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YOUR WELL-BEING: Loving Your Life

By Ana-Maria Gutierrez, Senior Communications Manager

Adaptive Recreation Clinics at the National Conference

The adaptive sports and recreation clinics at the Amputee Coalition National Conference enable people with limb loss and limb difference to shatter barriers and embrace new possibilities. Through a supportive community, these clinics offer a transformative experience, fostering physical, mental, and emotional well-being. As you discover the joy of adaptive activities, you redefine your boundaries and inspire others with your stories of triumph. The 2023 National Conference lineup brings back our popular swim, yoga, tennis, prosthesis evaluation, and golf clinics, and introduces new martial arts and rowing clinics.

Unlocking the Waves: Embracing Transformation Through the OPAF Swim Clinic

Often for people with limb loss and limb difference, swimming presents unique challenges requiring specific skills and techniques. The OPAF swim clinic addresses these challenges head on by focusing on pool safety, effective transfers into and out of the water, and prosthetic limb management around the water. You will learn valuable strategies and best practices to overcome obstacles and fully embrace the transformative power of swimming as a recreational and fitness activity.

During the conference, we will be offering three sessions at 7 a.m. – 8 a.m. on Aug. 3-5. A beginner session focuses on transitioning into and out of the pool, flotation, breathing, kicking, and basic freestyle. The following morning, the intermediate session will address transitioning into and out of the pool, improved freestyle and backstroke, and an introduction to open-water techniques. The last class will focus on transitioning into and out of the pool, work on the four swim strokes (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly), open-water swimming (triathlon), cadence, and maximal oxygen consumption.

Rejuvenate Your Mind, Body, and Soul With Morning and Evening Yoga Sessions

Yoga, an ancient practice that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation, has long been revered for its ability to promote strength, balance, and tranquility. At this year’s conference, you can embark on a journey through two invigorating yoga sessions designed to enhance well-being and combat stress. The beauty of these sessions lies in their inclusivity, because people of all proficiency levels are encouraged to join.

Setting the tone for a vibrant day, the All Levels Morning Yoga session offers a perfect start to each morning. Beginning at 7 a.m. – 8 a.m. on Aug. 3-5, the clinic welcomes you to delve into yoga practices that embrace breath work, body strengthening, balance enhancement, and a finale of peaceful relaxation. Whether you are seated, standing, or lying down, and irrespective of the presence or absence of a prosthesis, this session promises a holistic experience that caters to every individual’s unique needs. Soothing modifications and adjustments are incorporated to ensure a safe and fulfilling yoga sequence for all attendees.

Under the expert guidance of seasoned yoga instructor Heather Thamer, you will witness an enhancement in physical strength and flexibility and a newfound sense of tranquility and grounding.

After a day filled with learning and networking, unwind and replenish your body and mind. The Evening Yoga for Grounding and Stress Release session, scheduled from 6-6:45 p.m. on Aug. 3 and Aug. 4, offers a time when you can rejuvenate. Once again open to participants of all skill levels, these sessions allow for a seamless transition from the bustling conference atmosphere to a state of inner calm. Conclude the evening by experiencing a guided meditation designed to provide deep rest, peace, and calm. The Prosthesis Evaluation Clinic: Enhancing Walking Efficiency and Natural Gait Patterns Back again this year, you will have the opportunity to benefit from the Prosthesis Evaluation Clinic—an innovative initiative aimed at optimizing the walking efficiency of people using lower limb prostheses. The primary objective is to assist you in achieving the most natural and seamless gait pattern. The clinics will be held Aug. 2 and Aug. 3 from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

At the heart of this clinic lies a comprehensive evaluation process encompassing the fit and alignment of the prosthesis, along with the user’s ambulation with it. Through individual assessments, we aim to capture a clear picture of participants’ walking abilities, using short videos to highlight any deviations. By providing this visual feedback, we empower participants to understand and identify areas for potential improvement.

Drawing upon the insights gathered during the evaluation, experts Don Cummings, director of prosthetics at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, and Bruce “Mac” McClellan, CPO, LPO, FISPO, FAAOP(D), owner and president of Prosthetic-Orthotic Associates of East Texas, will offer personalized suggestions to enhance the fit and functionality of each prosthesis. Notably, you can discuss any recommendations pertaining to fit or alignment with your prosthetist upon your return home. We wholeheartedly welcome people at all levels of lower limb amputation for evaluation, eagerly anticipating the opportunity to meet and assist many of you throughout the course of this event.

A Swing To Remember: The Power of Adaptive Golf

This year’s golf clinic includes three popular stations: putting, golf simulator, and snag golf available from 7 a.m. -5:30 p.m. on Aug. 3-4. We are also thrilled to introduce an exciting new addition called bucket golf, a game that brings the thrill of golfing right to our corridor. With pickle balls and creative setups, bucket golf promises a fun-filled challenge.

The dedicated team from the Joe Grohman Golf Foundation will be there, providing support and creating an environment that fosters growth and enjoyment. Don’t worry about bringing equipment—we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or new to the sport, this clinic offers an exceptional opportunity to discover the therapeutic benefits of golf while having an absolute blast.

A Technique to Build Endurance: The Row Clinic Experience

New this year is the First Row Clinic, made possible by OPAF. Discover how to increase your endurance and improve your awareness in this clinic designed to teach proper fitness techniques needed to safely perform rowing. Commonly known as “Crew,” the sport of Rowing helps participants to increase physical and mobility stamina. In the First Row clinic, you will be taught the necessary skills of proper entry and exit of a boat, seated positioning as well as proper techniques and form for rowing, including how to hold the oar through adaptive strategies. You will also learn proper terminology, information about competitive rowing, and will start out using a rowing machine located indoors for safety purposes. Join us for this new, fun, enlightening activity from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Aug. 3.

Develop Your Self-Confidence Through Adaptive Martial Arts

Learn ways to strengthen your mindfulness and awareness in this one-of-a-kind Adaptive Martial Arts clinic, also new to National Conference. Adaptive Martial Artis is a modern approach to teaching traditional methods that encompasses individuals with varying disabilities. From 7 a.m. – 8 a.m. on Aug 3-5, this inclusive clinic will include a variety of physical, intellectual, and developmental lessons that increase coordination, focus, body awareness and social skills. You will benefit from Master Michelle GolinoCrisco of ACETSS, who has studied Taekwon-Do for over 40 years, and an encouraging social group setting in a one-hour clinic designed to help you learn impactful techniques to protect yourself from acts of violence and aggression.

Jumpstart Your Day With Fun in the Sun At the Tennis Clinic

Join the Central Florida Dreamplex in partnership with Orlando’s USTA for an exciting clinic open to players of all tennis abilities, including those who may have never played before. Tennis is a very challenging sport to perfect but very easy to learn. Beginners will discover that they can soon go out and hit the ball back and forth with friends and perhaps even compete in tournaments. Hone your skills with our expert tennis team, who can help anyone interested in playing tennis, including wheelchair players and those with a myriad of physical challenges. Rise early and join the fun from 7 a.m. – 8 a.m. on Aug 3-5.

With these clinics, you can redefine your boundaries, inspire others, and embark on a path of personal growth and well-being. Secure your spot for these exciting experiences! For more information, visit