TRX has long supported the Challenged Athletes Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping wounded warriors and disabled civilians return to sports and athletic competition, through the TRX Fund. We all face mental and physical obstacles--internal, external and imagined--on our paths towards our sporting goals. The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) and the athletes the organization supports remind us of how transcendent pursuing a sporting goal can be and that we can all go far beyond what we imagine is possible. (Watch the video above to see how these athletes are incorporating TRX Training into their workouts).
That’s the lesson Chintan Turakhia discovered in 2009 when he first became involved with the CAF’s Million Dollar Challenge, an annual 620-mile bike ride from San Francisco to San Diego to raise money for the CAF. Turakhia learned about the CAF MDC through a corporate philanthropy initiative at his employer, Qualcomm. “I’d just started road biking. After a little bit of panic and talking to some friends, I had no reason not to do it. I was helping people get back into life.” He committed to completing the ride and raising $10,000. He also turned to TRX for support and we provided him with equipment, programming and education to help him and his fellow athletes get ride ready.
With just 20 weeks to prepare, a very minimal training base, and little experience cycling, Turakhia began cranking out the miles in the hills around San Diego. Every week, he tackled longer distances on the bike with other CAF athletes and MDC participants preparing for the big ride.
“There were points when I just wanted to give up. I was overweight and had trouble keeping up,” says Turakhia. But he didn’t have to look far to find inspiration. “One of the Challenged Athletes, David Lee, is a T-7 paraplegic. We were climbing this really tough hill and I said, ‘I can't do it anymore.’ Then David pulled next to me in his hand cycle. He told me his story and that's when it hit me that we don't have an excuse. We have to push ourselves beyond what we think we can do. That's what all these Challenged Athletes do. These people had every reason to stop and give up in their lives and they kept going.”
Off the bike, Turakhia and his fellow athletes used the TRX to build core strength, stability, mobility and keep their bodies in balance. “The TRX develops core fitness which reduces your fatigue on the bike. Our shoulders and arms get sore but holding yourself up with your core reduces your overall fatigue.”
With the support of his fellow trainees and TRX training, Turakhia successfully completed the 2009 ride and came back for more in the 2010 edition of the MDC where the then Garmin-Slipstream pro cycling team--many of whom are also TRX users--joined Turakhia and other participants for a leg of the ride. Turakhia will return to complete the 2011 edition of the ride in the fall, his third CAF MDC. He’s thankful for everything his MDC experiences have brought into his life.
“Doing the ride taught me a lot of things. You'd think these guys would have a tough time on hand cycles or with prosthetic legs but they beat us silly. These Challenged Athletes pushed beyond anything anyone would think you could do and they did it. Before getting into biking I played soccer, but I'd never pushed my body beyond preset limits I had in my head. You tell someone you rode 620 miles in seven days, they say wow, that's a lot--I don't think I can do that.” Turakhia’s experiences with the CAF MDC have taught him to think bigger. “You can do anything. The only limiter is your mind.”
Chintan did it. So can you. Tell us below about the ways you’ve gone beyond your limits and how you pushed yourself to get there. Buy a TRX FORCE Kit and TRX will donate $5 of your purchase to the TRX Fund.