Rolling Without Limits

Your mobility may be limited. Your voice, boundless.

IRON WARRIOR Nick Chisholm
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IRON WARRIOR Nick Chisholm

I want to tell you about my friend Nick Chisholm. He lives in New Zealand so I have never actually met him in person. But, I’d like to think that through the power of the internet we have become friends. Nick’s story is incredible. I spoke with him recently and he gave me permission to share with you all here at Rolling Without Limits.

Nick’s story is so incredible that I’m finding it difficult to wrap my head around it enough to put it into words. Imagine being a top athlete, tough as nails, and in the prime of your life. But in the blink of an eye, something happens and everything changes. Nick was trapped in his own body but unable to communicate or move. He was diagnosed with the rare condition known as “Locked-in Syndrome”. It was literally a nightmare. However, Nick did not give in to fear. Nick got angry. His motto is “Anger is a Gift!” He channeled all his anger, all his frustration towards fighting to function. 

This video  from 2007 explains it well:


I have followed Nick’s progress over the last few years. What he has managed to accomplish is nothing short of amazing. Not only is Nick fighting for himself, but he has reached out to others through his IRON Warriors program. 

Nick explained the program to me himself in a message


“IRON Warriors is based out of Skyfit24 gym in central Dunedin from 10.00 am until 1145pm on Monday - Friday. We aim to provide FREE support for a variety of long term injuries and help educate various aspects allowing ongoing progression, taking into consideration exercise, nutritional advice, functional movement and support no matter what disability. 

Our team of  Myself (Nick Chisholm),  Stephanie Joyce, Ben Johnson, and Ryan McBride all help develop a variety of different ideas. I have over 18 years of rehabilitation knowledge and experience, living with locked-in syndrome. 

 Ryan is in his 4th and final year of his Bachelor of Applied Science and Bachelor of Science, Double Major, in Physical Activity and Health, Exercise Science

 Steph graduated with a Bachelor of Physical Education, majoring in Exercise Prescription and Management and Exercise and Sports Sciences from the University of Otago, 2017. Steph is now employed by Southern Rehab as an Exercise Physiologist, working at the MacAndrew Road Clinic and in the community. 

Ben did a 4-year physical education degree majoring in exercise prescription and in second-year physiotherapy at the moment. Due to long term injuries, many forget the importance of consistent exercise...

Our long term goals are to continue providing both an enjoyable and successful environment for these people to continue rehab, improving both physiologically and psychologically. Members of IRON warriors have finished going through their hospital treatments, therefore, we have created an environment where they can come into the gym, feel comfortable and continue with rehabilitation. When required we happily work in conjunction with their physio and rehab plans, continually helping warriors progress over a long period of time. Not only does the exercise itself benefit the IRON warriors, but simply getting out of home and socializing with regular gym members has proven to be extremely beneficial. 

The biggest thing other warriors can learn from wheelchair warriors will be SOCIALISING with the public & learning how to interact with able-bodied people & people with a variety of different disabilities (eg. M.S, paraplegia, C.P, strokes, M.D, etc) and how to adapt to meet their individual demands and ultimately help each other strive towards both goals and to live better/more comfortable lives. Psychologically it's massive as well. 

We just really want to help..  

Thanks for your time, Regards, 

Nick Chisholm.”

Nick has also been featured in Men’s Health Magazine too.

Here is the article:

I’m a pretty upbeat guy… but, when I have an off day, or I start to doubt myself. I just check in with my pal Nick. To me, he is the human embodiment of the human spirit. In my mind, Nick has surmounted the insurmountable and continues to push forward and forge new paths. The Dude IS THE REAL IRON-MAN. He inspires me and many others daily. I hope his incredible story inspires you too. I’m pretty sure it will.

If you find yourself in a situation that makes you feel stuck or trapped, remember what Nick says: “Anger is a gift!”  I say It’s also Energy… focus your energy whatever it is… Anger, Fear, Frustration? Turn the negative into a positive. Use whatever you’ve got to Keep Movin Y’all

Until Next Time


Image credit: Nick Chisholm

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