Ken and I were involved in the annual UDAC fundraiser "walk a mile in our shoes" event years ago.  That was when we would go to STEPS and walk on treadmills. The event is so well received in the community that something needed to be done to accommodate, so it was moved to Malosky Stadium on the UMD Campus and the Bulldogs athletic department has become a big part of the the 9th annual walk this year.


You might ask what UDAC does for our community.  The organization offers programs and services to adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. They are able offer people an array of choices giving options and opportunity while helping people realize their potential and assist with living every day to the fullest.

STEPS is an acronym for Specialized Training and Exercise Program (STEPS) and was developed to enhance people’s physical function, to limit their cognitive decline, and to help them fight diseases such as diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. STEPS is a safe, supervised and accessible exercise environment for people who can’t easily work out in traditional fitness centers.  Or, if you prefer working out in a smaller facility.  It's designed to meet the physical, medical, cognitive, behavioral, environmental and age-related abilities of every person it serves and is staffed by a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.

Meet Cody, he was working out when I stopped in to visit at STEPS.

The device you see on Cody is a Lightspeed Body Weight Support System.  It was designed by Malcolm, a local Physical Therapist. The system is designed to decrease impact force, encourage confidence, can be used by virtually anyone pediatric, seniors and athletes (especially those with injury).  It's easy to use, Malcolm said it works with almost any treadmill.  This is exactly what I need to keep running even after having three ankle injuries and a stress fractured heel.

Now that I've shown you how important STEPS and UDAC is in our community, come walk with us!  Darren Danielson, the night news anchor at WDIO and myself are co-chairs this year and we personally extend an invite to you, your family and friends to join us on Saturday, September 10 at Malosky Stadium, UMD Campus.  Registration begins at 9a with the walk set for 9:30a.  Minimum pledge $20, individual; $30, family.  You can register the day of the event, so get your family and friends to walk with you or support you monetarily. Door prizes and refreshments will follow the walk so stick around afterwards.  Plus, it's exciting to be surrounded during the walk by all the UMD athletic teams that are in town.  Did someone say multiple photo ops?

Info via:  UDAC/STEPS

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