Michael’s mother suggested he come to STARplex, they didn’t know what if anything he would be able to do here but since she was already attending sessions they were interested to find out.
After being told that he couldn’t participate in programs at other locations and being sent away with a at home program to complete, Michael was so used to hearing no that it blew his mind when after a few one on one sessions Sarah approved him for an independent gym membership. In 18 months Michael said he hasn’t heard no, “they’d say we advise or I wouldn’t advise” *the Exercise Physiologists.
Michael said trusting his Exercise Physiologist, Sarah early on changed his mindset. “They’ve helped me become aware of what abilities were hidden in me.”
He enjoyed gym sessions and but as his surname Fisken aka Fish, alludes to, Michael loves the water. When he asked Sarah who to speak to about getting in the pool Sarah said I can help you do that. She said if you want to go in the pool you need to set some goals.
It was Michaels goal to go to the beach and swim by the end of the year, “I grew up and the beach and wanted to be happy again.”
When the time came for Michaels first pool session he began feeling apprehensive, not for himself but for Sarah “Am I going to hurt her? I worried about embarrassing Sarah not me.” Sarah jokingly told him “Don’t worry I could hold your head under the water better than you could mine.” A laugh helped relieve some nerves.
With the assistance of the chair lift in our Swim Centre and the belt Michael was back in the water! The pool noodle got put on the side of the pool pretty quickly, and Michael had to head to the deep end to find his limit. Sarah said she was comfortable he’d float and that made Michael feel proud of the trust they’d built!
After 3 sessions in the pool Michael knew that his goal of going to the beach is ticket off, he was now ready! After 6 weeks Michael was in the water with no floats on. He started doing side stroke and thought, how hard would it be to flip onto my front?
During his discussion with us Michael realized now that’s achieved what he needs to be able to do to get to the beach he needs to set new goals…scuba diving. “I’ll have my licence and a car- I’ll be unstoppable”. “The sea is life. The freedom that everything in the ocean has, that’s the freedom I seek.”
Since being at STARplex Michael finally got NDIS approved and recently approved for his licence – for Michael everything is more achievable now.
A couple of weeks ago Michael headed into Studio 1 in the Fitness Centre determined to use the beam to assist him to walk. He lead off with the left foot and left hand facing as he is naturally left handed, but couldn’t lead with his right.
That was until one day…he brought headphones in for the first time and instead of doing leg press first as he normally would he started in the Studio. Foo Fighters – Pretender was blasting in his ears and he thought to himself “I ain’t a pretender!!” That day Michael doubled his previous attempt. He didn’t rest inbetween sets. Michael thought to himself “How do I do this?” and repeated right in his head as he took the steps. It was a light bulb moment for him. Michael left feeling proud of himself and that was a huge achievement for him.
Michael measured it on his phone and he had completed 50 meters! Well…. what he thought at the time was 50 but ended up being 60 meters!!!! When Michael told Celeste at reception as he left he didn’t understand why she was so happy- It’s only me? “ I don’t consider myself good enough for the able body world I previously haven’t had that support, I guess that was also part of my goal… to be good enough”. “I want to be the best human I can be.” We all think you’re a pretty amazing human Michael! Keep aiming higher!