Monday, 17 January 2022

F Faith and Fitness

Lisa's Story

Lisa started out as a client at my gym. She has cerebral palsy and was very apprehensive about beginning her fitness journey at the gym. But the very first day she walked in the door she gave it 110% and kept pushing hard! She has been in the gym for quite some time now and has achieved some very amazing things! She is also working on getting her personal training certification and will be training classes for mildly disabled clients! I’m so excited about bringing her on my team! she has also become a great friend! Here is a little bit about her life in her words…

IMG 4345“Living with Cerebral Palsy can be both worthwhile and frustrating. I grew up when disability was a thing that was hidden away but my parents fought as hard as they could to let me be treated as normal a person. They were told the usual...”she won't walk, talk, come to anything and will need to be be put in a special school to play since she won't learn'. They requested a test be carried out and the doctors quickly changed their minds.

The tests  consisted of memory, counting and logic skills. A pile of three different colored matches were placed on a table and the goal was to separate each into their own colored boxes. The examiner said kids will pick one at a time. No, not me - I separated them into a red, green and blue pile then put each pile into their boxes. He just turned round to my parents and said, “ wow she will have no problem in achieving.”

From that day throughout all aspects of life, I haveapplied the same logic. Yes I have a mobility issue.  I can be walking down the road and fall flat on my face. However, I get up and carry on. Stigmas around disabilities can cause severe harm, not necessarily physical scars, but  mental scares. I have been taught to overcome my disability and I have gone through school, achieving highers (A levels).  I went to college for two years then decided to be a stay at home mom until life took another turn .

Personally, I saw my disability as a way to achieve things - this is the worthwhile part! I started working at 18 and decided I didn’t want to wear braces any more. Not that I didn’t need them, but  I was tired of not being “normal”. Yes I should have done more physical therapy but I thought my daily movement was enough. Unfortunately this has now ended, or at the very least took a step back. And once again life took a turn . I was never really bullied in school.  I had awesome friends and teachers to stand beside me. Plus I have always had a mind of my own.IMG 4346

Moving into adulthood, I did face other challenges. As my brain is fully functioning, I understand the concepts of life. You go through school, get qualifications (labour or academic), get a job, a house, partners, marriage, kids and eventually die. That's the normal path in life.  I know dying is morbid, but it's part of everyone's life so why deny it happens!

Adulthood hit me hard in some aspects - these are the frustrating parts. I have a good job, I loved the adventure and atmosphere of teaching.I'm not one to sit around just wanting things handed to me - I want to go out and get these things myself. Why wait for others when you can do it yourself?

However, my normal path in life is slightly different for someone with a disability. There are people who do not see the disability and sees the person, however the majority only sees the disability. This is so frustrating. Yes, I have been married. The years started out great then turned into mental abuse.. Themost wonderful part was having my son . This again was something that I never thought would be possible . My life has not been a bed or roses. I have failed ! I have fallen and I have given up. But this so called life and disability makes me keep pushing on.

I may sound like my life is going good, but it is not complete. This is one of the things I hate.

So to sum up. Living with CP is difficult at times and no doubt the severity of it all can play a major impact on your life. People need to realize that disabilities are part of the world now. There are people with disabilities just crying out to be IMG 4347given the chance and be treated as equal. The world is certain like heading in the right direction, and bringing disabilities into the media has opened the door slightly. There is a long, long way to go to get true equality. about being disabled. There have been times when I have broke down, asked why this is happening to me?

Yo sum me up in a sentence, I would say I am a normal person, trapped in a body which acts differently. I live, I breath and I will die one day, just like an able bodied person. Take a chance to be my partner on the journey. There will be ups and downs on the roller coaster, but at the end of the day, is that not the case for one and all - disabled or not?”

Columnist: Kellye Davis Williams


Kellye Davis Stellman is a personal trainer, gym owner, and certified Life Coach who focuses on the health and well being of her clients as well as coaching them to make positive changes that will impact the rest of their lives.  She helps them achieve their health and fitness goals as well as encourages them to strive for and achieve their “life goals” with her message of hope. 

Kellye resides in East Atlanta with her husband Keith.  She has 4 daughters and 3 grandchildren.  She is an active member of The Tabernacle Church.  In her spare time she loves traveling, spending time with her husband and daughters, shopping, and simply enjoying coffee with friends. 



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