If you have ever worked with children with disabilities, such as Autism, you know how rewarding it can make you feel. Brian Martin is student at Auburn University who has been a personal trainer at Max Fitness Auburn for several years. For the past three weeks he has been volunteering in the gym to help students from Auburn High School who have Autism.
“The students come into Max Fitness Auburn on Tuesday afternoons and Friday mornings,” he said. “They’ll come in to the gym and I’ll show them how to clean the fitness machines and any other work out equipment that we have. Some of them actually like me to do a work out demonstration with them and it’s pretty fun.”
Brian has always enjoyed spending time with children, but he has never worked with people with disabilities before. He said at times it can be difficult but it has turned out to be very rewarding and an experience that has had a positive effect on his life.
“Some have been difficult to work with but they are all on a different level. Some are harder to communicate with than others, but most can easily retain the information they are given to do what they are being taught to do,” said Brian.
Helping to better the lives of students with Autism is a great way to give back to the community and it is a very rewarding experience.
“I would say it has been a privilege working with them because it really makes you realize how fortunate we are to wake up every morning and not have to have some of the disadvantages that they do,” he said.
Brian said that ever since he has been teaching the students in the gym, he gets to know them better and they really love him. They have given him memorable experiences that he will never forget.
“One of the most memorable things that has come out of this was when one of the kids came up to me and grabbed my arm and said that he wants to be like me some day. It really made me smile and laugh and I felt like I was a role model for them. I think I’ve really reached out and touched the kids because they look up to me when I teach them what to do and I think they leave the gym with a smile on their face after what I do with them. This experience has made me look at life in a different perspective and I really enjoy what we have been doing with these students,” he said.
Autism is viewed as an unfortunate disease among us, but when you really get to know these people you can see how enthusiastic about life they are. They push people to understand another way of life and create experiences that students such as Brian will never forget.