This month, we want to highlight Alyssa, who has been training with ICW since 2019. We asked Alyssa why she joined ICW, and she says "I was looking to up my powerlifting game at the time." And as she kept coming into the gym, she got to know the trainers and our mission, and ultimately, she says, "I got a lot more out of it than that!" Alyssa also shared her experience with our program.
What impact has your trainer had on you?
I like to lift really heavy things ... [and] Adam does a great job of matching my energy and encouraging me to keep going. Adam likes to combine the process of getting swole with tons of encouragement and the occasional life advice. He’s also a very patient parent with AJ and Amani, and I admire the amount of care and work he puts into parenting, even when he’s busy and tired. In terms of sheer gym-type achievements, I just set the RI USPA state record in the squat for my weight class. That was pretty cool, and it definitely wouldn’t have happened without Adam and Shamsul.
What have you learned since joining ICW?
On the very practical side of things, I’ve learned how to use my glutes and hamstrings when I deadlift and my serratus anterior when I bench. In terms of being a better person who understands society more, I’ve learned, in a very concrete way, that mass incarceration keeps compassionate, vibrant, and brilliant people from being part of the rest of the world. Being a trainer requires so much empathy and care, and I see that in action every time I come to ICW. Formerly incarcerated people deserve more chances in life, and things aren’t set up to facilitate that right now.
What does ICW means to you?
The gym is a place where I feel like I do a great deal of my growing as a person. I’ve learned a lot about taking up space and speaking up just from talking to Adam and the other trainers at ICW and hearing their perspectives.