It’s easy to find an excuse not to work out – tired, no time, whatever. But a Russian farmer with cerebral palsy says exercise is vital for him. Vladimir Tonkonog has posted an inspiring video of his workout hoping to raise money to buy gym equipment.
Tonkonog doesn’t like to talk about his disabilities. Although he
contracted cerebral palsy as a child, he is nonetheless a man of
action, a family man. His wife and two little daughters are the
be-all and end-all for the 30 year-old. The family lives near the
town of Pogranichniy, in the Primorskiy Krai region of Russia’s
It so happened that to keep fit Vladimir badly needs to do his
daily routine and exercise as much as possible, to keep his
disabilities at bay. He says he used to have a three-wheel bike
that he managed to ride so well he even took part in a
competition. Sadly, the bike got burned one day.
Vladimir used to go to a gym in his village. He says he has been
keen to get fitness equipment for all muscle groups he could use
at home, along with barbells and dumbbells. All that is totally
unaffordable for Tonkonog.
“My dream is to live and be like everyone else,”
Vladimir said in an interview with RT. “I don’t want to
merely exist, I want to live and be useful to others.”
“What keeps me going is the love of others and their attitude to
me,” Tonkonog said. “When I’m treated not like a
disabled person, but as a healthy person. That’s very important
Earlier, the farmer saw his dream come true after wellwishers
helped him buy a greenhouse. In 2011, the family was forced to
sell the flat they owned in a settlement near the Chinese border
and relocated to a house. He had accumulated a number of debts
after businesses involving yarn and then homemade beer didn’t
turn out as he expected.
So Vladimir decided to try to make living as a farmer, and
enthusiastically took to tending his chickens, rabbits and
vegetable garden. The farmer suffered another defeat after the
authorities took away 50 percent of his disability allowance. His
dream to obtain a greenhouse seemed surreal, given that even a
small one cost 60,000 rubles ($1,056). However, the man’s prayers
were answered when he was sent money online, which enabled him to
buy the greenhouse.
“I never expected anybody to respond,” Tonkonog told RT.
“Thank you all so much!”
The challenge now is to keep fit and exercise at home using
workout equipment that’s a real must-have for Vladimir. Donations
are more than welcome!
Sberbank Visa bank card (within Russia): 4276
5000 1820 5169
For Foreign Donations:
ACCOUNT WITH INSTITUTION:
SBERBANK (DALNEVOSTOCHNY HEAD OFFICE)
(PRIMORSKOE BRANCH 8635) VLADIVOSTOK, RUSSIA
BENEFICIARY ACCOUNT (USD):
ТОNKONOG VLADIMIR KONSTANTINOVICH
Address: 692581, Rossiya, Primorskij kraj, p.Pogranichnyj, ul.