It's the morning work out. Something some of us dread. But for 18-year-old Michael Walch being active is his passion.

"He's a sports nut," said Lisa Walch, Michael's mom.

So, it won't surprise you when you hear one of Michael's goals in life.

"Would probably be being a gym teacher," said Michael Walch, Project LIVE student.

It's a goal Michael is working to achieve through Project LIVE, or Lifelong Independence and Vocational Education.

The program, which just started this year in the Holmen School District, is designed to help special education students, between 18 and 21 years of age, transition into the real world.

"The last couple years of high school, when you have a child with disabilities, you're thinking... okay, we're starting to look to his future. What's he going to be able to do," said Lisa.

Michael has some mild cognitive disabilities, and has been diagnosed with a degenerative, neurological disease called Friedreich's Ataxia.

"What it does is it wears away the nerve tissue around the spine, and so he'd gradually lose the use of his legs which he has," said Lisa. "He can stand for a little bit now and then. It affects other things physically as well."

But Michael pushes on and isn't letting his diagnosis stop him from achieving his life-long goals. And the LIVE program is by his side supporting him every step of the way.

"In the transition, recreation and leisure is critical," said Nicholas Slusser, Project LIVE program director. "So, when he comes out there they get to do their customized workouts and they get to go swimming and especially with Michael... with his disability. It's great to have him in the water with the other boys because he's able to use his legs where as otherwise he's in his wheelchair all day long."

"It's important to me so I can stay strong, build muscle, get in the pool," said Michael. "So, I can stretch out and move around."

Twice a week, an adaptive physical education teacher from the Holmen School District meets Michael and the three other boys in the Project LIVE program at the YMCA for individualized workouts. But physical health is only a part of the program's real-world training.