BY: USA GAMES CORRESPONDENT, MIKE GASTINEAU
Imagine you belong to a group of a couple dozen people who work out together at a gym at a pre-dawn early morning hour before you go to work. For the parents in the group, it has become a small slice of the day where they can focus on themselves and not their kids.
Over time, your group becomes close-knit. They’ve nicknamed themselves “Macho Madness” and in addition to helping everyone physically, the sessions build camaraderie.
Then, one day, one of your fellow early bird workout fiends surprises everyone when he brings his 10-year-old daughter to the gym. How would you react?
Dr. Ross McDaniel is a chiropractor in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. His daughter Kaylor has Smith Magenis Syndrome (SMS) which is a developmental disorder that affects many parts of the body. Among the symptoms Kaylor has is a reverse melatonin cycle. This means she’s tired in the afternoon and wide awake in the middle of the night. This can make the simple act of doing things with her a little problematic.
“As with many of these kids, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to be active and there isn’t a lot of emphasis put on it,” said Dr. McDaniel. “Obesity can also be a problem for people with Kaylor’s genetic condition. They tend to gain more weight even with the exact same diet as kids who don’t have SMS.”
McDaniel realized that physical fitness and health and wellness needed to be an important part of Kaylor’s life. He also wanted to give her something to do when she was awake at a time that most kids are sleeping. So one day he invited her to come with him to the gym and meet his Macho Madness group. He admits he did so with a little trepidation.