PALM BAY — The pandemic may have put a hold on athlete’s plans to join the Special Olympics, but one thing it didn’t do was dampen their spirits.

Just Right Living is a nonprofit organization that empowers people with disabilities to inspire community-focused projects, create a supportive environment and give them more opportunities to enjoy a better quality of life.

Coaches Joe Luther, founder of the nonprofit, and Chris Hollyfield, continue to work with their powerlifting team of 25 athletes at Anytime Fitness, 580 Malabar Road, Palm Bay, throughout the year.

“Just Right Living has faced many challenges due to COVID 19, but one thing COVID couldn’t stop was our athletes working year around to get stronger, healthier and building up their immune system with healthy eating,” Coach Joe said.

He highlighted athletes like “Super” Steven Thompson, who he’s seen make great progress and has lots of enthusiasm for working out, and Timothy Duquette, who has qualified to join Team Florida for the USA Special Olympic Games in 2022.

“On Tuesday mornings, I give Steven a ride to practice, and he’s already waiting outside for me,” Coach Joe said. “I pick him up at 10 but he FaceTimes me at 8 all dressed and ready. My favorite part about Steven is his attitude and muscle flexes.”

Coach Chris likes to motivate his athletes by remembering the three “D’s”: Desire, Dedication and Determination.

Mindful of keeping up to date with COVID precautions, athletes work one-on-one with trainers or in small groups at Anytime Fitness.

The team looks forward to celebrating the one year anniversary of “Just Right Living Day” as proclaimed by former Palm Bay Mayor William Capote on Oct. 15.

For Just Right Living Day, the nonprofit has partnered with Agency of Life Transformations where Coach Joe and Coach Chris are employment specialists. In the past year, these coaches have helped place more than 15 people with disabilities in local small businesses.

Just Right Living adopted Fred Lee Park, 895 Emerson Dr., N.E. Palm Bay, and will host an “inclusion in the park” workout at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16.

The workout will include Anytime Fitness trainers, Orlando Magic dancers, entertainment, food, games and fun.

In November, Just Right Living has partnered with All Pro Site Work as the athletes will participate in a semi-truck pull fundraiser.

“Mike Cram, owner of All Pro, says he can’t wait to see how far these athletes can pull his biggest truck!” Coach Joe said.

Residents can sponsor an athlete by visiting justrightlivingbrevard.info.

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