By Eric Kenyon
It’s been a great decade for FIF. It encompasses almost our entire time in Goldcountry. I realize we have done what we were meant to do: serve our students and our community better and better every year. Here are some highlights:
- Our top athlete, pro snowboard racer Evan Strong, won two medals at the Paralympics, Gold in Sochi and silver in Pyeong Chang.
- For the last eight years Form is Function designed and supervised Evan’s strength and conditioning. In that time he has won over 50 world titles, about half adaptive and half able bodied!
- Other professional athletes we have trained include dancers and dance instructors, actors, aerialists, acrobats, equine sports athletes and instructors, martial arts instructors, fire fighters, structural and wildland, U S Marines, Navy SEALS, Nevada County sheriffs, Grass Valley PD and CHP.
- FIF designed the training program for a local wildland firefighting unit of over 60 people, including an elite Heli-tack crew. The commander of that unit received an important citation, with a large cash award for having no injuries during physical training that year.
- FIF has solidified strong trust with the clinician’s in Nevada County. They send patients to us to exercise while in treatment.
- These same clinicians have told me FIF has the best safety record of exercise providers in Nevada and Placer counties.
- How many lives have we changed for the better? Changed in ways that were thought impossible. Eliminated pain or dysfunction that may have lasted years or even decades. How many times have we guided our students to accomplish what could not be done? It seems FIF is often the place of last resort. Many people arrive here exhausted physically and mentally. They have “tried everything” with no success. We are known for turning things around for these people.
- FIF has established a reputation for preparing competitive fighters to win fights. Our top fighter, Abigail Beck, was ranked 8th in the US in Judo, In her last season the only fights she did not win were against Olympic gold medalist and UFC champion Ronda Rousey.
- Our recreational martial artists enjoy less injuries, better stamina, improved balance and stability, better power and speed. All this makes martial arts more fun, and allows faster learning.
- Our amateur athletes have excelled in bicycle racing, road, trail and track, distance running, triathlon, volleyball, softball, soccer, stand up paddle-boarding, white water kayaking, acro yoga, pickleball and rock climbing.
- FIF students have done especially well in the strength sports: old time and modern strongman/strongwoman sport, Scottish Highland games, Mas wrestling and circus strongman. A number of FIF women have found they are very talented and capable in these traditionally male dominated sports.
- Over the last decade FIF has successfully trained people who could not move their legs, who were missing legs, who could not stand or sit up, who could not speak, or move their hands, people who needed full time care. One of the take away lessons; if those people can exercise, anybody can!
- FIF trains people online. We have students in San Diego, Nashville, Boston, Madrid and beyond.
- Our unique modes of teaching have proven more and more effective every year. Everything points to an increase in this trend
- So what is ahead for FIF in the new decade? We shall continue to improve outcomes for our students. We will continue our volunteer work for Nevada County Falls Prevention Coalition. FIF will continue to bring hope and help to people who are under-served by the mainstream fitness and exercise culture in the United States and other western countries. We will continue to improve our responsiveness to the goals and needs of our students local and international.