Founder of Already Strong
“After going through my own experience, I quickly realized that there was such a lack of resources for survivors.
Thankfully, I found weightlifting, and my teammates started to hold me more accountable. I saw myself getting stronger.
I thought there could be others like me who are intimidated by the gym space, have gone through sexual violence and just didn’t want to talk about it.”
Already Strong is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping survivors of sexual violence find physical outlets, as well as other survivors, who are in their own community.
After going through my own experience of sexual violence, I quickly realized that there was such a lack of resources for survivors. I was on medicine that doesn’t treat you well, and everyone around me just wanted to push me to the therapist of their choice. Once I went, they felt instant relief, while I felt even more alone.
After six different therapists and providing everyone else around me reprieve, I coped in unhealthy ways. I didn’t care about the damage I was doing to myself and those around me. Thankfully, I found weightlifting, and my teammates started to hold me more accountable. I saw myself getting stronger. Going from being scared to pick up a barbell to lifting heavy weights, I physically wanted to be better for myself in a time where I wasn’t exactly caring what happened to me anymore.
I thought there could be others like me who are intimidated by the gym space, have gone through sexual violence and just didn’t want to talk about it. As a society, we tend to focus on the mental before the physical, why not switch it or work in congruence with the two? There needs to be more options for the after-care process, and Already Strong is here to help with that.
There are multiple services and organizations that are working directly with survivors and each are crucial to the community. What makes Already Strong different is that we are working on funding that can ease the process of finding local therapists, gyms, and others who understand. And it’s an experience where you don’t have to talk, because you might be sick of talking or just not ready. At Already Strong, we want to help you along your process of healing. After going through a free Already Strong program, we can provide low-cost access to gyms, fitness equipment, and other services.
Already Strong gives survivors another resource for their healing process: Learning to be in a gym, moving at your own pace, building off each other's success and being surrounded by those who have experienced something similar, without the pressure to talk about it. It’s a physical-first approach, but with it comes mental healing as well.
The whole purpose of Already Strong is to help others. As long as we’re helping someone, we’ve reached our goal. Unfortunately, Already Strong is needed in many communities, especially those more marginalized. We hope to continue to expand through the country and provide more resources for the after care process to as many people as possible.
No, it is never required or necessary to share what you have experienced and does not matter how recent or distant your experience is.
No. Already Strong believes that all types of fitness can be beneficial to your healing process.
There is no cost to be part of an Already Strong cohort at a participating gym.
Unfortunately, there is a need in all communities for Already Strong. Already Strong is not limited to one area, just contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Already Strong works with the gym and potential participants to decide on the best availability for both sides. This can look various ways, whether it's a 2 hour class once a week or a 1 hour class twice a week. There is not a set parameter for length of the program either. It is all dependent upon those who are working together.