Louisville gym helping former inmates transform their lives
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A local gym is going above and beyond trying to make a difference in the Louisville community.
For the past year, Dismas Charities and Proformance Health and Wellbeing on River Road have worked together to help former inmates work on their overall health, to get them ready to re-enter the world.
For 45 minutes on the last Friday of every month, 14 Dismas Charities residents get to go inside the gym, forget their problems for a bit, clear their heads and work on themselves.
The residents are part of a re-entry program that can last anywhere from six months to several years, where some do community service around Louisville, go to school, and participate in substance abuse programs.
Those who work with the residents say that 80 percent of their residents struggle with drug addiction, and working out has made a huge difference for their mental health.
“It’s always good to see smiles on their faces,” Robert Lanning, Director of Dismas Charities for the Portland neighborhood said. “They’re in a situation they don’t want to be in, and to see people from the outside want to come in and support them; anytime that happens it’s great.”
When the owners of Proformance Health and Wellbeing on River Road learned about what Dismas does, they got involved, by offering time, resources and a holistic approach to training.
The goal is to help the mental aspect of the resident’s lives as much as the physical.
“One of our biggest passions is, we call this ‘our platform,’ to deliver a much bigger message,” Bert Kremer, co-owner of Proformance said. “It’s not just about getting physically stronger, but it’s mentally and emotionally, and that’s really what we’re more passionate about than anything, is knowing what these guys are going to take with them, and impact everyone else in their facilities, as well as their families.”
Reese Turner, the Director of Operations at Proformance, said it’s been a joy watching them train and grow as people.
“This is not just a place to improve yourself physically,” Turner said. “But it’s about physically, mentally, emotionally and also spiritually.”
Jaaron Richardson participates in the workouts and said he’s been inspired to get his personal training certifications. He hopes to one day run a gym of his own.
“I got in trouble, not once, not twice, but three or four times,” Richardson said. “I’m not proud to say it, I’m not wearing it as a badge of honor or anything, however I do believe in God’s plan for people. And I look at it like, God had a plan for me.”
Richardson also hopes to be a role model to the youth in our community who want to turn their own lives around.
“First and foremost, you have to change the way you look at things,” Richardson said. “And that starts with changing what’s in here, and what’s in here.”
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