Trainer sees past cerebral palsy

When Sarah Best left home for college, she had never caught a ball.

Born with cerebral palsy, Best had always had difficulty with simple physical tasks that were easy for other children. The tight muscles that are a common symptom of her condition can benefit from regular exercise, but Best had never found a trainer who could adapt a program to her disability. During her sophomore year at Mitchell College in New London, she finally found someone who could help.

Her mother, Ellen Best, recalls a moment in the kitchen of their Pound Ridge, N.Y., home during that academic year. “She wanted something I had and I said, ‘Here, catch it,’ and she caught it and we were like, ‘Whoa!'” Read the full story here.

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I usually work in team with a writer, or solo on a video-only project. This started as a video only project, but the story generated enough interest in the newsroom that they asked me to write as well. It was a good lesson in storytelling for two different platforms. With video, I’m always trying economize my interviews, getting the basics of the story so I can devote most of my time to shooting and telling the story visually.  This approach makes it easier to edit a video quickly, but makes things difficult when it comes to writing. I finished the video first, then wrote a quick lead and outline for the text story. When I sat down to do the actual writing, I discovered that there were a good number of specific details I was missing.

When a reporter is conducting an interview for print, they often go back and ask lots of specific, detail-oriented questions. The subjects answers can help enrich a written story, but are generally useless in a video interview since they are short and often without context. When I was conducted the interviews, I didn’t know I would be writing a story as well, so I ended up having to go back for a few details via email.

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