HOUSTON – A local bodybuilder hopes to lift the spirits of those hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. However, she is doing more than passing out donations.
Tina Chandler, a champion bodybuilder and personal trainer and her husband Carl Ducena, an actor, along with volunteers, plan to use fitness to inspire people to muscle through despair and rebuild morale.
Houston Gym in the Rice Memorial area pulls in the pumped, passionate and those yearning for a fit core. The power couple working there, along with friends, want to build and spread something special.
“Contagious positivity is pouring love, hope, joy and compassion into the lives of people in our community,” said Mythiquer Pickett, founder of We See Abilities, a charity that serves people with disabilities.
Chandler and Ducena created “Normal To Bet Fit” to serve the community, especially those with disabilities. Last year, they held an expo and education day to empower. This year, they plan to do the same, however, hurricanes hit home.
Harvey spared the couple’s house. Irma, though, flooded around Ducena’s family in south Florida. His mom’s house then caught fire during clean-up. Helping others is the couple’s release.
So, they partnered with “We See Abilities.” For weeks, they moved storm victims to tears by giving those sheltered at the George R. Brown Convention Center and children in various school districts free shoes.
Normal To Be Fit’s Expo and Education Day on Saturday at the City of Houston Metropolitan Multi-Service Center offers free nutrition education, weight lifting seminars, sports and Crossfit demonstrations.
It is really about soothing hurt souls, though.
“This is an opportunity at a fresh start,” said Chandler. “Get up and build something even better and stronger. Build a better body, a stronger body, a stronger mind and a stronger spirit.”
The expo opens from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. They plan to give more on Saturday.
“We’re one in the same,” said Ducena. “If we can show you something that’s going to light that bulb up inside of you, we’re going to do it.”
The City of Houston will even present them a proclamation.