A Duck Hill man who is working to rehabilitate his life now wants to help others live healthier, fulfilled lives.
Donald “Ray” Robinson went before the Duck Hill Board of Aldermen on April 11 to discuss getting access to the Duck Hill gymnasium. Robinson said since returning home, he wants to help give the children and the elderly something to do by offering free fitness classes.
“I grew up here all my life and I – I ain’t got the best past, I got in a little trouble in my day,” he said. Robinson said he did 18 and a half years in a penitentiary. He said coming home, he’s seen the same people that he saw 18 and a half years ago doing the same things they did before he was convicted and served his time.
“The same thing they were doing 18.5 years ago, is the same thing they’re doing 18.5 years later. And, it’s time out for all of that,” he said. Robinson said he wants to motivate the younger generation. He said because there’s not much to do in Duck Hill, many teenagers get up “…and go right to the corner.”
“And, I want to get to them before they go to the corner,” he said. Robinson said he works to get the children in Duck Hill motivated and to keep them from making the same mistakes that he made.
“They’re always asking me, ‘Coach Ray, what are we doing today? Are we going to the gym today?’ And, I can’t tell them ‘yes,’ because I don’t have access to it,” he said.
Robinson said he uses the gym whenever it’s open to doing workouts with the kids and those in the community. But, he wanted to come to the board to receive more access. And, he also wanted to know if he could have access to the old field behind the former Duck Hill High School.
He said he wanted to use it for workouts, walk-a-thons, or anything that could help motivate the kids. Robinson said he also takes clients. But, the two are two different entities.
“I walk 22 miles a day. Now, you don’t have to do that. I have different levels,” he said. Robinson said his levels go up to Level 6 and are based upon where a person is health-wise. He said his goal is to eliminate a lot of the health problems that are seen throughout the community.
“I love Duck Hill and I want to see this place grow,” he said. “I want to be a part of that growth. People talk about what they want to do, but I’ll be at the forefront. I’ll do it.”
“I think it’s a good thing, anything that helps our youth is a good thing,” Alderwoman Lula Brown said.