WAXAHACHIE — A Southwestern Assemblies of God University alumnus is physical training professional after he has dedicated his career to guiding others in their search for a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Cade Leuschner explained his overall goal was further fostered when he began working with individuals with special needs at Special Strong.
Special Strong is a Christian physical training organization that serves clients with special needs throughout several areas of North Texas.
“I think that individuals with special needs are sometimes an unreached people group in our area of society,” Leuschner said. “It’s a great feeling to make them feel validated and valued by the way we treat them in training.”
Leuschner trains individuals with different diagnoses including Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Autism. As a result, the training regime is based on the diagnosis of each client. For instance, individuals diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy may struggle with balance and muscle control. Therefore, training for these people would consist of exercises targeting those specific areas.
Leuschner recalled a client named Josh who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and used to struggle with depression.
“Josh’s mom told me that he was a very devoted Christian and passionate member of the church,” Leuschner said. “That died off when depression came. She mentioned that since he has been training at Special Strong, not only has she seen him awaken and get more lively but he has been spiritually awakened and more like himself.
“That is the vision of Special Strong - to invest in not just the individual’s life but their life as a whole. Josh is the perfect picture of that.”
Leuschner started working at Special Strong full time this past February after working for Special Strong through the organization's boot camps. Since then, he has enjoyed being able to invest more time in building relationships with clients and positively influencing their outlook on life. He previously worked at a school in Carrollton as a Special Need Aid for a period of about 6 to 7 months before joining Special Strong.
“I had worked with individuals with special needs before but not in a matter of training," Leuschner explained. "It really interested me that I could train and work with individuals with special needs at the same time.”
His faith and Christian values play a significant role in his interaction with clients every day.
“I just remember the way Jesus spoke to me. The principle is that Jesus is attentive and compassionate towards everyone. I can take that principle and demonstrate Christ’s love and character at Special Strong," Leuschner said. "When the Word of God is manifested through a vessel, there is a greater impact.”
Leuschner graduated from Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Education and a specialization in physical education. During his time at SAGU, he led prayer ministries and played football.
“I remember, at that time, SAGU was emphasizing the importance of ‘leaving your mark.’ I thought if I died today, what kind of impact have I made? For me, it really made me look back and think about what kind of impact I want to leave,” Leuschner said.
Regarding advice to students interested in physical training, Leuschner stresses the importance of being passionate and enjoying the process of learning.
“Whatever your sphere of influence, people will not buy into your 'product' if the product hasn't been bought into by you," he said. "Love what you do. Be skillful at what you do because it enables you to have more doors open to share Jesus and make a difference."