Growing up poor in Jamaica, Javeno McLean didn’t have a lot of material possessions. He learned early in life that the greatest gift you can give another person is your time and talents, and it’s a lesson he still lives by.
Today, the 37-year-old father-of-two from Manchester, England is putting that theory to use every day as owner of J7 Community Health Centre.
“In my islands, we ain’t got nothing,” Javeno explained. “So when you come from a place where nobody has nothing, only thing you can give is yourself.”
About 15 years ago, the former cricket player realized he enjoyed helping other people hit their fitness goals more than being an athlete himself. He dreamed of opening a gym where he could help others, particularly people who struggle with disabilities or chronic disease.
Five years ago, he made his dream a reality — and he’s been helping the elderly and disabled gain strength and stamina ever since.
There’s one more incredible thing about Javeno’s gym that makes it stand out from the rest: He doesn’t charge anyone with physical or mental issues a single cent to help them.
“I wanted this to be a gym where people could exercise and find something that works for them,” Javeno said. “I wanted a place where my mum or auntie or grandma could come and feel the love.”
@javeno7 My Danea … smiling and laughing her head of as usual #f#fitnessindustrycerebralpalsy ##tiktokus #wheelchairlife #v#viralf#fypf#fitnessinfluencer#l#loveg#gymtokf#foryoupage #inspirational ♬ original sound – Javeno mclean
“I hated the way gyms made people feel — that’s why I called my place a ‘health centre,'” he continued. “I wanted to redefine exercise. People feel insecure in gyms. I’m a gym guy, but if I feel intimidated by people watching or judging me in the gym, what’s that going to be like for somebody who’s ill, disabled, or elderly? It’s going to make them feel even worse. I wanted to change how people experience exercise.”
Javeno’s clients can’t believe it when he tells them he won’t charge them for his services, and their reactions only spur him on to help more people!
He now has about 50 clients a week who are recovering from strokes or other medical ailments or who have a chronic condition like cerebral palsy. He customizes each workout for each client, but his ultimate goal is to make them happy and healthy.
“They’re going through something un[in]describable, so the least I can do is put on a smile on your face, make you happy, and if you come out of that tunnel, let me bring you to some light,” said the personal trainer.
When asked why Javeno gives away so much of his time to others, his answer is simple yet admirable.
“It’s a privilege, and it’s an honor, so I’m going to do my best to make sure that I do it justice because you’re giving me your life to improve,” he said.
What a beautiful way to put your talents and skills to good use! Javeno doesn’t need to be personally affected by disability or illness to understand how difficult it can be for others, and he’s doing his part to lighten their load.
Share this story to thank Javeno for helping so many people while asking for nothing in return.
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