All too often we tough it out rather than reaching out to ask for help when we need it most. Reaching out doesn't make you weak or helpless. It doesn't make you inadequate or incapable. It makes you human.
“When I would ask friends about whether or not they were members of the Y, many would tell me that it was just something their family couldn’t afford,” Jill recalls. “I found this disheartening, because I knew I needed to attend yoga classes for my personal situation, and I was concerned there was no way a membership would fit into my budget.”
"I was concerned there was no way a membership would fit into my budget."
Jill, a single parent of five kids ranging in age from 13 to 24, is a survivor of domestic abuse. When she moved her family to Indianola from southern Iowa last August, it was quite the adjustment.
“Indianola seemed huge at first; however, the longer we are here, the more it feels like a small town,” she says. “We’ve found the school district and Simpson College to be exceptional and the town very friendly, open and accepting.”
As the kids got settled into school and activities, Jill needed something for herself. As a domestic abuse survivor, she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and has recently begun experiencing symptoms of fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by widespread pain, fatigue and cognitive difficulties. “I have found that gentle yoga is an excellent way for me to manage the symptoms of PTSD and assist with overcoming triggers,” she explains.
“I have found that gentle yoga is an excellent way for me to manage the symptoms of PTSD and assist with overcoming triggers.”
Jill met Y yoga instructor Sharon Sallee at a different venue and was impressed with her care, knowledge and class sequencing. “I wanted to be able to attend more classes with her, but just didn’t see how it would be financially possible.”
That’s when Jill began researching Y membership online and discovered she could apply for financial assistance. Through the process, she learned that it’s OK to ask for help. “I was given a wonderful gift — without judgment and without conditions or extensive explanation.”
“I was given a wonderful gift — without judgment and without conditions or extensive explanation.”
Today, Jill attends gentle yoga classes twice a week, as well as two tai chi classes. Both have made a phenomenal difference in her life mentally, emotionally and physically. But the greatest gift she says is the sense of belonging.
“I have been greeted with care and concern for my needs from instructors, other Y staff and members alike,” she smiles. “There is definitely a sense of family at the Y and I am grateful to be a part of it.”
“There is definitely a sense of family at the Y and I am grateful to be a part of it.”
Thank you to Becky Kolosik for capturing Jill’s story.