Dear Pipeworks Gym,
I have spent the last ten months working at Womenʼs Empowerment. I am here through a one-year post graduate volunteer program, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. One of my responsibilities here at Womenʼs Empowerment has been taking our clients to your gym every Friday morning. I know that looking back on this year my Friday mornings at Pipeworks will be one of my fondest memories.
It has been a pleasure watching the women become more physically fit. One of our clients used to exercise faithfully. She was very health conscious and used to belong to a local gym. However, when she left her abusive partner, she became homeless and could no longer afford a gym membership. By the time she graduated from our program she seemed like a different woman. Her body was leaner and her muscles stronger, but more noticeable was her vastly improved self-confidence. I know that this was in large part due to her time at your gym.
Other Womenʼs Empowerment clients who come to Pipeworks cannot work out as strenuously. Their bodies are weak from years on the streets, past addictions, and age. But spending time at Pipeworks is special for them as well. The opportunity to come to one of the nicest gyms in Sacramento and to be treated exactly the same as paying clients has reminded them of their value and worth.
Two women who accompanied me to Pipeworks regularly one session developed a valuable friendship. They had never talked to each other in class, but both liked to work out every Friday. For them, Pipeworks was a sanctuary away from the drama of the streets surrounding Loaves & Fishes. Every Friday we would stretch, do sit-ups and crunches, exercise on a few machines, and then the two women would spend the last fifteen minutes in the sauna. This was their favorite part of the morning. In the sauna they would talk about their recovery and offer each other support and advice. They felt comfortable offering each other this support in the sauna because it was a peaceful, quiet, and safe space.
By giving Womenʼs Empowermentʼs students the chance to workout at your gym on Friday mornings, you have provided them with stronger, healthier bodies, but you also have provided them with a safe place to build self-confidence and friendships.