January in Review

While outside the gym there isn't as much going on in terms of races, events, and major competition, inside, our community continues to grow steadily. I’ve been impressed by the dedication put forth by our members training through the cold Winter months.

This review by no means encompasses the extent of accomplishments of our entire community but rather highlights a handful of events and successes from this past month. If you know someone who deserves recognition in future editions, please reach out to me at unifiedhp@gmail.com.

January 1st - Kate Webster Transformation Video

* Visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/unifiedhp/ to view Kate’s video

January 1st is a date reserved for the setting of ambitious goals. It is well known that these resolutions tend to falter within weeks; which makes it even more impressive when someone demonstrates an unwavering commitment to accomplishing a goal over the course of more than a year.

January 3rd – Strength and Conditioning Training and Community Video

A point of emphasis for 2019 is going to be our presence on social media and other online platforms as well as improving the quality of the pictures and videos on these pages. Our film guy, Ben Myers does an incredible job of editing and below are two videos that he has put together this month. The first is a great depiction of our gym community; the latter is the type of video we use on our Instagram to appeal to our high school and collegiate athletes.

January 21st – Interns Start

This semester I have five interns with me: three students from UMass Lowell and two from Fitchburg State. Of the UML students, two will be pursuing doctorates in Physical Therapy and one in Occupational Therapy next year. Both students from Fitchburg State are interested in pursuing careers in personal training. I hope that several months at my facility begins to provide them with information and an approach to training that they can apply to their future careers.

January 25th – Speech to Venture Community Services


Venture Community Services reached out to me in the Fall about presenting to their mentorship program about inclusion in a fitness setting. This is a group of staff members working for adult service programs around the state who meet every so often to discuss ways that they can provide the best opportunities for their clients.

I was able to share information about the gym, discuss my experience pursuing an unconventional path, and fine tune my very subpar public speaking skills. After feedback from several executives of the organization, I left Sturbridge excited for the potential work that we could do together.

January 27th - Special Olympics Basketball State Qualifiers


On Sunday, the 27th, our Special Olympics basketball team had the state qualifier tournament at Weston High School. With two wins, 27-14 and 36-34, our kids will be advancing to the state tournament in March.

January 27th – Surprise Engagement Party


The best part of owning a gym is the relationships that I've been fortunate to build with so many people. To show up on a Sunday evening and have dozens of them at the gym for a surprise engagement party was overwhelming. Gigi and Jen put a lot of time into organizing this party and Lauren and I were/are incredibly appreciative of it.

January 28th – Speech at Ayer Shirley with Sydney Meininger


Last Monday, Sydney Meininger and I had the opportunity to speak at Ayer Shirley Regional High School. ASRHS is launching a Best Buddies program and Unified Track team this Spring and their AD, Steve Kendall, asked if we could come in and talk about our experience with these organizations.

Sydney is the first individual with a disability to hold an officer role (Treasurer) for a Best Buddies program and her public speaking skills are far superior to mine. She discussed how life-changing Best Buddies has been to her; to me, it influenced the career path that I've taken.

To stay up to date with the day-to-day and weekly occurrences at the gym, follow Unified Health and Performance on Facebook or @unified.hp on Instagram and Twitter. If you'd like to learn more about our facility and the services we offer, email unifiedhp@gmail.com.

Brendan Aylwardspotlight