Hi! I’m Frechena Russ. As you may or may not know, I was diagnosed as a quadriplegic at birth. Having a high-risk pregnancy, my mother gave birth to two twins but I was the only survivor. As a child, I was very gifted and academically inclined, earning honors throughout my middle and high school years alike. During this time, I had to undergo several surgeries, six operations in total by the age of 18, as a result of my chronic illness. I found a love for clothing early on in my life, and although I’m not able to sew physically, I enjoy sketching and developing ideas for new clothing.
My Goals and Successes
To satisfy the needs of individuals with disabilities, I am pursuing a degree in human ecology with a concentration in fashion merchandising. After obtaining a position in retail, I plan to become an entrepreneur either with my own small business or my own styling company.
In addition, I have written as a fashion blogger for I.d.e.a.l. Magazine. In July 2014, the company won the award for the magazine for Urban Young People with Disabilities. I.d.e.a.l. is an acronym for Individuals with Disabilities Express About Life. Our mission is to promote positive images of People with Disabilities in society. I also have aspirations to become a consultant in the industry for youth with disabilities in relation to the media. I have served as a Fashion Ambassador for the publication as well. This passion stems from years of work within the community. My time at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore for the past four years has been spent working with student organizations to enhance student perception of individuals with disabilities. Not only am I involved in academics, but socially I’m very active in my community to be a voice for individuals that identify with my circumstances.
Many people have asked me how I adapt my workout to every day with disabilities.
This is my response…
Choose your activities
Choose an activity you find fun, even if it is multitasking, doing chores, jumping rope, riding a bike. I do my version of ring toss; it may not be much, but after lots of repetition, I’ve noticed a difference. My routine consists of exercising in a wheelchair, so my workout may look different than yours.
I use Therabands and do crunches/sit-ups. Hand weights are another favorite of mine. Working out is not easy, disabilities or not, but everyone can go at their own pace.
Carve Out A Specific Time
Take the time to schedule out a specific time of day to devote to exercise! You won’t have to constantly remind yourself. Just look at your calendar and stick to it!
Set Attainable Goals
Choose activities that are your skill level or higher. You want to push yourself but not pass your own limits. Remember, you set the boundaries for the activities you do, big or small.
Add time for muscle rest
If you were working out with a trainer, they would incorporate brakes, so why not do the same at home? Take short breaks in between each exercise or activity that will give you a body enough time to cool down. Allow your body to rest and not buildup on the lactic acid, as this creates fatigue.
Reward yourself with a low-calorie snack like fruit or nuts, or you can have a small portion of your favorite treat. I work out every other day to help my body relax and rejuvenate. Everyone deserves a cheat day for their favorite snack every once in a while. No one is perfect; we all make mistakes, but we are a work in progress.
I’ve been using NutraChamps’ Vitamin C orange and cherry flavored gummies for a couple of months now. These feel like a reward because they’re very delicious and nutritious for the body and easy to digest for somebody who has had vitamin deficiencies. For me, a gummy is more accessible than a pill – it also tastes excellent. I take my gummy along with my breakfast. I came across the brand accidentally and found out my family members are already affiliated with the Nutrachamps company!
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If you want to try out these Vitamin C Gummies, feel free to use my 10% off code! Just enter FRECHENA10 at checkout for 10% off your entire order!
My name is Frechena Rayelle Russ. I’m an HBCU graduate and a fashion blogger a disability advocate influencer. Check out my blog Rayelle XO Always on the go to learn more about my adventures as a young woman with cerebral palsy.
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