Upon news of his accident, Kirk received an outpouring response of support. Nearly 1,000 people follow his recovery via updates from his “Carepages” website. One merely needs to read the prolific messages (close to 3,000 and growing) left from students, co-workers, and friends describing their love, inspiration, and admiration for Kirk.

Kirk has acted as an outstanding teacher and role model to thousands of students during his career. He has acted as a dedicated friend to many and a cornerstone of the Pedersen family. Hundreds could tell stories about the positive influence Kirk has had on their lives. Here are just a few . . .


WLC pays tribute to Kirk's famous core exercises

WLC speaks of Kirk

A testimony from Joyce Pedersen


by Janice Morris

Hey there again. I just read your entire story and journey...wow!! The night I heard about your accident I cried most of the night because you have such a vest for life...everytime you came to the gym you always put a smile on my face...even if you were only there for your 45 min workout a few summers ago and I made fun of you for slacking :)

Today I cried for a different reason...I saw just how amazing you really are!! I know that you will have a complete recovery...I shared your story with a few people I work with because if you weren't so health concience through out your life who knows where your recovery would have been...it just goes to show you how important exercise and a healthy way of life really are...you never know what will happen and when you will need to dig deep into your body just to perform a task that we all take for granted...breathing. Keep up the amazing work Kirk!!!

by Joe Striks

"He is not there for rest and relaxation, he is there to get better."

This epitomizes the Mr. Pedersen I know. We're pulling for you every day big guy, and you've inspired me more than you know. Keep up the hustle and do work my man.

And make sure you don't neglect the anabolic phase, protein intake is key during the first 45 minutes post-workout =]

by Nina Yessian

Keep up the amazing work! We are all so proud of you and anxiously await the day you are back!! Activate the core and show them who is boss!! Always thinking of you.


By the way, I have been working out in your honor 5 days a week and have lost 10 pounds! I always think of you telling me "I'm making you live!!" You are my inspiration.

by Meagan Shamoun

Hey Mr. P! You are going to be soooo proud of me! My store is selling pzchis (I'm not going to even bother trying to spell that) and I did not have one!!! and they were my favs...custard. Stop rolling your eyes because I resisted! ha! Again, you continue to amaze me with each update I read and I cannot be more proud. You are making enormous strides and I really cannot wait to see you standing tall again. I shall wait for the day I walk into the weight room and hear your booming voice yelling at those in the temple of health. Praying for you, Meagan S.

by Steve Hamilton

Wow....Mr. P....that’s amazing, working on the core again haha. I knew it wouldn’t be long for you. And just everything else that your accomplishing. You're the most determined person I know...and I respect you for that. I weigh 228 now....and I'm not lying I don’t think I could have done it without your support. If you didn’t go over those nutrition tips with us, then all I would be doing is what I've always done...gain weight. Now I'm gaining muscle. Well, I wish you luck in your therapy...Your in my thoughts and prayers


By Bonnie Kaiser

Kirk, I've been following your great progress, and I look forward to seeing pictures and video of you performing rehab exercises have inspired so many to keep fit; you have finally inspired this pudgy ol' gal to get started. My husband bought me membership to 24 Hour Fitness. I haven't done to well so far. First I had to finish all the Christmas cookies. Then I did actually start, but I worked so hard that I got too sore to work for a couple days. I'm not sure I know what "core muscles" are, but I'm sure that mine must need a workout - if I have any. Maybe in a few months, I'll be svelte and fit - or maybe not.

-Bonnie Kaiser

by Mike Hermanson

Kirk, You have touched so many lives – not only people you know but so many people that you have never even met. When we share your story with others they are so inspired by your determination, strength and character. Always know that you have a growing army of people in your corner.

- Kim & Mike

by Todd Wriska

Keep up the extra effort buddy. It sounds like it is all paying off. Keep up your aspirations and stick to it. You are daily in our thoughts and prayers. I have entire classes of students that have never met you pulling for you, and am always eager to hear new accomplishments for you. You inspire us all.

by Bob Marijanovich

Kirk, Every day I open the CarePages I find myself expecting you to progress more and more each time. You instill confidence and hope in everyone who reads your site. You are still educating people in Michigan (even though you're in Kentucky) on the importance of determination, hard work ethic, and positive attitude. Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way.

-Bob Marijanovich

by Chriss Golden

Kirk, your inner strength and determination are lessons that reach everyone. You are teaching us daily- gifts that should not ever be taken lightly. Stay strong and keep this amazing focus and energy on your goals of recovery.

Be well, my friend.


by Brandon Voss

That’s great Mr. p!! it’s so good to hear that you are still amazing everyone with the progress you are making. I am truly inspired of how you were able to be so strong when many others would have given up! Great job Mr.P!!

-Brandon Voss

by Kathy Spencer

It is so hard to write this through my tears. They are of relief and happiness and gratitude. Thank you, God for giving you the determination and healing only he can give. The hard work that you are doing with that gift inspires me.

Do you know you have had a ripple effect in the community? People who know that we have "Kirk in common" as a friend, acquaintance, teacher etc. feel bonded. You have created unity- unbelievable support- and motivated many of us in the challenges we face in our own lives. Yours, we all comment, seems bigger. But then we all add, WHEN Kirk walks.....Thanks for the update and thank you for the amazing stories of your progress!


by James Mandilk

Awesome! The human body is a remarkable thing; Mr. P always taught us that. And these new developments at Frazier are clearly showing it! Keep up the amazing work. We're all behind you!

by Karen Wisinski

Hello Kirk - We are so happy to hear that you are making such wonderful progress - know that our prayers have been and continue to be with you as you begin this new journey - You are so missed by many - draw strength from the caring of all of those who are with you in thought, prayer and spirit. You have an awfully large cheering section back here and we want you back with us as soon as you are ready !

Josh continues to talk about the impact you continue to have on him and his attitudes, eating habits, respect for his body, etc.. We know many other students feel the same and were so positively impacted by their association with you.

Keep up the good fight - we miss you !

-Dennis, Karen and Josh Wisinski

by Aaron McGuire

God Bless! You are in our thoughts and prayers always! You have been such an inspiration to these kids! I have seen such a desire to train with Aaron, this comes for a spark you started! We will continue to keep you in our prayers!

-Lisa McGuire

by Steve Hamilton

wow Mr. P. Hahahaha you’re just too amazing!!! I just wanted to let you know that I’m still thinking of you and to tell you that I’m officially down 80 pounds. I’m at 233 and couldn’t have done this without you pushing me.... I have so much more energy now and it’s just amazing . Can’t wait to see you again, everyone misses you. ok well take care Mr. Amazing!


by David Calhoun

Thank you Kirk for helping make everyone's day, every day, just a bit brighter. Your persistent progress inspires.

by Susan Oliver

Kirk, You are amazing! You are an inspiration to our family. Jack just left this morning to head back to State. On his way out the door Jack mentioned that one of his water polo teammates just called him anxious to resume their weightlifting and workouts together. Sarah is frantic studying for AP Biology and AP Statistics finals, but when she is over stressed she heads to the treadmill with her I-Pod. You have influenced my children in great ways. Thank you. Keep up the great work!

-Susan Oliver

by Sarah Easterling

Kirk and the Pedersen family continues to inspire and touch all of us! With your hard work, family dedication and love we learn lessons from you daily on what it means to reach forward! Thank you and please know that many of us are waiting for the call for us to help Kirk and his family in some way.

by Joe Striks

Glad to hear they're letting you do more intense workouts Mr. P, I have no doubt you'll be back before we know it. The second hour crew is doing its best to keep your sanctuary clean and intact for your return. We're working hard to make you proud, and please know that you're making us proud every day with your progress.

Someone once said, "Everybody's working for the weekend."

I say nay, everybody's working for Mr. P.

by Steve Hamilton

Mr. P, you are so amazing!!!! you never give up on anything you do... and you know what that has done to me?? Let’s just say I’ve lost a total of 70 pounds so far, and I have not eaten Mcnasty (McDonalds) for 6 months. You don't know how much I appreciate you Mr. P . You've changed how I look at life. I know so many people that are working out more. They’ve told me, that it’s because of you. Ok, ill have to talk to you later, I have core to do!! GOD BLESS.


by Jack Oliver

Congrats on all of the recent improvement! It reminds me of the saying "You can take the dog out of the fight, but you can't take the fight out of the dog". You inspired me as a small child in elementary and continued to support and push me through high school. If people were to look in the dictionary for Physical Education, your name would probably be in there somewhere. Your dedication and your drive to succeed surpasses a vast majority of this world's population. I can't even imagine how cold the swim from Alcatraz was...and I've swam in some pretty cold water. My respect for you has continued to grow as you face challenges that are foreign to me. Happy New Year. Good Luck with your recovery.

-Jack Oliver-

by Dagvin Anderson


Just got home from overseas and heard the news...Read all the updates and see you haven't changed at all...d@mn you're stubborn and I wouldn't expect anything less!

I'm sure the staff has already learned that determination and spirit are what define you and always have whether it was out-hustling everyone on the baseball diamond or just making sure you did one more rep, went just a little faster or endured a second longer than the next guy. But what I've admired the most about you is your drive to always do better...you've always been your own chief competitor and I've always been impressed at how you can drive yourself to succeed regardless of the challenge.

From reading all the posts it seems you've been passing that determination and drive along to everyone you meet...amazing how many lives you've touched.

I think the point of this website is to inspire you but as usual you're inspiring everyone else. I remember all the times we were down by too many runs, game almost over, the bottom of the inning and it would be all too easy for the team to give up and let the game go...except you were there running up and down the dugout, turning everyone's hat around, cheering every batter, razzing the pitcher, and getting everyone back into the game (even that kid who just chased butterflies...Ryan???)...until we all believed we had a chance and gave it our all--well, we've all got our rally caps on but lucky for you the big leagues have a couple more innings so it's not the bottom of the ninth yet.

Kirk, there's no one I have more faith in pulling this out than you...you have everyone's support, prayers and love...I only wish we could give you more.

Let me know when you're up for visitors - I'll be sure to make it home...it's been too long.


by Dave Barry

In the book, Wild at heart by John Eldridge it read:.

“A man must have a battle to fight, a great mission to his life that involves and yet transcends even home and family. He must have a cause to which he is devoted even unto death, for this is written into the fabric of his being. Listen carefully now: You do. That is why God created you—to be his intimate ally, to join him in the Great Battle. You have a specific place in the line, a mission God made you for.” (Wild at Heart, 141)

Kirk, you did not choose this battle but it is one that has now become your mission. The last few days has brought fantastic news. Please know that your rehabilitation is on the Barry family hearts. My sons pray every night at the dinner table for your continued recovery.

by Kelly Tillman

Dear Kirk,

With Core-mas fast approaching, I can honestly say I worked extra hard today on core and shoulders (as the day 1 workout) in your honor, to fill a noticeable void in the weights class. Your teachings are with all of us, and you have been a tremendous influence on me mentally and physically. We're all spotting you on this one, and I know you will recover as only a giant can.

Godspeed, Cultural Diffusion, and Love, Joe Striks

by Todd Wriska


My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family for a full, speedy recovery. I know you and your resilience. If anyone can bounce right back from this, it is definitely you. You are one of my biggest inspirations to be the best teacher I can be. Your journey of over-coming this accident will surely inspire everyone! We are proud of you Kirk, and wish you the absolute best! Again, our prayers are with you.

-Todd Wriska

by Zachary Coley

Dear Mr. Pedersen,

The work out today just wasn't the same.. All of us need you back. You're always pushing us forward, making us be the best we can be, and now it's our turn to push you forward. It's going to be an uphill battle but we're all here for you, and you're not going to have to face this challenge alone. We're all praying for you and your family. Core-mas is coming up and you better be back for it :) Stay strong Mr. P!!!!

Love, Zac Coley, Kyle Yanalunas, Ryan Gregory, Vinnie Vuchiard, Jared Goltz and the rest of WLC!

by Kerry Rzeznik

Dear Kirk, All of our thoughts and prayers are with you. You are the "MAN" with all of the Rzeznik family and we wish you a speedy recovery. No one has been more of a positive influence on all students. XOXOXOXO

by Sarah Easterling

I have seen Kirk motivate children and adults for the past 10 years. I know many of us will be right by his side to help him start his recovery path and help him stay motivated to do his work! He is very loved!

by Kathy Burt

Dear Kirk - You are one of my heroes and inspirations - I know you will show me once again the power of positiveness and commitment to a goal. Come back to us as quick as you can! (There are far too many holiday seasons coming up when we'll be tempted by candy without the "fear" of being caught by you to temper our cravings!) Could get UGLY you know! Love and prayers from me...

by Fred Price

Hi Kirk, We are all thinking about you and praying for you. You are such a strong and mentally tough person and we know that you will pull through this with flying colors. You have touched so many people in your teaching career and now they are all out there pulling and praying for you. God Bless You.

Take care, Fred Price, MAHPERD

by Aaron McGuire

Mr. P, You will be in my prayers! You have motivated me to become a better person and I will continue to keep the faith that you will be back to pushing all of us to our highest potential.

by Karen Radtke

Kirk, you are one of the strongest and most upbeat people I know. I know you will pull through this in record time! You have been such a support to me and I will continue to be there for you

-Karen Bartoe

by Reginald Hill

MR. P, You're one of the strongest people I know, physically and mentally. Stay strong for everyone at WLC and those who you have touched throughout your life. You are an inspiration to us all. Stayed strong and keep fighting. We all will be praying for you.

by Rhonda Muscaro

Kirk, We are praying for you. You have taught students how to dig deep to master the utmost physical achievements in P.E. at Glengary. You can do the same. We believe in YOU.

Love, David, Rhonda, Moriah, and Aaron Muscaro

by Holly Kelly

Kirk.. You are such an inspiration to so many kids and have made such an influence on their lives. If anyone can beat this, it is you...You have a tremendous support system behind you. People just trying to give back what you have given them.. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Mind, Body and Soul.

by Re Danczyk

Kirk, You have inspired so many students and staff members to live a healthier life by your example for your dedication and the wonderful way you treat everyone. You are in my prayers. Keep the faith, God loves you. -Re

by Nina Yessian

Kirk, We were so upset to hear of the accident. But as you are the Temple of Health, we have no doubt you will overcome and conquer this challenge. You have such strength: physically, mentally, and spiritually. And you are an inspiration to all. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help. And in honor of you, I promise to workout on my own this week! Fondly, Nina -Yessian and Patty Smith

by Maryjo Hecker

Dear Kirk- God Bless you during this time. If there is any man in the world who has the strength to overcome a physical obstacle, it is you. Remember that so many people, young and old have been touched and inspired by you. These same people are praying for you now. Stay focused as you always have. Maryjo Hecker & Family

by Jennifer Caverly

Kirk - Your dedication and motivation to living an honest and healthy life are such an inspiration to all of us at WLC. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and your doctors. I pray that your dedication and motivation will lead you to a healthy and quick recovery.

With Faith, Jennifer Caverly (Rohlfs)

by nick gaunt

Hey buddy, I am thinking about all of those hours we spent talking about the “big” stuff. It never really was a workout for me, it was all about healing. All of the support and care that you gave not just to me, but everyone you have met and worked with, will help carry you through this. You will be in my every thought, green as they are, and every prayer. Remember too the power of your thoughts keep them gold, keep them gold. My prayers will be constant.


join kirk's army

The easiest way to help is to join Kirk's Army of Supporters. Please enter in your contact information below. This will allow us to provide updates on upcoming events and ways to help Kirk. Your information will not be shared or sold. However, it is crucial for the success of many of our efforts and fundraising events that people stay informed.

Your Name:

Your Email:


Mail Message:

Alternately, you can join Kirk on Facebook:

Symbol Of Strength Facebook Group