Medical Breakthroughs: Unique fitness program helps gain individual independence through exercise

Medical Breakthroughs

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- A fitness program designed for “unique” individuals is taking Lafayette by storm.
Tonight, News 10 highlights this fun program that’s helping the Acadiana community.

Husband and wife duo Damon and Catherine Vincent are helping unique individuals feel confident, learn life skills and gain independence through exercise.

“I think the Lord is calling me to do this. I worked with the general population, group fitness,” said Damon Vincent, Unique Fitness head coach. “I just feel like this is what he is asked us to do for the community.”

“Unique Fitness is for people with special needs. We just have fun and work out,” said Ali Wood, Unique Fitness participant.

Unique Fitness is for those with cognitive and physical differences- including those with autism, down syndrome and cerebral palsy.

Coach Damon said he prefers the term “unique individuals” and tailors the class to growing in community and having fun.

“In a typical class they’re going to get here about 15 minutes early and we are all just going to hang out on the mat in fellowship before class,” Vincent said. “When the class starts we’re going to stand up, line up and then we’re going to go over our life skills: Emotional intelligence, social etiquette, nutrition. Then we will do a 8 to 10 minute warm up. Then our class has three parts. The first we call it burn in, that’s usually neuromuscular to get their motor skill control. Then we will do a strength part and then will finish off some sort of game or race.”

Lex Goulas, a Unique Fitness member, he says the class has inspired him to workout more and continue his pursuit of martial arts.

“As a kid, I always thought that martial arts, like ninjas in the movies. I always thought it was so cool like they flipped in karate chopped and everything,” Goulas said. “So I thought i want to learn how to do that. ever since then I’ve always wanted to learn how to do that.”

Coach Damon says he hopes one day to start a faith ministry for unique individuals.
He says this has been the most rewarding experience of his life.

“We want them to know they are loved by the lord and that’s why we decided to create this program because we felt like they deserved it,” Vincent said. “We want them to feel respected and dignified and deserving of their own program.”

The class meets three days a week at Headkicks Martial Arts and Fitness Club.
Unique fitness is hosting a grand opening and “Festival Unique” Saturday November 23.

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