By Ellie Beatty

For a variety of reasons, my father-in-law, Bud, and I were late leaving for the 10 AM Rock Steady Boxing South Shore class a few weeks ago.  So after breaking the speed limit and running with the wheelchair, we entered the gym, breathless at 10:30.

Brett, who was leading the group in drumming to “Footloose” announced, “Bud’s here, now we can really begin.”  This was followed by many greetings, people bringing over drumsticks, giving Bud high fives and patting him on the shoulder.  When we lined up for sparring with the heavy bags, nearly everyone who passed by our line said “Hi!” to Bud or touched gloves with him.  One boxer even tried to talk with Bud while he was doing his pad work with Kim!

And I noticed that the effect of this warm and welcoming community literally lifted Bud out of his wheelchair.  He had not been feeling well that morning, but by the end of the class he was willing to stand and duke it out with Brett.  And on the way home he was the sharpest I had seen him all day.

This was a real-life example of the power of the group to encourage the individual.  And I am grateful for our community at 110 Fitness, for their loving welcome and support of Bud. Because of him I also get to experience that community and we are both blessed.