’t the best, I played different sports including: swimming, cross country, softball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, and even cheerleading. I even played college soccer for a brief period of time.

Sports were always challenging for me. When other people were working hard, fighting to get starting positions, I was fighting just to make the team. I think from an early age, this helped me learn the true meaning of determination.

I learned that you can do anything as long as you adapt. Sports for me were never and still aren’t about being better than the person next to me, but about focusing on getting stronger for myself. I use sports to improve my balance, my walking strength, and my overall physical ability. I noticed the harder I worked at each sport, the less painful and less spastic my Cerebral Palsy was.

Looking back, I know for a fact that sports gave me the ability to be able to walk as well as I do now. I never want to lose that ability.

After college, I did some powerlifting, CrossFit, and running. I was never a runner. I hated running, and honestly, I still do. I remember my first cross-country race. I fell completely down the hill at the very start of the race. I cried, picked myself up, and finished the race.

During Covid, I had some friends who wanted to get outside and they joined a run club, so I decided to give it a try. We met weekly, and during the first week, I couldn’t even run .3 of a mile without stopping to walk. After months and months of practice and training, I was able to run my first 10K without stopping to walk. It was such an achievement for me. I have never been prouder of myself.

Now at the age of 33, I’m always looking for ways to stay active. Recently, I decided to increase my gym membership's monthly classes to unlimited. Now I take about 4 to 5 classes a week and I’ve never felt stronger!

When I started out at this gym (OrangeTheory) in 2018, I could barely do one class a week without being extremely exhausted. Working up to 4 to 5 classes a week is such an accomplishment for me. The coaches and members at OrangeTheory have been wonderful at adapting the workouts and I’ve been able to get stronger each time I step into the gym. I am so thankful to everyone at OrangeTheory for allowing me to continue to grow as an athlete. OrangeTheory workouts include a treadmill, a rowing machine, and free weights. As of today, I have taken over 400 Orange Theory classes!

I have a lot of people reach out to me (with disabilities and without disabilities) who ask me how I keep going or claim that they’d never be able to do what I do. I always say to start at your own pace and continue to show up for yourself even on the days that you don’t want to because you never know how far you will go. Consistency always pays off.

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Why I Sport: Kreations by Kittles

“@KreationsByKittles” (sharing my disability on instagram) began when my occupational therapist suggested that I use kindergarten items to h