Image via WikipediaBy Susan Dibble
Steve Baskis makes his way to the bench press at Addison Park District's Club Fitness, his hand on the shoulder of personal trainer Joe Sinople. He dons a special glove to improve the grip in his nerve-damaged left hand.
Baskis, a former U.S. Army infantryman, was wounded and blinded when a roadside bomb exploded near his armored vehicle on May 13, 2008, in Iraq. A Healthy Minds, Healthy Body program spearheaded by the Northeast DuPage Special Recreation Association in partnership with Club Fitness, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and the U.S. Paralympics is helping him rebuild his body and train for the 2012 Paralympics in London.
The pilot program offers qualifying vets with disabilities and their workout partners a year's free membership at Club Fitness, along with 15 sessions with a personal trainer, exercise materials for home use and social opportunities to meet with other vets. The expectation is that after a year, the veterans will be able to continue with workouts on their own.