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In 1999 Aaron Baker broke his neck in a motocross accident, leaving him completely paralyzed from the neck down. Despite doctor's grim prognosis over the next 16 years Aaron decided not to listen to those who said 'he had a million-to-one odds of ever feeding himself again' and instead  endeavored to regain as much mobility as possible. This journey through the unknown took him from the depths of depression to the joys of cross country road tripping via tandem bicycle with his mother and friends, and finally, culminated in his opening a socially conscious low cost gym focused on increasing mobility for the disabled. Now in Coming To My Senses we watch as Aaron takes one final journey which symbolizes his recovery: to cross a 20 mile tract of Death Valley unsupported on foot. But will he make it?

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
When Aaron first told me that doctor’s had given him million-to-one odds of ever feeding himself again, I told him, OK, so let’s take away the million and focus on the one.”
— Taylor Isaacs

AARON BAKER

My name is Aaron Baker, I am a recovering quadriplegic athlete, ambassador, entrepreneur and friend. More than a decade ago I broke my neck while racing a motorcycle. My doctors gave me a grim prognosis of having only a one in a million chance of ever feeding myself, not to mention walking or doing much else. Today however, I can proudly and gratefully say I have surpassed their projection for my life by setting and achieving many worlds firsts like: Pedaling a bicycle across the country twice, racing that bicycle for the United States Paralympic cycling team and most recently, I walked independently across Death Valley.   Through all of my process of recovery, redefinition and ultimately the rebuilding of my life, there has always been one consistent desire - To share. This is my reason for wanting to create this film. By documenting my journey, I am able to give people a glimpse into my life living with a spinal cord injury and a bridge of connectivity for hope, empowerment and self actualization. I hope you enjoy the ride.

My name is Aaron Baker, I am a recovering quadriplegic athlete, ambassador, entrepreneur and friend. More than a decade ago I broke my neck while racing a motorcycle. My doctors gave me a grim prognosis of having only a one in a million chance of ever feeding myself, not to mention walking or doing much else. Today however, I can proudly and gratefully say I have surpassed their projection for my life by setting and achieving many worlds firsts like: Pedaling a bicycle across the country twice, racing that bicycle for the United States Paralympic cycling team and most recently, I walked independently across Death Valley.

 

Through all of my process of recovery, redefinition and ultimately the rebuilding of my life, there has always been one consistent desire - To share. This is my reason for wanting to create this film. By documenting my journey, I am able to give people a glimpse into my life living with a spinal cord injury and a bridge of connectivity for hope, empowerment and self actualization. I hope you enjoy the ride.

LAQUITA DIANE

The day Aaron was born I thought the greatest gift of my life was being his  mother, yet my role in his life expanded within each passing year.  I cherished his driven determination during his years of winning championships aboard his motorcycle, but his true champion spirit was realized after his accident.  We then embarked on the absolute most challenging times, in every sense. I was so focused on helping Aaron regain his health that I forgot about myself during the process.  As we rebuilt our lives over the years, I became a fierce proponent of health and well being, for all persons, regardless of ability.  Together with my son and Clinical Exercise Physiologist, Taylor-Kevin Isaacs who led Aaron's recovery process,  I was able to make that dream a reality for others with the opening of our first fitness facility, C.O.R.E., Center Of Restorative Exercise.  Today I serve as the Chief Executive Officer of C.O.R.E. and I am guided by an inner fire that burns intensely, with more resolve than ever, to do everything possible to create more opportunities for the improvement of catastrophic injuries and conditions. I want to share my story with others because I know the personal struggle that caregivers and loved ones endure when someone they love or is close to suffers a devastating spinal cord injury like Aaron.  Rightfully so, all eyes are focused on the injured, but the injury doesn't only happen to them, it happens to every member of their family as well, and everyone's lives are forever changed.  

The day Aaron was born I thought the greatest gift of my life was being his  mother, yet my role in his life expanded within each passing year.  I cherished his driven determination during his years of winning championships aboard his motorcycle, but his true champion spirit was realized after his accident. 

We then embarked on the absolute most challenging times, in every sense. I was so focused on helping Aaron regain his health that I forgot about myself during the process.  As we rebuilt our lives over the years, I became a fierce proponent of health and well being, for all persons, regardless of ability.  Together with my son and Clinical Exercise Physiologist, Taylor-Kevin Isaacs who led Aaron's recovery process,  I was able to make that dream a reality for others with the opening of our first fitness facility, C.O.R.E., Center Of Restorative Exercise.  Today I serve as the Chief Executive Officer of C.O.R.E. and I am guided by an inner fire that burns intensely, with more resolve than ever, to do everything possible to create more opportunities for the improvement of catastrophic injuries and conditions.

I want to share my story with others because I know the personal struggle that caregivers and loved ones endure when someone they love or is close to suffers a devastating spinal cord injury like Aaron.  Rightfully so, all eyes are focused on the injured, but the injury doesn't only happen to them, it happens to every member of their family as well, and everyone's lives are forever changed.  

TAYLOR KEVIN ISAACS

When I moved from South Africa in 1986, it was my dream to become a health care practitioner that would truly help people improve the quality of of my patient's lives. When I was introduced to Clinical Exercise Physiology while in school, I quickly realized the long term potential for this type of therapeutic intervention and the large gap that existed after patients exited Physical Therapy and their need to get back out in the world.   When I met Aaron in 1999 I had already devised a set of guidelines that I knew would help injured patients recover mobility, but having a client with the drive and ambition of Aaron Baker enabled me to put my best work to the test. And in the process, aspire to inspire an attitudinal shift within the current health care system as to what outcomes are possible with the ongoing benefits of restorative exercise along with the continuity of care. I am so proud of what we have done together and opening the Center For Restorative Exercise as a place where more people can come and recover mobility is the culmination of the great partnership I have found in Aaron and Laquita.   I truly believe that by giving individuals the right care and understanding of how restorative exercise can make their bodies feel, move, and perform betterwill enable them to see what they are fully capable of achieving.  It is my dream that we can open more facilities like CORE across the United States and give even more people the chance to live a meaningful, fulfilling, and active life!

When I moved from South Africa in 1986, it was my dream to become a health care practitioner that would truly help people improve the quality of of my patient's lives. When I was introduced to Clinical Exercise Physiology while in school, I quickly realized the long term potential for this type of therapeutic intervention and the large gap that existed after patients exited Physical Therapy and their need to get back out in the world. 

 When I met Aaron in 1999 I had already devised a set of guidelines that I knew would help injured patients recover mobility, but having a client with the drive and ambition of Aaron Baker enabled me to put my best work to the test. And in the process, aspire to inspire an attitudinal shift within the current health care system as to what outcomes are possible with the ongoing benefits of restorative exercise along with the continuity of care. I am so proud of what we have done together and opening the Center For Restorative Exercise as a place where more people can come and recover mobility is the culmination of the great partnership I have found in Aaron and Laquita.  

I truly believe that by giving individuals the right care and understanding of how restorative exercise can make their bodies feel, move, and perform betterwill enable them to see what they are fully capable of achieving.  It is my dream that we can open more facilities like CORE across the United States and give even more people the chance to live a meaningful, fulfilling, and active life!

I know I was making movement up sometimes just so I could keep going, but if denial is where you are, denial is one heck of a fuel.”
— Laquita Diane
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#EXERCISEISFOREVERYbody

Our goal is to inspire a culture of exercise among those with limited mobility.  Aaron firmly believes that almost all injured and/or disabled individuals can reclaim more mobility than they are led to believe with the right exercise protocol.  Our system often concentrates on healthcare as the most immediate need for the injured and/or disabled, ad little is done to include this group in the exercise movement that has swept across the country for the last 20-years.  This needs to change as exercise is one of the most important pillers of personal health.

 

Through his own personal experience of being left without insurance or access to long term rehabilitation Aaron experienced incredible lows of depression, common to many in his situation. It was through this experience that he became determined to make a difference. Since then, he, along with his mother Laquita Dian and his clinical exercise physiologist Taylor-Kevin Isaacs, created a one-of-kind gym that bridges the gap between therapy and fitness. As our society has come to understand the critical value of fitness in health and mortality rates, Aaron is endeavoring to make sure that no one is left behind because of lack of access and resources.  For more on the Center Of Restorative Exercise (CORE) click below.

The rise of disability focused gyms is slow but persistent.  Here is a small collection of resources that Coming To My Senses has found.  Don't see your gym listed here?  Please reach out to nadia@encompassfilms.com to let us know you are out there!