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For the Warriors by Rick Martinez
For the Warriors. It's not just a saying. It means something. It's for every one of our men and women who fight for our freedoms every day. It’s for those who inspire us, because they look past what may be missing to appreciate what they have. It's for people like Mike and so many others that serve and have served. It’s for athletes that allow us to believe that the impossible is possible.
It is for the warriors that we created the non-profit, Transition Possible. Transition Possible serves veterans who incurred a physical injury resulting in an amputation or functional limb loss or those who have incurred PTSD or TBI. We serve both wounded veterans and adaptive athletes by healing the mind and body physically, emotionally and socially though adaptive sports, community engagement and career opportunities.
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Let me shed some light on a lesson in perspective.
Let me share Mike’s story:
I own two CrossFit gyms in San Antonio, which operate under our fitness movement, Fitness Porvida. We affectionately refer to all of our members as our Tribe. As a company, we exist to help others look better naked, namely through CrossFit, health and nutrition.
Mike Gallardo is a Tribe Member of our CrossFit gyms at Fitness Porvida, and he is an amputee. His dream was to become an elite troop, Delta Force, to serve his country. The events of February 7, 2008 had a different path for Mike. That’s when his platoon was hit by a daisy chain IED. That’s when he, for lack of better words, became broken.
That is when Mike’s hopes and dreams were radically changed, because he made the choice to serve and to protect us. He was providing us the freedoms we enjoy every day. He made sacrifices without even thinking about it – every single day.
Mike came to us some time ago, and by us I mean Fitness Porvida. It was evident that though broken physically, mentally he was not bowed. He attacked the program and embraced CrossFit as a means to a new end. The Tribe was his new platoon.
The WODs were his new mission. So how does this fulfill his dreams that were so radically changed? Even more, how does this offer a life of fulfillment where a man can support a family, start a career and be a productive citizen?
Mike was integrated into the Tribe, accepted as a regular Joe and soon he started a 90-day internship pilot program to test the efficacy of making a coach/trainer a viable career option.
Here are his words:
“The internship helped me in many ways people can’t see. It has helped with my PTSD because I did not like to be around lots of people. The Tribe made me feel at home and that I can trust people once again. It helped with my TBI because before I could barely remember my own birthday, now I can remember over 50-100 members names. It also helped me be a little more organized because I have to plan my day and keep a daily planner for my tasks.”
Soon after, Mike was offered employment as a coach at Fitness Porvida. He’s one of the finest coaches we have EVER had.
Our non-profit, Transition Possible, works hand-in-hand with the gyms and gyms across the globe to make this Transition Possible.
And on April 19-20, Transition Possible will be hosting a special, first-of-its-kind event called SEALFIT Challenge.
Commander Mark Divine and the SEALFIT team, a team of former and current Navy SEALs, will be in San Antonio for the challenge where 15 teams of CEOs and business professionals will work alongside adaptive athletes and wounded heroes for an all-day, Hell Week-type challenge.
The night before the SEALFIT Challenge, Commander Divine will coach the executives, wounded warriors and a special audience in San Antonio about the ways to attain an Unbeatable Mind, transforming the strength of their minds and powerful process of their thoughts.
On the 20th, the 15 teams will be put through a training cycle with a strong mental focus proving that the mind is an unbeatable tool. The entire evolution is 12 hours. At noon, the pro will drop off and become the support crew for the athlete for the final six hours. This has never been done before with CEOs, pros and adaptive athletes.
The overarching purpose of the event is to show the world the capability, inspiration and potential of our wounded heroes and the connection between veterans and the business community. This will be an event like none I’ve ever been a part of before. The capability of these wounded heroes and adaptive athletes is something that is beyond words – something you have to see to understand and appreciate.
This challenge is just a piece of the puzzle in a grander movement. My why in my business and personal lives is to help make the Transition Possible for these men and women. To make a difference. To serve those who have served us so graciously and with such immense sacrifice.
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Transition Possible’s mission is to create awareness, inclusion, and integration of wounded veterans into our community. We strive to be the national leader in providing opportunities for wounded veterans to continue to thrive and lead a productive life in our nation.
I’d really love it if you would share this message with your world, because I truly believe, deep in my heart, that together our combined BOOM will change the world.
For a few brave souls who gave their all for the freedoms we enjoy every day.
For the Warriors.

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New Guidance Will Enhance Sports Opportunities for Students with Disabilities Inclusive Fitness Coalition compares impact to Title IX

Students with disabilities have reason to celebrate as they gain some headway in their fight for better, health, and greater participation in school activities. The Inclusive Fitness Coalition (IFC) and student athletes with disabilities all over the country today applauded guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR).1

The guidance clarifies schools’ responsibilities under Section 504 of theRehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehab Act) to provide athletic opportunities for students with disabilities.

The 2013 Dear Colleague Letter requires a holistic approach by schools seeking to comply with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and ensures that schools look broadly and proactively to include students with disabilities in athletic programs in order to satisfy the school’s civil rights obligations to provide equal educational opportunities. The policies apply to all levels of education, including both interscholastic and intercollegiate athletic opportunities.

The benefits of providing all students opportunities for exercise and sports participation go beyond justice and individual opportunity. “Inclusion in athletics is how children learn from each other, build social skills and optimize their growth and development. The OCR guidance is a clear indication that athletics is an extremely important part of our educational system and that youth and young adults with disabilities must be afforded the same opportunities as their non-disabled peers,” said James Rimmer, Ph.D., who co-chairs the Inclusive Fitness Coalition and directs the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability. “This should be part of a national strategy to lower obesity rates, which are disproportionately higher among youth with disabilities compared to their non-disabled peers.” 

GAO study called for guidance

The guidance followed a 2010 study from the Government Accountability Office2 that found that students with disabilities receive fewer opportunities for physical activity and sports participation than students without disabilities. To help close the gap, the GAO called on the Department of Education to provide resources to assist states and schools in serving students with disabilities in physical activity settings. The GAO report also called

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for clarification of schools’ responsibilities to provide athletic opportunities for  students under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Inclusive Fitness Coalition called for the GAO study, working with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and George Miller (D-CA).

Advocates Invoke Title IX

“OCR’s guidance is a landmark moment for individuals with disabilities, as it sends a loud message to educational institutions that students with disabilities must be provided opportunities for physical activity and sports equal to those afforded to students without disabilities,” said Terri Lakowski, policy chair of the Inclusive Fitness Coalition and nationally recognized sports policy advocate. Lakowski, who has been a champion of equal physical activity and sports opportunities for women and girls under Title IX as well as students with disabilities for over ten years, added, “We applaud OCR for its leadership and action, which we hope will pave the way for students with disabilities in sports the same way that Title IX has done for women.” 

James R. Whitehead, CEO of the American College of Sports Medicine and co-chair of the Inclusive Fitness Coalition, said, “Athletes with physical disabilities shone on the world stage at the Paralympic Games in London. These important steps taken to provide further guidance will help ensure that tomorrow’s world-class athletes find their way to sports in schools across our country like never before. The benefit of sport transcends that world stage; these athletes demonstrate that regular physical activity can have a positive impact on so many aspects of a young person’s life.”

This guidance opens the door for the vast expansion of opportunities for students with disabilities to participate in sports and physical activity programs in all levels of education. Beverly Vaughn, Executive Director of the American Association of Adapted Sports Programs, who has developed and implemented a school-based model for disability sport says, “We are ready and eager to work with schools across the country and show them that integrating students with disabilities into school athletic programs is not only feasible, but will greatly enrich the overall athletic experience for all students.”

About IncFit

The IFC, led by the Lakeshore Foundation in partnership with the American College of Sports Medicine, comprises 200 organizations representing a cross-section of the disability rights, sports, health/fitness and civil rights communities. Recognizing the barriers that continue to limit opportunities for physical activity for individuals with disabilities in the school setting, the IFC works to expand opportunities for physical activity, exercise and athletics for individuals with disabilities. For more information, please visit


Adapting CDC’s 24 Obesity-prevention Strategies for Youth with Disabilities

Please help to spread the word! Direct anyone you know who may have experience or expertise on how to adapt programs for persons with disabilities to Using the website portal you can submit suggestions for physical, cognitive, or cultural adaptations to any of CDC’s 24 obesity-prevention strategies.

Approximately one fifth of U.S. children are obese or overweight. Reversing the U.S. obesity epidemic requires a comprehensive approach that uses policy and environmental change to transform communities into places that promote healthy lifestyle choices for all. To help communities, the CDC initiated the
Common Community Measures for Obesity Prevention Project to identify a set of strategies that communities and local governments can use for obesity prevention. The 24 strategies created using the expert panel process are divided into six categories: 1) strategies to promote the availability of affordable healthy food and beverages, 2) strategies to support healthy food and beverage choices, 3) a strategy to encourage breastfeeding, 4) strategies to encourage physical activity or limit sedentary activity among children and youth, 5) strategies to create safe communities that support physical activity, and 6) a strategy to encourage communities to organize for change.

The strategies for the prevention or reduction of obesity have been developed from an evidence-base of research that typically excludes participation by people with disabilities. Our “Adaptations to Community-based Obesity Reducing National Strategies” (ACORNS) website is part of a grant funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to promote more inclusive community-based obesity prevention programs that represent the needs of youth and young adults with disabilities. The obesity-prevention strategy adaptation portal,, was created so that persons with disabilities, teachers, clinicians, researchers, policy makers, and more could have a place to contribute their input on how to best adapt the CDC’s obesity-prevention strategies to be inclusive.

To learn more about our entire project, visit

Inclusive Fitness
Get Involved!