June in Review

With the school year coming to an end, we see a lot of athletes return to the gym, a bunch of new athletes, and unfortunately, some members part ways as they spend the Summer months in the Cape, the Vineyard, or another location. For a couple of weeks, every free minute went towards putting together programs for all of the athletes. We’re experimenting with some different approaches to scheduling in an attempt to accommodate as many people as possible. So far the Summer is off to a great start and we’re looking forward to having that momentum continue throughout July and August.

June 1st - Learn to Row Clinic

On National Learn to Row Day, several of our members: Marta, Kate, and Denise attended a clinic on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester as an introduction to recreational or competitive rowing.


June 5th - Boston Magazine Feature


Boston Magazine wrote a feature article about our Special Olympics powerlifting team in anticipation of the state competition on June 8th. We talked about how our perception of disabilities differs from the traditional view that the public holds. You can read the article here: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/health/2019/06/05/disabilities-inspiration-special-olympics-powerlifters/


June 8th - Unified 5k and Fun Run

I’ve written a couple of blog posts already about the event that went into more detail about the cause and organizational process. Ben recently finished editing a highlight video of the event. You can view it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfgLqqe9t7M


June 8th - Special Olympics Powerlifting States

While the 5k went off so did lifting flights at the Special Olympics Powerlifting state tournament at Harvard University. The couple of months leading up to the event, Jessie and Seth had been coming to the gym to practice with the athletes and learn their tendencies and techniques. The event went very well with three of our athletes winning gold in their weight classes.


June 14th – Zach Murphy Graduation


I shared this on Facebook and Instagram but in case it flew under the radar, I wanted to reiterate Zach’s contribution to my life as a whole, but in this case, the conception of the gym.

After watching a slideshow of all of Zach’s accomplishments at his graduation party today, I reflected on the ways that his contributions to the world may go unnoticed until they manifest through all of the people he has influenced.

Eleven years ago I broke my wrist and couldn’t play basketball so my mom made me volunteer at Special Olympics. At the time I wanted to pursue a career in audio engineering. I was paired with Zach on my first day of volunteering. I always wonder whether I would have stuck with it if I hadn’t been paired with someone so enthusiastic and kind. At a time when it is easy to be overwhelmed by the pressure of social dynamics and schoolwork, I was drawn to how Zach was simply appreciative of my time and friendship. It wasn’t long before Special Olympics became the biggest part of my life and guided my college and career decisions. I’m not sure what I’d be doing if I had never met Zach, the CIO, Chief Influence Officer, of @unified.hp


June 21st – Best of Hometeam Award Night


Every year, the Telegram honors the best high school athletes throughout Central MA at the Best of Hometeam award night. Several of our athletes were honored at the event. Brendan Lee and Ryan Donovan made the Super team for football and baseball respectively; while Sam Bolinsky was recognized as offensive player of the year. One of our 8th graders, Ava Repole, made Mid Wach all stars for Clinton’s varsity softball team.


June 23rd - BAA 10k

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The B.A.A 10k attracts nearly 10,000 runners and an abundance of spectators. In recent years, marathon winners have been in attendance. This year saw Daniel Romanchuk set the course record for push-rim wheelchair racers. We got to spend some time before and after the race with him. While it was a hot and humid morning, Jacob and I ran well, finishing the 6.2 mile roué in in 39:27. The B.A.A, the organizing body for the Boston Marathon, puts on a very well-run event and it was a great experience to be a part of.


June 24th - Cassidy’s Food Truck, Fired Up, Opens


Last year, Cassidy and Denise began formulating the idea of a farm stand or food truck in conjunction with Denise’s hair salon. After what I can only assume was a lot of work, Fired Up opened for business at 22 Main Street in Boylston. They will be open Monday-Friday from 11-2 and serving paninis and hot dogs.


June 24th - First Day of Summer Training

On the same day, we started our Summer schedule where we’ll train over 130 middle, high school, and collegiate athletes. With the addition of Kyle and Dennis, we’re able to keep the gym open more than 11 hours a day for the majority of the week to accommodate as many schedules as possible. For those who have traveled for the first couple weeks of the Summer, we have shorter term options for athletes who join later in the Summer to prepare for Fall sports.  

June 29th - Tough Mudder Boston


On Saturday, June 29th, Jason made his way through 8 miles of mud and 25 obstacles to complete the Tough Mudder Classic in Charlton, MA. Jason has been a consistent presence at our 5:15 class for the last year and a great advocate throughout the community for the training that we do at the gym.

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