When the mainstream media refer to bodybuilders one’s initial thought isn’t a competitor with a physical disability. Mike Infante has shown a way in which his mind overpowers his body and society’s stigma on the abilities of individuals in wheelchairs. At 20 years old, Infante lives with a physical disability known as Cerebral Palsy. At 20 years old, Infante is also a wheelchair bodybuilder for the WNBF , actor, a huge advocate for youth with disabilities, and a music video videographer.
Growing up with a disability, Mike has had to encounter challenges in a mainly able-benefiting society. His advice to anyone in his position is, “don’t listen to the hate and discouragement, worry about you, keep your head forward. Day by day you are born for greatness. Yes you may do things differently with your disability but you can achieve greater. Just be you!” Infante has his parents to thank for this inspiration and constant support.
Mike’s parents have not only been his family but have also been role models and friends. He says, “my parents pushed me hard in school and in everything I do. I might’ve been born differently but no matter what my parents said you will do everything like everyone else. I’ve learned about integrity and a fighter’s spirit from everyone around me.” One of Mike’s biggest challenges he would say go back as far as when he was younger and was being bullied for being born with a disability. He’s taken the reins on his story and says that he’s changed that narrative day by day. “Some people will still doubt me and say you can’t do this and that because of the disability. But It doesn’t phase me. I prove them wrong. Sure I may do some things differently [that are] adapted to my needs. But I will do it and put my 110% anything” Infante says.
Mike says he’s changed tremendously throughout his journey. “I never thought I’d be able to reach / inspire so many people daily on so many levels. Through fitness, music videos and disability awareness. It’s heartwarming.” Mike has clearly been able to see the way in which his dedication and determination has paid off in order to represent those attempting to achieve similar goals. Infante reminisces, “that the impacts I’m making are a lot bigger than me and seeing younger kids look up to me knowing with hope they can achieve their dreams.”