Eric Massey, a 17-year-old Special Olympics athlete and Health Messenger from Memphis, Tennessee, dedicated the past year to his health and fitness journey. Through the daily support and encouragement of his family members he took steps to create an even healthier version of himself, trying new activities alongside his mom, dad, younger brother, and other family members. In observance of Family Health & Fitness Day on 25 September, Eric and his family shared their experiences over the past year to encourage others to begin their very own health journey.
Eric is the first Special Olympics Health Messenger from the state of Tennessee, where he trained as a health leader, advocate, and role model for his community. Being a Special Olympics Health Messenger means Eric has opportunities to lead by example and encourage his fellow athletes and peers to make healthy choices.
Eric especially enjoys leading webinars and workouts for his fellow Special Olympics athletes. He’s also proud to be a role model for his younger brother, Ean.
During the pandemic nearly all Eric’s in-person activities were cancelled, so he took action to find other ways to stay fit from home.
The Massey’s found opportunities to be outside and exercise as a family. One of their favorite group activities has been riding bikes around their neighborhood or on a local trail.
They got other family members involved in their outdoor workouts too, gathering in a local park or recreation center.
Eric took inspiration from Special Olympics resources such as Fit 5
and Strong Minds
to lead stretching and yoga workouts for his very own fitness club called iRev, short for Inclusion Revolution, a Special Olympics motto.
Eric showcases workouts such as kickboxing and weight training through his iRev virtual fitness club. In almost all of Eric’s fitness videos you’ll find at least one of his family members actively participating beside him while giving tips on nutrition and hydration. Eric and his family continually support each other and make leading a healthy lifestyle fun.
Eric admits that eating a balanced diet is one of the hardest parts of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Eric’s mom encourages him and his younger brother to try new things and find what works for them. With patience, practice, and guidance from his family, Eric has discovered meals and snacks that provide nutrients and taste good too.
Eric demonstrates how to create two great snacks, Berry Blast Yogurt and Savory Cottage cheese, here
. Check them out!