FITNESS GURU Javeno McLean is the founder of the award-winning J7 Health Center in Manchester. With just over 16,000 followers on Instagram, Javeno aims to inspire people of all abilities and recently broke the world record for the largest hour of wheelchair exercise as he continues to spread his positivity throughout the community.
He talked to Matthew Chadder about his work and ambitions.
MC: Describe in your own words what it was like to set the world record.
JMc: It’s a humbling and amazing feeling! However, I am now focused on the second one I am doing in September, trying to break this record. The key to this was to break it down, and give them the best event, empower the participants and then they’re going to tell people to tell people, so the one in September that I’m doing is going to be monstrous. I hope I can break my own record.
Where does this passion to help those less able come from?
I’ve been doing this for 21 years and I remember situations I came across in Manchester where I hated the way disabled people were treated. People with disabilities are not looking for sympathy. They are not looking for anyone to feel sorry for him. They are looking for inspiration, they are looking for challenges, and I will challenge you in every possible way.
My approach to training people with disabilities has been my approach to training anyone, and I think people with disabilities all over the world, that’s all they want; to be treated normally, to be challenged and inspired.
What about your relationship with the older generation?
I believe that I have a gift, there is no one on the planet that I cannot motivate. Many years ago, when I started coaching older people, I realized that it was more than a session, more than me giving them a few exercises, I was giving them an experience they had never had before.
I became addicted to the feeling of satisfying people at that stage of their lives, giving them extra days in their lives.
Is that inclusivity what makes you so unique and what led you to those awards?
Inclusivity is the most important thing, but also a challenge. I think everyone likes a challenge, a reason to come back, a reason to say I can do it better or let me try it next time.
It’s really important to be included, but also to be challenged, no matter what your capabilities are, no matter the boundaries.
What does the future hold?
I just want to keep pushing what we’re doing. How many more disabled people can start doing better and trying new things because of my little videos?
There are millions of people out there that I want to empower. I want to inspire you to stand up and be something different. Many disabled and elderly people sit and give up a little on themselves. I’ll try to pick that lock.