Jason Geroianni From Pressing On Shows How You Can Be Physically Fit After An Injury or Disability

Editor’s Note: Jason Geroianni of San Antonio, Texas, is the director of Pressing On gym in San Antonio, TX, which is designed and staffed specifically for individuals in wheelchairs and who have other physical limitations. Pressing On helps those with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI).Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Cerebral Palsy (CP) Stroke, Spina Bifida, Rett Syndrome, Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), Lou Gehrig’s Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS), Brown-Séquard syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Amputees and more. Part 1 of a 4-part series.

Before I started working with Pressing On, I was in the information technology field for 10 years. I worked in various jobs at a help center, answering technology questions, and became the assistant administrator. But I really got burnt-out on my job and wanted to find a profession that I considered more rewarding.

So, I went back to school. I’d gotten interested in physical fitness earlier in life, but I gained 80 pounds after getting married because my wife’s such a good cook. After a friend of mine took me to the gym, I got in really good shape. I learned what exercises conditioned and strengthened individual muscle groups. Later I became a personal trainer.

Jason works with Pressing On members every day to improve fitness, endurance and strength.

Jason works with Pressing On members every day to improve fitness, endurance and strength.

By 2000, I had started a personal-training business where I took my own equipment to clients’ houses and trained them in their homes. I also set-up diet and workout plans online for my clients. I was really into fitness.

Then once I had taken all the classes required to become a physical therapist, except for two, I saw an ad on Craigstlist online for trainers for Pressing On, which emphasized fitness without limits. The Craigslist ad basically said that Pressing On wanted to set-up a gym and a training facility for individuals with spinal-cord injuries. At that time, Pressing On didn’t have a building for its gym; it simply had its name and an investor.

The idea for Pressing On began with Jenny and Michael Thomas, because Jenny had suffered a spinal cord injury several years before and had recovered well enough to start walking. Several years later, Michael suffered a spinal-cord injury and became a quadriplegic.

They had both previously been in a facility in California called Project Walk, one of the first facilities that continued training people with spinal-cord injuries after they finished physical therapy. Living in California was expensive for the Thomases, so they decided to move back to Texas and try to set-up a similar facility there. By chance in June, 2007, they met a lady named Shelly Kirk, who wanted to invest in a business. She believed in the purpose and vision of Pressing On. I saw the ad on Craigslist in July, 2007.  Then in September, 2007, we got our gym equipment and officially opened Pressing On to specialize in neuro fitness on October 1, 2007.

Pressing On has all of the perks you would expect from a regular gym -- except for the smelly locker room!

Pressing On has all of the perks you would expect from a regular gym -- except for the smelly locker room!

Today our gym at Pressing On looks like a typical gym, but the types of training programs we do may be a little less typical. We train our individuals to be the best they can be based on their physical, mental and medical conditions.

Since the spinal-cord community is a very-close-knit community in most areas, through word of mouth, we began to get our members. We also do a lot of Internet networking within the spinal-cord community through our website www.pressingontx.org. Through Internet forums, we started posting information about our gym. After 6 months, we had eight or nine members for our gym.

See firsthand how members work out at Pressing On in this video:

Next: Ways People with Spinal Cord Injuries Stay in Shape at Pressing On

About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com

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