WHEN Iain McKendry was 15 months old he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and his parents were told that he would never be able to walk.
But now the 24-year-old from Danderhall is defying all the odds by running his own fitness classes after working hard to leave behind his wheelchair and walk unaided.
Iain teaches Spin at the Danderhall Community Centre after being introduced to the activity when his mum took a class. The family were living in Florida at the time, after relocating there from Midlothian when Iain was six.
Iain said: “I always wanted to be involved in a sport but with having cerebral palsy there were a lot of activities I could only be involved with from the sidelines. When we returned to Florida after vacation we sought out Spinning classes that I could try to see if I would be able to do it.”
He loved the class and soon his instructor suggested he become a certified instructor, something he achieved in 2013.
After moving back to Scotland in 2016, Iain has established himself as a sought-after instructor at Club McKendry, as well as earning an Evening News Local Hero Health Champion Award in 2018.
He even caught the attention of housebuilding firm Bellway, who donated a new state-of-the-art television to enhance his classes.
Iain, whose favourite song to cycle to is Shakira’s Gypsy, is living a long held dream teaching fitness. He said: “I love what we have created at Club McKendry as Spinning is an activity suitable for all levels of fitness, all abilities and ages and it is wonderful to be on the lead bike and be a source of motivation for people to get off the couch and into an exercise class which is helping others achieve their fitness goals.”
With a busy teaching schedule, Iain takes only Friday and Saturday off and sees his physiotherapist on a Tuesday morning to get his legs stretched and keep him mobile.
Iain’s classes are so popular that there is a long waiting list for spots on the 12 bikes. The club is looking into buying more cycles so that nobody misses out.
As well as Spin, Iain enjoys bootcamp and gym training with personal trainers and attending a friend’s gym – when he has the time.
Iain hopes his experience will help others living with disabilities follow their fitness dreams.
He said: “I would say keep an open mind and embrace every possibility. Something may seem a challenge at first but if you do not try you will never know if you can achieve it.”
Iain will make use of the new television by displaying picture slide visuals relating to a ride theme during classes.
As the class approaches its first anniversary Iain is compiling slide-shows of all the people who have attended his class to show how Spinning has changed their lives.