Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jimmy at the Gym: Obstacle Courses

Well, it's winter here. That means that for practical reasons, Jimmy Time can't be outside. (For those of you who don't know, Jimmy is a student at JMU who has mentored Elena for the past 3-4 months. WE LOVE HIM. Most of their work has been to build confidence while moving/playing outside.) It's cold out now, and bundling E up makes her movements cumbersome--not to mention the colder weather worsens her spasticity.

So I approached our gym (which, I have no time to go to myself these days) and asked them if I could have space inside. I need a big, open space, where E doesn't have a handhold. They were happy to oblige. Jimmy, as her aide, gets in the door for free (granted, only to work with E--but big ups to ACAC gym!). We also have all the gym equipment at our disposal.

So, we've been putting together obstacle courses to see what she could do. We've been doing this for 3 weeks now, and E is AWESOME. I don't have videos of everything, and they are pretty long. It takes E about 3-6 minutes to complete each course. Typically, I make up a story, and have E go through courses to make it through the story. For instance: E is on a quest to Save The Baby. She has to make 5 baby saves (earning a tattoo after each save), and if after she completes them, she is the Queen of the Gym and gets to wear her crown (the one from YOU, MELISSA!).

Here's one vid. Highlights are: successful step-overs, side-stepping, wide-stepping, getting up from the floor, attempt at a crab walk, etc. etc. Other videos have successful jumping, attempts at step-ups/step-downs, cone weaving, etc.

E gets better at this every week. Building confidence, having fun, using practical movement. It's great. And last week, E was sweating!! Guess when that's happened before? NEVER!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I think I'd be sweating too if I had to do that.