Quon lifts without limits

Ruimin Lin, Staff Writer

Senior Ryder Quon doesn’t let his disability stop him from weight lifting. (Ethan Tabarejo)

Lifting himself throughout his fitness journey, senior Ryder Quon remains limitless. From the waist down, Quon is unable to gain full control of his body. However, that does not prevent him from pursuing his fitness goals. 

“When I was born, I stopped breathing for seven minutes, so that kinda messed up the development of my fine motor skills along with my legs and sort of their ability to contract,”  Quon said.

Quon has Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy, a condition that stems from neurological damage that affects his ability to move his legs and arms. Prior to having corrective surgeries, he could not fully extend his arms, and his legs did not move past a 90-degree angle. He has had several surgeries to reduce the spasticity (stiffness) of his muscles and other procedures to regain some additional movement. 

Although Cerebral Palsy prevents Quon from doing certain activities, he is not limited by his condition. By taking weight training as an elective, he uses the equipment in the class to maximize his fitness potential. 

“It’s humbling to see perseverance and mental toughness at such a high level… it’s impressive,” his weight training teacher Peter Arakawa said.

Quon can be seen in the weight room targeting every muscle group, even those where he does not have full control of it. 

“Jumping is very difficult for me…[and] lateral movement…but that doesn’t stop me from doing leg day,” Quon said. 

Quon’s journey just started but he has noticed significant gains. He hopes to build functional strength to prepare for all the heavy books and materials he will be carrying once in college.

He jokingly warns prospective students interested in taking weight training about the “newbie gains” and to prepare to buy new clothes because they will get tighter from all the new muscle growth.

Video of Ryder Quon in the Weight Room