On a warm summer night, at dusk, I was on my way back home from a run through George Wyth. I had to stop on 6th and Washington to let a couple cars pass. As I jogged in place I looked around and remember stopping because something intrigued me with the Agape building. At that time, the building was nearly 5 years old. Agape had been in that location since its beginnings in January of 1986. I grew up a short few blocks from Agape and I ran up Washington St. so many times. For some reason, that evening, it caught my attention. The kind of attention that in retrospect was different. Something grabbed me. Not literally. Internally. I can remember that so vividly. I continued my run and months later I ended up interviewing for a job at Agape. With my college degree, I was interviewing for a job that wasn't what I had intended to do with my degree, but I felt very strongly that I was suppose to take the job. St. Patrick's Day of 2003, I began my journey at Agape. The Iehl's have afforded me the opportunity to develop into the kind of trainer, therapist, leader. This has been such a blessing. It has always allowed me to breath life into work by working on new challenges. Thankful. Blessed.
As God does, He heard prayers, hopes and dreams and walked alongside us as a team through many changes and developments. So on this freezing cold February night of 2019, I write this intro to shed light on where gG came from.
The gentleGYM was founded in 2018, however I have poured over this dream since college. I had always wanted to prevent people from getting sick. That is what led to me chasing a major toward prevention and getting away from my Physical Therapy goal. Back then, I didn't have a fair understanding of what all a Physical Therapist can do. I thought it was rehabbing total knee replacements and pain. So went my direction change to Health Education. But over the years I came back to Physical Therapy and the unique way Agape integrates Physical Therapy into individual lifestyles.
The gentleGYM is a community of individuals who are trying to manage chronic pain, conditions, weight issues or operations. Chronic is the keyword. Chronic issues are a very different issue than acute health issues. A cascade of physiological change happens in our body that triggers a fog and behavior patterns that perpetuate the chronic issue. gG was designed to not only bridge the gap from illness to health but to build relationships and community for those who manage these issues. gG is a gym, program, social support, education, communication center for healthcare practitioners and social space. Our objective is 'chronic care reimagined'.
It has been proven that exercise, stress management and changes in nutrition can aide and even dramatically change in management of chronic pain and conditions. We've found that most people know what needs to be done, yet fail time and time again to successfully carry out lifestyle changes. Perhaps the lack of success isn't because success isn't possible, but that the means have been misguided.
If you struggle or know someone who struggles with chronic pain, co-morbidities (two or more issues), bariatric issues, pre/post-op issues, and even some mental health concerns, then please send them to the gG. There are some guidelines for membership. This is not for exclusivity's sake, but to ensure an environment safe and comfortable for the members managing these issues.
Ultimately, the focus is the individual getting plugged into a like-minded community that will address five main pillars of health, what you: MOVE | REST | FUEL | THINK | CONNECT.
As my Grandpa V always said at the end of prayers, make us each a blessing,.
Thank you for checking out gentleGYM.