Member Spotlight: Owen Anketell

How long have you been a member at Unified Health and Performance?

I am an 18-year-old from Hudson, MA who graduated in 2018 and now attend the University of Arizona. I've been a member at Unified Health and Performance for over a year and a half. Brendan reached out to my family after hearing about the ride I was preparing for, asking if I wanted help training for it.

Initially, what led you to start training here?

My goal was to train so that I could handle the rigors of a handcycle ride from Calais, ME to Key West, FL during the summer of 2017 with the goal of raising awareness for adaptive sports. I was able to complete the ride after 65 days on the road and biking a total of 2,365 miles throughout 13 different states.

Have your goals changed over the course of your time as a member?

What has been accomplished? My fitness goals didn't necessarily change after completing the ride. I still came to Unified Health and Performance regularly trying to get stronger. During my senior year of high school I received a scholarship to attend the University of Arizona to play tennis. This required me to continue training hard in preparation for the tennis season. Both physically and in terms of raising awareness for the cause, I've been able to accomplish so much with the bike ride from Maine to Florida. My plan is to continue working towards accomplishing goals in both areas.

What was the primary motivation behind the ride? Was it a personal physical challenge, an educational movement, motivational?

The primary motivation behind the ride was to raise awareness for adaptive sports. I founded a nonprofit (Adaptive Sports Awareness) when I was 15. The ride was driven by physical motivation because I wanted to show people that disability does not mean that I cannot do the same things as everyone else.

How would you summarize the concept of the gym Brendan has created?

Brendan’s gym is the best place that I've ever had the chance to work out at considering that he accepts everyone and anyone. He does not look at the things that you cannot do within the gym or problems you may have, but things that you can do and the possibilities of all the things that can be done. Brendan’s gym is an amazing place where everyone is helping one another no matter what; just trying to make one another stronger.

What goals are you currently working towards?

Some goals that I am currently working towards include getting in shape for the start of the tennis season at The University of Arizona. I am continuing to cycle and hope by the end of the school year to complete a bike ride called The Loop in Tucson Arizona which is comprised of 131 miles of paved pathways for bikers.

Owen himself and the experiences that he has pursued optimize what I set out to accomplish with the gym. While we are beyond lucky to call him a member, I am more lucky to have him as a friend.

Learn more about his non-profit here:

And read more about Owen's accomplishments below

Brendan Aylwardspotlight