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March 26, 2014

Burkhart regains lost strength

Travis Burkhart Foundation gets ready for banner year

“Five more,” he said.

Travis Burkhart told his trainers Leslie Thompson and Joe McDonald he could lift more weight. He wanted to break his personal best Friday. He was 15 lbs. away.

Thompson and McDonald, along with Kim and Mike Burkhart, Travis’ parents, added five more pounds to the bench press. For the past few weeks, Travis started lifting free weights at Anytime Fitness in Washington. Lifting and working out was something he liked to do before his 2008 accident heading back to college and sliding and crashing on an icy road. The accident left him having to relearn almost everything again.

The five pounds are added. He’s at 215 now, a personal best last week. Bench pressing is harder for Travis than those who are not rehabilitating from a traumatic brain injury. He had to relearn coordination between the left and right sides of his body in the past six years of rehabilitation, surgeries and countless hours of work.

Thompson and McDonald set the bar for Travis. Mike helps and holds the legs down. He grunts and strains, but Travis completes five reps at 215.

“Five more,” Travis said, holding his right hand up to Thompson. The weight would be a new personal best. Thompson started working with Burkhart 18 months ago and now works with him several times a week. There are several areas that Thompson keys on with Travis.

“We work on coordination and balance,” Thompson said. “Of course he loves the weights.”

The improvement, Thompson said, is not only seen physically.

“He wants to add more weight. He wants to be like the other guys,” Thompson said. “He wants to improve on his walking. He used to come in with his walker and his cane and now he is not doing that anymore.”

On the bench, McDonald and Thompson tell Travis to rest for a minute, but he is persistent. He is going for his best. One thing about Travis is there is no telling him no when his mind is made up. Five more pounds are added on.

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