What if you had a spinal cord injury….

Multiple broken bones. Brain trauma. Lacerated internal organs. Fused vertebrae. Deemed, in effect, an “incomplete quadriplegic.”

But you didn’t want that to be your identity. You wanted to bounce back from a horrific, near fatal automobile accident.

You wanted to get back in shape.

What would you do?

If you’re Javier Meliton, you seek out solutions. You seek out coaching, personal training and the path the recovery.

When I first spoke to Javier and he told me his story…

I thought, “I don’t know if there’s anything we can do for this guy.”

Please understand, I didn’t know Javier. I only knew the laundry list of injuries he recited to me over the phone. He was so passionate and clear about what he wanted that I wanted to help him, but I didn’t want to make promises we couldn’t keep.

He wouldn’t take no for an answer.

He wanted to give it a go. So, we set him up on a One Week Trial, unsure of whether we’d be able to help him.

I reached out to Will Garcia in our Northridge location, gave him Javier’s background information, and told him to do his best.

Will, as usual, did.

Here’s Will’s take….

“To be honest, I was scared to train the kid right from Day 1. I had never seen anyone who had been through such a traumatic accident and had so many injuries and lasting effects on his body. I told myself after evaluating his movement patterns that there’s just no way I can train him! I don’t want to take on the huge responsibility of making sure he doesn’t get hurt.

The Challenge….

The kid had heart, but he was struggling hard to successfully go through some of the most basic movement patterns.

I went home that night thinking hard about this kid. He made a huge impression on me. His kindness. His will to want to just move again and move well. His frustration when he couldn’t do something that I take for granted daily. The fact that he was willing to walk through my doors and want to try.

It then hit me; if this kid, with all the things that he has been through, still has hope that he will move well again and have a normal life, then let’s give it a shot.

I messaged Javier immediately and asked him to forward his medical records and come back the next day to speak with me. That night I researched all of his injuries, what mobility may be restricted and what could possibly cause him pain or further injury. I asked colleagues and doctors what they thought would be the best course of action for a client like this and if I even should take this on.

I then cleared my schedule 3 days a week so that I could see him privately, and made sure I did my homework. The kid made me believe that anything is possible. He motivated me to want to be better. I wanted to help give him his life back. I wanted him to continue to believe that he can get his life back.

The Journey…..

The first day we started slow. His mobility was beyond limited, but he had patience. He had drive. He had the will to want to get it right and it didn’t matter how many times he had to do it. He was going to do it! 
  • Session after session we saw small improvements in his movements. He was learning how to use his body again with control.
  • Then about 3 weeks in, he nails a squat! Then a lunge! Then I see him smile! I saw the happiness that it brought to him to see that his hard work and patience were starting to pay off. It fired him up!!!
  • He started to ask questions on what he can do at home or prior to the sessions. He was hungry for more.
  • I started to challenge him more and more and he was responding well. I started slowly introducing weight (dumbbells, kettle bells, sandbags) and multi-plane movements.

The Outcome….

He had his good days and he had his bad days, but regardless, he would always come in with a “good morning” and a smile and leave with a “have a great day, everyone” and a smile, knowing that tomorrow is another day to try.

Javier has progressed beyond anything I could have imagined. His commitment, his work ethic, his patience and his kindness is what inspires me daily to be a better trainer and person. He has brought many tears to my eyes from  just seeing his smile light up the room when he nails a move. For those moments, I am forever grateful for meeting this young man.

Javier has been and continues to be an inspiration to work with, and an honor to be around and know as a human being.”

Javier, you are the man. Thank you for showing us what is possible with the right attitude, mindset and effort. And thank you, Will, for your dedication and your willingness to do whatever it takes to help Javier change his life.