In most sports, a hugely important factor that separates average participants from the A-Team’s Real Athletes is eyesight. For folks on the A-Team, games slow down because they see things better which, in turn, enables them to react sooner. Hitters get around on 100 mph fastballs, quarterbacks spot open receivers downfield, tennis players hit impossible returns, and goalies make incredible saves…because they are already reacting while we’re still trying to pick up the action.
This brings us to Danny Foppiano, a new Helix customer and someone who has made us re-think the definition of Real Athletes. Danny is a huge conditioning enthusiast and excels at a game called Beep Baseball, so named because the ball beeps which allows blind & visually impaired players to follow it through sound. In other words, Danny is a fitness & workout lover who plays sports at a high-level and just happens to be blind. (Danny and some teammates on the West Coast Dawgs are 4-time World Series Champs featured in ESPN’s Best Stories in Sports last year.)
Needless to say, Danny’s fire and enthusiasm for doing the work in the gym and competing on the field is inspirational and a bit mortifying for those of us who, ahem, routinely employ excuses like ‘too tired’, ‘too cold outside’, ‘too busy’, ‘too sore’, ‘forgot my stuff’, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ but never ‘too blind’.
A guy like Danny isn’t trying to be an inspiration to us – he’s in it to push his own athletic boundaries as far as he can go because that’s who he is. His back-story, of course, is fascinating albeit tragic. At the age of eight, Danny attended a Little League try-out where a buddy struck out and, in frustration, swung a bat and accidentally hit Danny in the forehead. Lights out, sight gone, game over.
But not so fast. Thirty-five years later, Helix gets a call from this delightful guy who wants to buy a Lateral Trainer but has some special requirements. Long story short, Danny is not simply a survivor, he’s a determined achiever. And maybe better yet from Danny’s perspective, he’s not simply a fitness nut, he’s a Real Athlete.
Danny filmed a workout on his new Helix, and this clip shows his testimonial – we couldn’t have written the script better and we’re thrilled with his support.