Our very own Adapt & Triumph Board President, Joe Fonseca is an adaptive athlete himself who is passionate about tackling the barriers that exist for adaptive athletes around the globe in the competitive realm.
He has worked closely with several adaptive athletes to help inspire, adapt and DEMOLISH goals.
His team competed at the 2018 Spartan Para-Elite competition in Laughlin, NV and crossed the finish line in FIRST PLACE! However, his favorite part? Watching the other teams continuously show the grit and determination with a whole lot of heart!
Coach Joe Fonseca continues to travel around the United States competing alongside able bodied and adaptive athletes- breaking barriers and leading the way.
Warren started attending classes at Triumph in July of 2017. He was just turning 12 and with the exception of a couple of short periods he’d been in some form of physical therapy since he was 6 months old.
All that time we would regularly assess how far behind he was for his age and focus on trying to catch up. At some point I accepted the idea that there were just some things that he was not going to do like: stand on one foot or jump with both feet leaving the ground. These things may sound small but they are the basis for a surprising number of everyday tasks. My goals for Warren when he started at Triumph had nothing to do with skill building, and everything to do with the fact that I had a 12 year old boy who would spend all his time on YouTube if he could. He needed to get up and moving.
Not only did we succeed in getting him up and moving…he likes it! He asks me about it at least once a day. We’ve seen his self confidence rise dramatically and he seems more comfortable in his body. He’s even developing new skills! For the first time in his life he does push ups that look like push ups, he can jump with both feet leaving the ground, he can do box step ups independently…he even does burpees!
Everything that’s done at the gym can be adapted. There are SO many modifications available and the coaches are really good at applying them. He's working on the same basic workout as everyone else. He’s not in a special class and he’s not off working alone in a corner.
He’s a member of the Triumph community.
Philippians 4:13 reads "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." As a mother, I have always seen great potential in my son, skies the limit for him no matter what any one says (and we have had a few "specialists" say he wouldn't be able to do things, to which he proved them wrong in later years!).
Michael has been in physical therapy since he was a baby. When he first started working with Joe, his physical therapist happened to be doing a balance and strength test on him. Three months later she did another test to compare Michael's growth. Not only did Michael have the greatest increase in strength within a 3 month period, but the balance he had on his feet increased significantly.
Michael also threw the shot put and disc for track, gaining 10-15 feet from when he first started throwing. Michael said that before Triumph he lacked the confidence to try something new regarding his strength and ability. He hated the feeling of trying his hardest and being last.
Joe has given him the confidence not only in the gym, but in P.E., roaming the halls at school, and his life outside of school. He is willing to try new things and believe in himself that he can do it... and do it well! I wholeheartedly believe God puts specific people in our lives for specific purposes. Working out with other kids that need adaptations with a coach that has a brain to make those adaptations work, who sees the endless possibilities with these kids and gives them the encouragement and drive to make them successful at their goals, is a unique, rare gift.
Since joining Triumph, Payton has become more confident in himself. Being a child that has a disability can make kids feel like they are constantly getting looked at.
Going to Triumph and knowing he is comfortable with Coach Joe to just be a kid is a great feeling as a parent. Payton and Joe have a special bond that can be funny and serious or both at the same time.
Joe is not just a coach, he is a mentor. Payton goes to Triumph to keep his upper body strength, and loves it when it's "lift day." He also enjoys helping the other members of his class learn new things at Triumph.
Payton is willing to be a leader in his class, and his experience has exceeded our expectations! There is no doubt that with Coach Joe beside him, HE WILL TRIUMPH!