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May 13, 2022

Inner Strength: Meet Raiden

Getting back in shape can be exhausting, and the motivation is sometimes never quite there consistently. However, when forced with a new reality, and having to relearn even the basics of skills, motivation is not something lacking for one teenager working hard to feel a little more normal again.

“As a C4 quadrapalegic, I am grateful to be here, but living is the goal.”

Raiden Stewart met Anna via his stepmom, Steph, who had been doing barn workouts with her. After discussing how Raiden’s physical therapy session had run out, they set up a weekly session with Anna to work on increasing his upper body strength with an adapted workout plan.

“My initial goal was to be in a manual chair before graduation last year. I wanted to be able to roll myself across the stage with my hands, not a button,” explains Raiden on his motivation for starting to train with Anna. “They told me I wouldn’t move from my shoulders down, but here I am doing upper body workouts.”

Raiden was able to use his manual chair for graduation, and now has moved onto every teenager’s goal, he wants to drive and live on his own one day.

Being an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer, and having 15 years' experience working with people in wheelchairs, gives Anna the ability to create workouts specific to Raiden’s needs, which was another reason he connected so well with her.

“Anna is awesome. She’s really easy to get along with and relatable. I would say most sessions we end up laughing about something.”

After over a year into working with Anna, Raiden would tell anyone to try out her programs. “I knew it was personal to my needs. You can’t get that at every gym. You get a connection with Anna. She invests in you and cares about your goals and understands how to get you there, “ said Raiden.

“Strength isn’t always defined by the weight we can lift. Raiden is a testament to inner strength and determination,” Woods reflects on Stewarts work ethic.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Raiden Stewart (@raidenws_60)

So what’s next for the soon to be 19 year old?

Well, like most everyone else his age, he’s looking at heading to a four year college after finishing up with his time at HCC. Thanks to the flexibility provided with Anna’s workouts he’s able to do the majority at home or in a dorm room, which inches him closer to that goal of being on his own!

For anyone facing hardship or struggling with how to move forward in life, Raiden’s go-to quote for the days he’s ready to give is..

“Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional."

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Anna (@shestrength)

Written by Jessica Flax,

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