Kyle's Story

Story Type: 



"Before Friend Fitness, I had made an avalanche of bad choices..."

I was doing drugs almost every day; I had the poorest of grades that still make me wonder how I passed the 10th grade. My family was disappointed and distraught with me. My friends were in similar, if not worse situations. Many were in juvenile detention or headed for prison. I was lost and unsure of my future.

My friend had told me about the Friend Fitness program and, at first, I thought it was a waste of time. Soon I realized what I was doing would get me nowhere. I was tired and fed up with the situation that I had created for myself so I sought help.

I decided to take a chance on the program but later I learned I was taking more of a chance on myself. I came to Friend Fitness one day, as some recall, “a nervous wreck desperately seeking change”. At first, they were skeptical of my ability to devote to change myself.They weren’t sure I would last one week of the intense physical training that I still endure to this day. Slowly but surely as faith grew with me, I grew mentally and physically. Many challenges still lied before me.

"I honestly can say
that this program
saved my life."

At first I struggled with the tasks. I admit working out with my mentor was no walk in the park. It required focus, hard work and perseverance. However, practicing these disciplines has allowed me to overcome obstacles inside and outside the gym and, in doing so, I have changed immensely.

I began to see myself not as hopeless but as a hard working individual striving to better himself. I realized my life began to get better. I was setting goals with my mentor and achieving them. I was making better choices. My family became proud of me for once. My grades had begun sloping upwards instead of downwards. For the first time in years I willingly participated in school sports competing in both wrestling and rugby.

I have hope and I have a future. I enlisted in the Army Reserves. I joined the Army because I want to serve my country and because I know it will help me further develop the discipline I need to be successful in life. I have goals: I want to graduate high school and college.

Now, I graduated high school and have served one tour of duty in Iraq. Constant contact with my mentor and Friend Fitness family helped me get through my time at war. They celebrated every time I came home and I felt honored when given the opportunity to be a mentor in the program when I came home to stay. I’m proud of everything this program has done for me and what I’ve done as a result of it. After taking courses at a local community college, I am enrolled at Kutztown University, studying International Business and playing on the school's rugby team. I am also a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve.

To this day, many people around me are still astounded by the changes I have made. This program has helped me change my life. I honestly can say that this program saved my life.

Kyle, student and mentor