This month our Q and A is with Steve Patton. Steve is a long-time Hampton customer but holds a special place in our hearts because he is also a disabled customer who continues to come back to Hampton when buying product and keeps in touch with us like old family. Please take time to read Steve’s interview below.

Steve at home thinking about his next workout!

Q: Who are you and where are you from?
A: Steve Patton – Santa Clarita.

Q: How did you get started in the fitness world?
A: Years ago when I was 12 years old my mom bought me my first weight set, some barbells and some tens and a weight bench. When I got to 9th grade I was about to quit but kept going. In high school I continued to lift, got bigger and stronger and enjoyed it. I would walk from school to home every day which would take over an hour each way. My diabetes always made me struggle with my blood sugars. But now I have more experience compared to what I was doing in junior high. The instructors were not able to help me do things because I had learning disabilities and blindness.

Q: Can you describe your disability?
A: I was born with eye-sight but lost my vision partially when I was 19 and lost sight at 24. Diabetic retinopathy – it effects the back of the eye (your retina) which is related to diabetes. The retina is where you see color and pictures and diabetes caused the blindness to occur.

Q: What sort of things do you appreciate about Hampton products versus other fitness products?
A: The product that I use the most is the Durabell dumbbells. I like the design and the way they have maintained over the years. I am looking into using the kettlebells.

Q: What kind of workout is your favorite workout?
A: I like to do strength-training more than the higher reps. Eight to ten and beyond sometimes. But being in my 40s and diabetic if you try and do high reps or medium reps they get you really tired but if you keep it at 3-5 reps or below that and train for strength it produces more energy that the greater high-rep workouts. Turkish Get Ups are when you hold a dumbbell overhead and do a backwards lunge but holding the dumbbell upright you roll to a sitting position. The back leg helps you stand, as you switch to the other hand and do both sides until you get the desired reps you want. Which works your lungs, connective muscles and heart. My coach called it a “fixed position” – the weight stays in one spot and your body moves. The snatches and the power cleans I will be learning to do with the kettlebells once I purchase them.

Q: What are the challenges of staying fit with your disability?
A: I like to workout between 12 and 2 p.m. because that is when I have the most energy. I’ve tried it in the mornings and didn’t have much energy and even if I wanted to get it over with it wasn’t working out that way. And evenings were difficult because of the family being around. Sometimes at night before bed I do some stretching enough to help for the next day, or even step-ups on the staircase with some stretching in between – then lay down and relax. Sometimes I go overboard and go for 2 hours, but I will have training that will tell me how long my body should be going (in terms of my diabetes) and preventing fatigue as well as working with my insulin levels.

Q: Two hours is a long workout! How do you stay motivated?
A: Some days I want to quit and give up and some days I give myself a talk about doing it for my health and getting stronger. And seeing little results and feeling the results, it keeps me motivated. Other people just say I want to quit, but I’d say I have to go do it anyway. Being a Christian, God encourages me in many different ways and being disciplined in his life you are wanting to do things for others. God motivates me to being functional in life. Training helps me stay focused on being positive at times. We all have our negative times, of course, but encouraging others is important to me.

Q: Do you have any advice for anyone else looking to stay motivated with their fitness workout?
A: If you are training with a trainer they will teach you to train the right way at your own speed and you will learn proper technique. They are a good way to start your workout and get motivated. You could also get some good videos or books about weight training to help teach you slowly and motivate. And once you feel the results it will continue to motivate you.

Q: What are your fitness goals?
A: A good question. I would like to be able to function in a way that is going to allow me help move things – groceries, boxes, and using my muscles to help others and be physically active in life – you can use those muscles to help you to function as a person on a day-to-day basis, even with a disability. I would like to be able to workout the rest of my life so that I will continue to do physical activity. I want to be able to stay physically fit, function with diabetes, being able to workout and control my blood sugar. Anyone with diabetes knows how tiring it can be. My blood sugars used to be so out of control. And I would have to take extra insulin. But the workouts helped! If I don’t do the workout, then I can’t get my sugars to come down lower. Make it a part of the routine. And you can feel so much better – say to yourself, “If I don’t do it, who is going to do it for me?”

Thank you, Steve. We are inspired by you and are certain that others will be too.