Local gym-goer defies the odds to lift weights
HITTING the gym for a workout is a challenge for most of us, but for Lachlan Kavanagh, who was diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy at just six weeks old, it's even harder.
Determined not to let his disability get in the way of his fitness, Lachlan, 29, works with personal trainer Pam Woods at Anytime Fitness.
Lachlan said exercising at the gym helped with his muscle strength and flexibility.
"Since I have started working with Pam I have seen slow, but great improvement in my overall fitness," Lachlan said.
"I can increase the weights on my left-hand side and I'm getting stronger in my legs.
"I train twice a week on Mondays and Fridays and my favourite exercise is face pulls."
He said he was hesitant to join a mainstream gym, but his fear soon disappeared and he recommended anyone with a disability to give it a go.
"I am more confident from coming here because I was afraid to work out in a gym, and not at home, where the members can see what I can do," he said.
"I prefer to be treated as a regular gym person who just needs support with my workout.
"Also, I would like to show that anyone who has disability can attend a regular gym.
"You might need to modify the way you use the equipment, but there is always a way to keep fit and healthy."
Personal trainer Pam Woods said taking Lachlan on as a client was challenging, but she loved it.
"We do an hour so I have time to wrap his hand up and get him onto the machines and I'm always thinking of different things for him to do," Ms Woods said.
"We bought boxing gloves that wrap.
"I wanted something so I could wrap his hand around the handles and the cable machine so he can do things, and it worked.
Ms Woods said Lachlan's initial fears of lifting heavier weights was long gone and he had a "fantastic mindset".
"He started off really tentative when I tried to up the weight.
"He'd say 'no' and I'd say, 'yes, you can do it' and now it's, 'yes, I can do this'.
"When we used the bar on the shoulders for him to do squats, we started off with no weight on the bar, now he's up to two five-kilo plates on the bar.
"We also use a sled and I put weight on it, and he pulls the sled up and down and he's getting stronger, so that's another plus for him.
"And he's not scared to try any more. He has a fantastic mindset - he'll try anything."