Rodie said he was told he would die young and face physical struggles his whole life. Instead, he became a Paralympic athlete and created a business in Chandler to help others with disabilities become athletes and to keep them moving forward.
He founded Creating Vitality to be a place where people could train for the Paralympics, where those with disabilities can work to get stronger, and where able-bodied people can also move their bodies in personal training sessions or self-defense classes.
“I definitely don’t know how to quit,” Rodie said. “My whole life it’s been, ‘Let’s go, let’s go after it.’”
Creating Vitality has been in Chandler a little more than a year, Rodie said. In addition to training Paralympic athletes physically with the gym’s adaptive-use equipment, the business also offers mental coaching and goal setting for the athletes.
“Honestly, sometimes I think I am still dreaming when I come in here,” Rodie said. “There’s different angles to it—having a space where everybody feels comfortable but also having a place where they can do training and therapy.”
Rodie said the gym is open to all people with disabilities and able-bodied people. He said having people of all abilities in one space helps to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment.
“We want to have an impact; we want to get people in here and be a part of the programs,” Rodie said. Those who participate in personal training and self-defense classes help foot the bill to help more Paralympic hopefuls train.
Rodie said it is important for those with disabilities to keep their bodies moving.
He said had he not persisted and kept pushing himself, he would not be where he is today.
“They said I should’ve been in a wheelchair, but I wasn’t; they said there were all these things I wouldn’t be able to do, but I feel because I kept moving, none of that ever happened,” Rodie said. “I just keep going after it.”
That, Rodie said, is what he wants for people with disabilities—to keep going after it. It is also what he hopes for his business.
“We have a long way to go, but we are heading in the right direction,” he said.