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When there’s a 1% chance of recovery, crossing paths with the right person isn’t a coincidence. When the lives of Brock Mealer and Mike Barwis collided, everything would change for the both of them.

The tragic car accident on December 24th, 2007 that led to the passing of Brock Mealer’s father and his brother’s girlfriend paralyzed Brock from the waist down. It was then that the doctors delivered the news that there was only a 1% chance that Brock would be able to walk again. In the same year, Mike Barwis became the strength and conditioning coach for the University of Michigan which Elliot, Brock’s younger brother, had committed to just a month prior to the accident. Although Elliot introduced Mike to Brock early on, the two wouldn’t start working together for another 2 years.



After being in physical therapy for 2 years, Brock was still in a wheelchair and hardly any progress had been made towards walking again. It was then that Barwis extended a genuine question to Brock that would become the beginning of their success story. Barwis asked if he really wanted to walk again, and when Brock responded with a yes, his recovery journey to beat the odds began.



Having trained hundreds of professional athletes, Barwis was not light on Brock. Using his own methods which combine athletic training and scientific methods, Barwis was able to get Brock to feel a twitch in his legs after only 6 weeks of training. Then a goal was established, Brock Mealer would walk and lead the Michigan Wolverines onto the field without people assisting him at the home opener for U of M.

Only 6 months later, the day arrived when Brock would lead the football team onto the field. While wearing a shirt reading “Glory to God” and “1%” Brock proved medicine and all of his doctors wrong. He beat the odds that were stacked against him and he walked onto the field with just two canes and his own motivation.

This was not the end of Brock’s progress. He continued to train with Barwis and he slowly began to walk further and further without falling. Barwis ended up leaving U of M and opening up the first Barwis Methods facility where Brock would go to continue his efforts. But now that he had achieved his goal of leading the Michigan Wolverines onto the field, a new one had to be set. Brock came up with a new goal of being able to walk, cane-free, down the aisle of his own wedding.



With the undying support and mentorship from Barwis and his staff, Brock was able to accomplish his goal of walking down the aisle. After defeating such harsh odds, Brock inspires many and gives talks about his experience all the time. Barwis attributes part of his success to Brock and Barwis Methods has branched out and been able to help thousands of athletes reach their goals. Now, Barwis Methods has several services to get anyone to their physical goals, including neurological reengineering, physical therapy, and much more.



After seeing firsthand how effective his training was in helping Brock, Barwis wanted to make his neurological reengineering program accessible to as many people as possible. He founded First Step Foundation, a (501) (c)(3) that would award scholarships to the program. Over $350,000 in training scholarships have been awarded to several recoverees!


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