Through his dedication, passion, and relentless belief in the potential of individuals with disabilities, he’s changing lives and challenging the status quo.
Javeno McClean operates a very special and unique gym in Manchester, but ironically, he has always hated gyms.
He is using fitness as a way to empower people with disabilities to push themselves to believe they are more than their disability.
Javeno and the J7 Community Health Centre
On his Instagram, which you can see by clicking here, people have been inspired and moved by his videos with clients and his unique style of motivation.
Part humour, part inspiration, this is something you have to see, and could bring a tear to the eye to even the most grumpy.
Javeno set up J7 Community Health Centre in Blakely, North Manchester as a hub for his work.
Turning Dreams into Reality at J7 Community Health Centre
Javeno’s journey began with a 15-year-old dream, a dream that grew for 15 years until it finally found its home at the J7 Community Health Centre.
He recalls, “I just remember having a beautiful vision in my mum’s kitchen 15 years ago to set up J7.”
Javeno, who had always despised conventional gyms, envisioned a place where everyone, regardless of their abilities, felt welcome and empowered.
Javeno said that his mission was to try and redefine what gyms are.
A Place for All, Where Abilities Shine
“I hated the way gyms made you feel. For someone like me who does weights – I felt intimidated in those environments – so god knows what your mum or auntie feels like in them.
“Most gyms seem to be all about egos and insecurities. But not at J7, we strip all that back and make everyone feel comfortable with something they can work on.
“I wanted to create this place where the entire family would have something they can do whether it be mum, dad, the cat or dog, nan or grandpa, your auntie or neighbour.
“Whoever you are, there will be something for you to do here.”
Stroke survivors, people with cancer, dementia and Down Syndrome are all welcomed at J7 where Javeno will put together a unique session based on their ability and what they can do, not what they can’t do.
His videos have gone viral and the whole world is enjoying the energy, passion and compassion Javeno puts into time with his clients.
He said that it took him seeing a disabled person being treated condescendingly and disrespectfully by a personal trainer for him to get involved.
“I remember seeing a PT with a guy in a wheelchair just making him do condescending stuff. They both looked bored out of their minds.
“When the PT went out for a break, the guy got out of the chair and started trying things himself much harder than what the PT was doing.”
“Seeing this knocked me sick. It was patronising the things they were asking him to do. This man had lost his power. I walked into the room to speak to him and said – what’s going on here why have you been sat down for the last 40 minutes. Why aren’t you pushing yourself?
“I said if you can get out of the chair, get out of your chair. If you can lift more than what you’re lifting you should do it.”
A Spark of Inspiration
When the other PT came back, Javeno asked him if he could take the rest of the session.
He loved the session, and it was the moment he discovered that it was something he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
Javeno said: “I’ll never forget the conversation I had with their parents afterwards.
“I told the guy doing the session that he shouldn’t ever let anybody tell him that his wheelchair defines him. Don’t let anyone be condescending to you – we’ll work together and do something great.
“I said to him there are so many more slices to your cake than that. We all ended up crying and I remember his parents saying all we’ve ever wanted was for our child to be treated like he was normal. Not to be talked down to. To be pulled up.
“They said I was the first person to tell him that he could do anything put his mind to.”
You can visit the J7 Community Centre website by clicking here
Since Javeno’s videos have gone viral across the world, he said he gets sent 100s of messages and videos of people trying his workout techniques.
“I’ve been getting 100s of messages from people around the world asking for advice. A lot of the time it’s people replicating the videos I put up.
“Off the top of my head, I’ve had messages from Mexico, Uganda and Ukraine. They send videos back of people copying my videos. It’s amazing and one of the most beautiful and empowering things in the world.
“I’ve never charged anyone for the 21 years I’ve been working with disabled people.
“Seeing the videos and people’s reactions is my payment.
“It’s a beautiful thing.”
Gaining Trust, Building Bridges
Javeno told I LOVE MCR the key to making it work was getting to know the client and also sharing his personal life with them.
He said this helped to bring trust.
“I want to be friends with the people I work with. If I don’t know the ins and outs of their lives and stories, and they don’t know the ins and outs of mine – we can’t build that relationship.
“You need that trust sometimes when I ask them to push themselves and do something crazy! They need to know that it comes from a good place in my heart and desire to see them smashing it.”
Championing What Can Be Done
Javeno believes that every disability is unique, but he’s never focused on what people can’t do. He’s determined to discover what they can do.
Whether dealing with cancer survivors, stroke survivors, dementia, disabilities, Down syndrome, or depression, Javeno’s passion and dedication is incredible.
Javeno has been on his journey learning about different disabilities and what affects different kinds of people
“Every disability is different but I’ve never cared about what people can’t do. It’s what they can do that interests me. I don’t care if people have wheelchairs, sticks and frames. It’s my job to find out what you can do.
“Every session I want to show my client and friend that they can do something they never thought possible.
“I promise you, whatever you’re you’ve got going on; be it a cancer survivor, stroke survivor, dementia, disabilities, down syndrome, depression.
“Give me half an hour and I’ll make you enjoy the time and smile and forget whatever dark stuff you’re going through. I’ve never failed so far and I don’t plan to either!
“I want to give people some laughs, and enjoyment, I think this is my gift. I can get people out of what they are going through with my passion, exercise, I realised ten years ago I do this better than anyone else on this planet.”
A Gift of Laughter and Enjoyment
Javeno’s ultimate goal is to bring joy and laughter into the lives of those he works with. He says, “I want to give people some laughs and enjoyment; I think this is my gift.” His unique approach, combining passion, exercise, and empathy, allows him to help people overcome their challenges and find moments of happiness.
In the world of fitness and empowerment, Javeno McClean’s story shines brightly, and his work is a testament to the transformative power of belief, dedication, and empathy.
His vision has turned the J7 Community Health Centre into a beacon of hope for individuals with disabilities, proving that they can achieve more than they ever imagined.
Javeno’s mission continues to inspire and uplift people around the world, with one video, one session, and one smile at a time.