Kyle's Story..... A Community Connection

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Posted in News & Events

Kyle has severe anxiety and finds exercising helps but his anxiety can halt him from getting out of his house. He joined a gym but was not going regularly. He wanted to try a boxing class but his anxiety was stopping him. He and I met to discuss strategies. I would pick him up from home and then drop him off at the gym, talking in the car on the way. Sitting at a table, face-to-face, is more difficult for him. Sitting in the car, Kyle would be more honest with me about what he was struggling with and what he needed for support. By doing this, he started going to the gym more regularly but still wouldn't try a class.

We talked about all the reasons that stopped him from going to a boxing class: wouldn’t know anyone, not fit enough, won’t know what to do, will look ‘stupid’ etc. He didn’t want me to go with his as his ‘worker’.

I found out that my cousin went to the same gym and regularly went to the same class that Kyle was interested in. I introduced Kyle to her and they discussed what the boxing classes at the gym were like. She answered all of his questions and let him talk about all his apprehensions. I thought she would be a great person for Kyle to connect with as she also started not knowing anyone and does not have a typical boxing/fit body. She is also a positive person who is good at building people up. She showed Kyle how to register for the classes and then offered to meet him there. She went with him for the first class and it became a regular thing. I help them connect through Facebook to arrange when they were going to meet up. This continued until Kyle got a job at Wendy’s, something he said he would not have gone for before because of his anxiety. Taking the boxing class gave him the confidence to try. He is now working several shifts a week and cannot make it to the gym classes as often because of his work schedule. He is ok with this.

This was a great reminder that we are not the be all and end all to people’s goals. We need to look to others who are already connected to what people want to do rather than rely on paid staff to make community connections happen.




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