"Hi Edge fitness family, I'm Cheryl Borrelli, and I'm a local author here in Media, PA for autism awareness, as well as domestic abuse awareness. I'm a very proud and blessed mommy, the best title I could have. My son Nicky has autism, is 22, and needs 24 hour care. He has low muscle tone, and has received therapy since he was infant, at first due to his prematurity, and then his autism diagnosis. Our fitness journey has been hand in hand, as has all aspects of our journeys.
I began exercising in my home after bringing Nicky home at 4 pounds. After recovering from toxemia, I was left with a great deal of weight that I had gained during my pregnancy. I knew I had a long journey ahead caretaking for Nicky, and wanted to be as healthy as possible. After losing the pregnancy weight, and it becoming apparent that Nicky needed help strengthening his muscles, I found ways for us to exercise together. Most of it was through the playground and long walks in the city, until Nicky was transferred to a special needs school out here in Media.
His therapy continued through school, but through the years he hasn't made much progress with his hand skills and upper body strength, most needed for self care and independence. After being a member of The Edge Fitness Clubs for about a year, and working with my own trainer on strength training along with boxing techniques, I decided to bring Nicky into The Edge for a test session, hoping he would be comfortable in the environment. I had received a great deal of support on my own there, knowing I had to keep my body and mental endurance strong to care take for him, as he was now becoming an adult. The managers and staff were very welcoming and accommodating, and greeted Nicky with open arms. Unable to communicate through conversation, my son sensed the positive environment, and immediately loved it there. I was elated! The Edge was my safe, happy place and now it could be my son's as well. We could enjoy it together. What a wonderful way to strengthen our mother and son bond even further.
Over the past almost year now, Nicky has made the most gains in strength, balance, focus, and endurance, through working with the trainers at The Edge. His current trainer, and manager, Paul Kwiatowski, has been very creative in challenging Nicky every week. Along with engaging him in interactive activity, he also educates him with independent activity, which has transitioned to his independence skills at home.
The Edge is "our" place now. Nicky knows that he's accepted there, that the staff cares about his progress, and that his momma lion is most proud of him every single week. I have also continued with my strength and boxing training with Hassan every week. He challenges me with new exercises every week and I feel amazing. Fitness training hasn't been just about strength for us. It's been our happiness. Our balance and best medication for stress, anxiety and hardship. I'm so grateful now that my son is an adult, we have found activities through fitness to enjoy together, and a gym full of wonderful people to share our joy and progress with. Happy Mother's Day everyone!"
- Cheryl Borrelli