A Look at The Residents of the Rockford Rescue Missionby Troy Skwor, Annie’s Locker Community Liason
How many of you have had a rough day at work or at home? Maybe the kids are driving you “up a wall”? What was your solution? If you’ve ever turned to a walk, run, bike ride, swim, weights lifting session, or other form of exercise, you most likely found yourself in a better mood and experienced how gratifying it can be to “burn off” that stress and tension in a healthy way.
In the book Spark: The revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain, Dr. John Ratey exposes his readers to cutting-edge research discussing the effects exercise on things like depression, attention deficit disorders, anxiety, stress, learning, and aging. Much of the book discusses “head-to-head” comparisons of exercise with the current drug regimens. In almost all cases, exercise was equally as effective as the current treatments or statistically and definitely longer lasting effects! Not only does it feel good short-term, exercise is good on your body and brain long-term.
Now imagine yourself in a situation where life has left you hopeless, such as the individuals I have met volunteering at the Rockford Rescue Mission.
- Pregnant and abandoned
- Mentally, physically, and sexually abused as a child, turning to drugs to silence the mental flashbacks and images that plague their dreams and waking thoughts
- Abandoned by drug-addicted parents
- Addicted to drugs
- Addicted to pain killers as a result of an injury
What then? In 2011, Annie’s Locker saw importance of exercise, recognized the need, and donated a fitness center within the Rockford Rescue Mission, which has been instrumental in many of the residents’ lives for the past three years. This onsite fitness center allows residents to release stressors while releasing endorphins, and build confidence back into their lives through goal setting.
Consider the power of exercise in your own life. Think about the struggles of others and you can help change a hopeless life to a hopeful life filled with belief.