Garrett Robinson



HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: Motocross, Go-Karts, Polaris RZR, football, baseball, hockey, Hand-Cycling, Being with friends and family

HOW HAS/DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE? CORE has affected so many aspects in my life that I will forever be grateful for. Its a place where i can feel comfortable working out and where I can be accompannied by individuals who are faced with similar injuries who I can relate to. I have also met many people with overwhelming obstacles who I have been humbled by and I aspire to be. It has not only improved my life physically, but it has especially impacted my life emotionally. CORE has given me such a sense of security within its commutity to where I can always look to any one of its members and find an answer to any question or problem that I may be faced with. It is run by gifted and inspirational people who give you the tools to strive for a more healthy and productive lifestyle. CORE is all about a community that pulls out the BEST out of each individual. 

Marc Richards

TITLE: Captain, Team Rise Above


HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: Health and fitness, Computers

HOW HAS/DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE? The CORE community, the facilities and the people are extraordinary and something I look forward to being a constant part of.

IN HIS OWN WORDS... I only wish there were two Taylors so I could see him more than once a week. I'm grateful that he has helpers. Working with Jen has been very helpful. I can see his influence in her abilities.


Cynthia Ramirez

TITLE: Mother/Cosmetologist/Hair-Stylist/Disability Rights Advocate

INJURY: Spinal Cord Injury / Level  T12 Incomplete- June 1st 2008

HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: I love Exercise, Fitness & Health Advocacy, Adaptive Recreation Activities, Wellness- Mind, Body & Spirit Fashion, Fashion Design, Photography, Modeling, Music, Travel, Reading & Writing all subjects.

HOW DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE? S.P.I.R.I.T... I try to find STRENGTH physically and emotionally by working out (at CORE) and staying active by participating in recreational/social activities. PERSEVERANCE gotta "keep it moving” in all areas of life, especially exercise... Very Important! INDEPENDENCE, I try to do something new that I couldn’t do or haven’t learned to do yet to become more and  more independent each day... I surprise myself often! REHABILITATE, stay focus and motivate and work hard during my “walking” therapy sessions and workouts... All in a day’s work, I hope to be INSPIRED or inspire others. If those things have been accomplished, then I have TRIUMPH!

IN HER OWN WORDS: After my injury, what helps me “keep it moving” is my  daughter Brianna & my S.P.I.R.I.T. I always say I will not be defeated by my disability! I face life with a positive attitude and try to get the most out of each day. I am currently pursuing a career in Fashion and working on making my entrepreneur dreams into a reality.

Find Cynthia on FaceBook

January 4, 2014



Cynthia Ramirez is an outgoing, positive and cheerful person who always lends a bright smile. Pair that with a relentless exercise regimen and hard work and it makes for one kick ass female! A member for over two years, Cynthia has become an integral part of the C.O.R.E. family and not only does she show up for her regular routine, but also for any event (camera in tow!) that C.O.R.E. holds.

Although the past two years seem to have passed by in a snap, Cynthia says, "I have to stop and think about this period of time and how everything about my life has changed; I feel the improvement in my health, rehabilitation, way of living and social life."

She explains, “I keep coming to C.O.R.E. and keep up with my exercises because I love the feeling of satisfaction I get when my body is active as well as when my body is feeling sore from a great cardio work out! Just knowing that I’m doing something healthy for myself, by myself, to improve myself, is an incredibly empowering feeling. C.O.R.E. has become one of the places where I feel more like myself, than anywhere else.”

Cynthia continues, “I know that at any time I can come here independently, use the exercise equipment with minimum assistance, be on my own and get a good work out in. And, at the same time, I know that I will catch up and bump into friends who inspire and motivate me. A chance to be involved with my peers is absolutely priceless!

Moreover, Cynthia herself has recognized that her body has changed tremendously. She admits, “I’m much more active now:  my endurance and strength has grown. I have also worked on my body mechanics, posture, flexibility and a walking program. One of my goals is to continue to push on with my bracing walking program to increase the number of steps I’m taking and the amount of time I endure while standing. I believe in my abilities and C.O.R.E. plays a huge part in helping me achieve these goals physically, mentally and emotionally.”

Thank you Cynthia – we love watching you soar as you #RiseAbove!

Vanessa Osman

INJURY: Spinal Cord Injury C5-C6, Tetraplegia


HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: Writing, reading, observing, learning, dreaming, loving, sharing, living!


HOW HAS/DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE?  C.O.R.E. is an essential part of my life. Getting evaluated last December before the holidays and starting off 2012 consistently has given me a sense of direction, a renewed interest in my health as well as hope to change whatever possible. I have been proven wrong in thinking that I had plateaued as an "old injury" when, in fact, over the past several months I have regained some sensory and motor function. I joined C.O.R.E. and it is one the best gifts I have ever given myself; I have changed my physical being but more importantly, I allowed my life to be changed - and that it has!


...Earlier this year Vanessa took the initiative to get in touch with The Chanda Plan who is affiliated with C.O.R.E. Centers. The Chanda Plan offers support to individuals with an array of conditions including Spinal Cord Injury by offering integrative therapies in order to sustain a quality of life. Commenting upon her experience, Vanessa stated, "The Chanda Plan has been an amazing opportunity and I am forever Grateful. Furthermore, Chanda herself and her story are what really grabbed my attention and my heartstrings for her story is an incredible feat of a Survivor. The experience from start to finish has made me want to do better and greater things in my life. She is quite the inspiration!"

Tara Llanes


HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: Riding my mtn. bike, going for hikes with my wife and my dog, skiing, camping. Pretty much anything outdoors!

HOW HAS/DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE?  CORE has been a life changer for me. I’ve been to quite a few rehab facilities since being injured in 2007, but nothing like CORE. Taylor has a completely different and refreshing approach to his rehabilitation. He walks me through everything step by step which I very much appreciate. He tells me what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and the outcome we’re hoping to achieve, which of course is to get up and out of this chair and walking. :-) Taylor also has such an amazing way of communicating to Doug and Brittany so that they are constantly learning and continually working hands-on with the clients, which will be a big advantage for them in the future.           

IN YOUR OWN WORDS...  Everyone that rolls or walks through that door at CORE is amazing in their own right and I’m just pumped to be part of the CORE family. Aaron, Laquita, Taylor, Arielle, and Dave are all really important people in my life and I know that they’ve each been through quite a lot to make this whole dream of CORE a reality. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making your dream into a reality!


Alex Jimenez

NAME: Alex Jimenez

CONDITION: T5 incomplete paraplegic

INTERESTS/PASSIONS: Music, Literature, Education, Nature and Physical Fitness

IN HIS OWN WORDS: CORE has created a fully accessible, adapted, safe and unique gym for disabled individuals of any and all abilities. The friendly and encouraging atmosphere that has been built through the help of each client and trainer provides the perfect environment for each member to test and expand their limits and abilities. My life has been undoubtedly enhanced since I've started to attend CORE. From my strength and independence, to my return of sensation and mobility; the people at CORE and the facility and services they provide have played a vital role in the process of regaining control of my life through physical fitness. I can't thank the people at CORE enough for their selflessness and dedication to myself and my recovery as well as the recovery of my peers. 

Brad Hudspeth

NAME: Brad Hudspeth

TITLE: Entrepreneur


HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: Handcycling, Traveling, Anything outdoors and Cars. I'm very passionate about business. I like to learn all about a company/business and figure out how you can build it to the next level.

HOW HAS/DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE? Core has greatly effected my life. Its a training facility that thinks outside the box. Which is exactly what people in my position need. They don't just train you from A to B and kick you out the door. They train you from A to Z and beyond. The family atmosphere you feel when you are at Core is something you wont find anywhere else!

Find and Follow Brad on:

Grant Korgan

TITLE: Korg 3.0 Movement, Author/Speaker/Athlete



HOW HAS/DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE? C.O.R.E. is the complete embodiment of progression.  In my experience, C.O.R.E. contains all the elements of recovery, positivity, knowledge, and progression under one roof.  This is the unique experience that is Aaron, Laquita, Taylor, and the progressive culture they call C.O.R.E.   Aaron Baker is a hero to me - a man who walks the walk and brings everyone with him on his mission to rise above!  With the "everything is possible" mindset of C.O.R.E, the knowledge pool in both equipment and the human experience within their team, and the encouraging and positive community which surrounds and empowers all who enter, CORE is forward movement.

Elizabeth Fish

NAME: Elizabeth Fish

TITLE: Entrepreneur and Filmmaker

INJURY/CONDITION: Spina Bifida L 3-4

HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: Filmmaking, Photography, Sports and the Outdoors, Music, Traveling, hanging out with my friends, helping others

HOW HAS/DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE? CORE has been great for me. Being able to get a really great work out unlike at other gyms is awesome and having equipment that I can use has really helped me. I have met so many determined and driven people who's attitudes inspire me every day. Pre going to CORE I didn't realize how many people were getting out there and living their lives and doing amazing things. So people I know with disabilities are sitting at home not doing anything. Not at CORE everyone is getting out there and overcoming their obstacles left and right.

Aside from being a force of nature, Elizabeth Fish, an entrepreneur and filmmaker,  is always on the go! And that energy is what we get when she comes through the door! Elizabeth says, "C.O.R.E. has been great for me! Being able to knock out a great work out is awesome and having the right equipment that I can use has really helped me: I can't get that other gyms! Before starting at C.O.R.E. I didn't realize how many people were getting out there and living their lives and doing amazing things… some people I know with disabilities are sitting at home not doing anything. But at C.O.R.E. I see that everyone is getting out there and overcoming obstacles left and right – no matter what!" Thanks Elizabeth – we are honored to witness this every day with our clients! And we look forward to seeing you soon!


Larry Dubey

Longtime client Larry Dubey is an integral part of C.O.R.E. He characterizes himself as, "A builder as well as an incorrigible, unrepentant, recidivist student." What we see is nothing short of amazing; a man whose mind is as intriguing as his journey with a heart that shares so freely you feel indebted to him just as soon as you engage in conversation.

Larry, or “Dubey”,  as he is often referred to as, was willing to share his story for this month's client testimonial:

“On January 10, 2009 at a little after 2 o’clock in the afternoon I had a snowboarding accident at Mammoth, California. I wasn’t jumping, riding rails or half-pipe; just cruising the mountain enjoying some fresh air with my friends. I was airlifted that night to the Renown Trauma Center in Reno and two days later I underwent cervical fusion surgery on C4 through C7. Then I had my 57th birthday. My injury was described as a transected spine at C4/5, which I suppose means crushed or severed. Diagnosed as a C-5 “complete" - whatever that means. I spent a month in the ICU, although I have almost zero recollection of being there, or of any of the dozens of people who came to see me. I was airlifted from Reno to Denver, CO and spent four months of rehab at Craig Hospital. They sent me home just after Memorial Day.

I’m still redefining my hobbies, interests and passions. I think I’ve had a slightly unusual life; some people have jobs for 40 years and a pension so they can retire and do the things I’ve done for work. At the time of my accident my new interest was triathlon. I loved getting up before dawn and huddling with the lunatic fringe on the beach before an open water swim, riding mountain and road bikes, rowing, hiking, taking a nap. I still struggle with what to do. I love to read, spend time with my dogs and enjoy being outside. My work has afforded me wonderful opportunities as a problem solver and a teacher; two things I know I could be doing more of whether I’m working or not. In any event, it’s not what you do; it’s who you do it with.

C.O.R.E. has been a central part of my recovery, of learning how to be quad, and how to be a better person. Sadly, I came to realize that breaking my neck is not the worst thing that can happen to a person, or to me. I’m proud to have played a small part in helping Taylor, Laquita and Aaron realize their dream and develop their brand. They have been steadfastly loyal and supportive. Taylor remains one of the wackiest people I’ve ever had the great pleasure to know. A character with character.  It’s not what you do; it’s who you do it with.”

We are so very lucky to have you as part of C.O.R.E. - we wish you continued success and look forward to all that you add to our lives!

Andy Bray

NAME: Andy Bray    

TITLE: dog or wolf… depending on when I last shaved. ;)

INJURY/CONDITION: T-4/5 paraplegia 

HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: Yoga, martial arts, ancient history, modern history, politics, UFOlogy, shamanism, art, mythology, science and philosophy.   

HOW HAS/DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE? Firstly, C.O.R.E. is constant reminder and inspiration to me that dreams do come true - as I have been very close with Aaron and Laquita since our rehab days in Northridge Hospital Medical Center. Over the years we remained close and through our mutual friendship with Tayor-Kevin Isaacs, I watched their vision grow to fruition. To me, C.O.R.E. also represents a feeling of vitality and uplift to the disabled community in the SFV. When I do commit to a regular schedule of strength training… I feel greatly empowered and so much less fatigued all of which compliments my yoga & meditation practices. :)

Jennifer Bou Lahoud

NAME:  Jennifer Bou Lahoud

TITLE: Student, USC

INJURY/CONDITION: Spinal Cord Injury T-10/11

HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: Basketball, Cycling, Swimming, Comedy and Action Movies, Reading, Laughing 

HOW HAS/DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE? CORE has not only helps me get closer to my goal of walking again but it has supported me emotional and mentally. CORE is not just a gym; it brings people closer and has become a community. We all can turn to each other for support and encouragement.  I am eternally grateful to CORE and all it has done for my family and me. 

IN YOUR HER WORDS... I am a fighter. And one quote that inspires me daily and keeps me going when I am down is: “It doesn’t matter how slowly you go-so long as you do not stop.”-Confucius 

Tom Bolewski

NAME: Tom Bolewski

TITLE: Prematurely Retired Electrical Contractor

INJURY/CONDITION: C- 4,5,6 Quadriplegia

HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: Enjoying family, working on fitness and recovery, poker.

HOW HAS/DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE?: C.O.R.E. inspires me. It allows me to do my very best in the pursuit of fitness and recovery.

IN YOUR HIS WORDS...CORE is more than a gym. I think everyone who goes appreciates not only the fact that it’s a place to pursue fitness and recovery, but it’s also a place to socialize. An opportunity for an entire community that is unfortunately more often isolated. 

Philip Bloom

NAME: Philip Myles Bloom

TITLE: Sir King Philip

INJURY/CONDITION: L2 Spinal Cord Injury

HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: Music-- writing, recording, management etc, Sports (an extreme sports fanatic)

HOW HAS/DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE? Ten Fold- the support & love from Laquita Aaron Taylor & staff is amazing and inspiring. Allows people to truly grasp the concept that anything is possible, just set your mind to it & hard work/ dedication. Not to mention the relationships made from other clients is great. Nothing is better than witty banter & laughter during a strenuous workout. Oh yea, & I get to see Vanessa due to CORE :) 

IN YOUR OWN WORDS... A great extra to working out at CORE besides the equipment, trained staff, great music.. are the mirrors.. Perfect for Selfie Nation. BUT on a serious note, I don't believe on dwelling on my injury or making excuses for what happened to me. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.(preferably pink lemonade)

Olivia Almalel

 TITLE: a.k.a. Black Olive, it's a long story.


 HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS:  I like to laugh ( a lot ! ).  I sing, I dance (a former salsa dancer trying to stimulate some muscle memory!), and love trying out new places whether it be a music venue or some new "hole in the wall" place to eat.  Want to hang out?


There aren't enough words to express the gratitude I feel for having C.O.R.E. in my life.  It IS the center of restorative exercise and so much more.  It has restored my soul, renewed my faith in the good in people, and above all has inspired me to move above and beyond anything I thought was ever possible.  Core phrases that they instill in their clients is the "Power of Positivity" and the inspiration to "Rise Above!"  Both the exceptional staff and clientele understand the need to triumph over trauma and chaos that life intermittently throws your way.  This is the place to be if you're ready to move!  My motto is "Get through it, get over it, and get ON with it!"  I look forward to meeting you.

Arash Bayatmakou

“Sit tall, stand tall, walk tall.” Those were the words of Taylor Isaacs, the kinesiology professor/exercise therapist/all around SCI and body movement master who has helped a number of people achieve significant recovery from devastating injuries. I was honored to spend a few days last week at CORE Center working and learning from someone who takes a different approach to recovery than the traditional methods I’ve become accustomed to. It’s not easy to sum up Taylor’s approach but if I had to start with one word, it would be holistic

I didn’t know what to expect from Taylor but within seconds of meeting him, I knew I could trust him, and that I would. After all, this guy was an expert among experts about how the body moves and had spent years applying his previous knowledge and varied experience with everyone from high level athletes to everyday people to those of us suffering from injuries like SCI. What I saw in Taylor and what made me so excited to work with him was an attitude of possibility and capabilityThese are words not commonly spoken to someone who has suffered a SCI; after all, we’re always being reminded of our disabilityand told to adapt to the circumstances, instead of trying to tackle the circumstances head on and bring about change.

The time I spent with Taylor was incredibly fruitful. After a couple days of meticulously testing different muscles and assessing my current condition, I was a bit surprised that the exercise regimen he sent me home with didn’t involve standing or leg exercises or weights or really anything complicated. It was a 20 minute daily regimen that he called Postural Reprogramming, meant to correct my posture, strengthen my abdominal and back muscles and get me sitting taller, which would lead to standing and walking taller.

Of course there are no guarantees from any therapist or practitioner and Taylor did not prognosticate anything. But what I learned... Continue reading and learn more about Arash at

Shawn Malone

Shawn_M (2).png

TITLE: Student

INJURY/CONDITION: T.B.I. (Traumatic Brain Injury)

INTERESTS/HOBBIES:  I enjoy hiking, snowboarding & Spartan races. Since my injury I have started to hike again, but have yet to snowboard or enter any Spartan races. Hopefully soon! I look forward to paddle boarding in the near future. I love movies & recently have enjoyed some TV series. I’m in my senior year at U.S.C. with only four classes left to graduate. Since my injury & experiencing the healing of God I’ve had an encounter with Jesus Christ. HE is my Lord & Savior.

HOW HAS C.O.R.E. IMPACTED YOUR LIFE? CORE has been so helpful with my physical recovery. Taylor through his training methods & encouragement has helped me regain quality body balance & core strength. My walking is returning to normal. CORE has been a real difference-maker!