15-year old building strength despite his cerebral palsy diagnosis

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 9:59 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A 15-year-old boy who was diagnosed with a nervous system disorder has not let it stop him from doing what he wants.

Bentley Rayford was born with cerebral palsy, but he has not let it control his life. He has even begun working out at the gym.

“Working out, really breaking a sweat, it hurts but you know I feel good mostly,” Bentley said. “It feels good to be in a gym, it feels good to work out and overall, I just feel really good.”

He recently started training at L.A.W. Fitness in Hattiesburg, working closely with the owner, Lawrence Hopkins Jr.

“Basically get himself more upright, loosen up his hamstrings as far as his posture part and the back side of his body, just strengthen those parts of his body. So backside, therefore, he can stand up more and be able to move around more,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins has a special workout plan specifically for Bentley, and Bentley says it’s been working.

“I feel like I’ve progressed some,” Bentley said. “I mean I can definitely feel some of the progression from where I was when COVID started when no one could really go to a gym. So yeah, I’m really starting to feel the progression.”

Although he likes going to the gym, he says there are some things he could live without.

“Do I like waking up this early in the morning to do it? No, but I like working out for the most part. So far it’s been a good experience,” Bentley said.

Hopkins says he hopes Bentley is able to be an inspiration to more people like him who are diagnosed with cerebral palsy. And Bentley says he’s thankful Hopkins inspired him to start training.

“Mr. Lawrence has been great, I mean absolutely,” Bentley said. “He’s one of the best people to ever do what he does. I mean really, he’s kind of the one who wanted me to get into this. He’s kind of the one who inspired me to do it.”

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