Inspiring journey to the Special Olympics
A few years ago, Becky Kubica was fighting for her life. Now, she is standing strong as she trains for the powerlifting competition in the Illinois Special Olympics Summer Games scheduled for next month.
Her life-threatening illness left her inactive and taking medication that led to significant weight gain. With the help of the staff at the Adult Down Syndrome Center in Park Ridge, Ill., she began exercising more and making healthier food choices on her way to losing the 45 pounds she gained.
“Becky’s commitment to her health is inspiring and encouraging to our medical team and other patients as we focus more on a holistic approach to people with Down syndrome, which includes physical fitness as part of a person’s overall health,” says Dr. Brian Chicoine, director of the ADSC.
Becky Kubica’s plan to better health began with a weekly healthy eating lesson following a Zumba exercise class at the ADSC that played an integral part in transforming her life. The healthy eating class helped her understand portion sizes, and the Zumba class has helped her stay active other times of the day.
“I love dancing and good, happy music,” she says.
The combination of Zumba and a healthy eating class has helped keep her on track, says her father, Rudy Kubica.
“It reminds her of what’s best to eat, and the repetition keeps her commitment to healthy eating and frequent exercise fresh in her mind,” he says.
Becky Kubica also rides a stationary bike in her home while watching her favorite TV shows, takes walks, and plays softball, basketball and golf. She’ll also participate in the upcoming Advocate Fitness, Fun for Everyone 5K Run/3K Walk with her family. The run/walk benefits the ADSC.
Her mom is proud of her, too.
“Powerlifting is the most physically demanding and focused of the sports she participates in,” says Debbie Kubica. ““Last year was Becky’s rebuilding year. This year is her breakout year.”
Becky Kubica has a new lease on life since switching from cheeseburgers, soda and pizza to low-calorie sandwiches, salads and water.
“I feel great,” she says.
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