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home : sports : sports   April 30, 2016

8/12/2014 10:15:00 AM
Former pro wrestler teaches yoga program in La Salle

Brandon LaChance
NewsTribune Sports Writer

Kelli Rightmyer was looking for a way to drop some weight.

The 42-year old Oglesby resident weighed 187 pounds and couldn’t do most workouts because of a serious heart condition that wouldn’t allow her to raise her heart rate to an extreme level.

Instead of letting the health problem win, Rightmyer talked to her friend Matt Hancock, and started a program in February called DDP Yoga.

“I needed to lose weight. The doctor told me I needed to lose weight,” Rightmyer said. “With my heart condition I can’t do your normal cardio (workouts). I have to watch my heart rate. In the first two weeks of doing it, I lost 20 pounds. I worked really hard and changed my diet. I took a month break because I became sick but I’ve lost 30 pounds.

“My flexibility and core strength are phenomenal now. I feel like I’ve come leaps and bounds from where I was. As far as my normal strength, it has really improved also. I feel really good. I feel myself getting up straighter and I fit into clothes better.”

Rightmyer was joined by 119 other users of the new yoga routine for a workshop Saturday at the Grove Center in La Salle ran by the man who’s name is on the T-shirts, the DVDs and the signs — Diamond Dallas Page.

Page is a retired professional wrestler who didn’t take to the wrestling mat until he was 35 years old.

After suffering countless injuries, including rupturing the L4 and L5 discs in his back, DDP created a workout plan — which includes yoga, calisthenics, dynamic resistance (using your own muscles against yourself) and pilates — that made his body feel like it hadn’t been body slammed until he was 49.

“For me, it was just to heal me,” said Page, who has helped other athletes and wrestlers, including former NFL players Derrick Brooks and Mark Schlereth and wrestlers Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Kane, Ryback and Goldust. “My body was so bad, my flexibility and my core strength was bad. I couldn’t bend (too far). It took me probably about a month before I believed this could really work. You got to work toward that goal. You got to see that vision.”

The yoga, with the tagline “It ain’t your mama’s yoga” has been in the works for eight years and wasn’t on the nationwide scale it is now until supporters such as Hancock helped spread the word and the workout.

“This is the biggest workshop I’ve ever done,” Page said. “My workshops are usually 60-70 people — which is a lot of people, but not 120.”

Hancock, who was previously a weight lifter, began teaching DDP Yoga after he bought a few of the DVDs and found it was helping him.

After meeting with DDP and working out with him in Chicago, Hancock decided it would be a great program to bring to the Illinois Valley.

“I started this with his DVDs a couple of years ago,” Hancock said. “He called me at home and that’s how he got my attention. He called as customer service to thank me for buying the DVDs. I was like ‘I got to meet this guy.’

“It has healed my whole body. I dropped 30 pounds of useless weight. I am lean, in the best shape I’ve ever been in and I’m 41.”

Hancock started teaching the routine at the YMCA in December before teaching it on his own at the Grove Center in April.

Rightmyer said the program has become more than a workout for her and her fiance Jeff Manahan — it has become a big part of her life.

“I’m addicted,” Rightmyer said. “It’s so much fun. When I can’t be here, I get upset because this is my time to relax, have fun, see my DDP Yoga family and to feed off of everyone’s energy. It’s a great time.”

Brandon LaChance can be reached at 220-6995 or Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2014
Article comment by: Anonymous64728

It was a great workshop! The energy was great! Good Job to Matt Hancock of Hammers Energy Fitness!

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