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ICW Client Experience: Maria


Maria and her Trainer, Reggie

We love hearing from clients as kind and compassionate as Maria! Maria wrote to us a colleague friend introduced her to ICW and said that our gym allows young people to “shed their burdens and turn them into weights.” As she learned more about our organization, she realized that ICW is unique because it not only shows clients that they can get stronger but also, how to do so. Here is Maria’s story:


“ I began training at Kendall Square in 2018 and when I discovered that there was another location in Dorchester, only minutes from my house, I started training there. Reggie Talbert makes the Dorchester gym run and his smile lights it up. I came to Reggie convinced that I ‘suck at sports’ and highly skeptical of gyms. I was uncoordinated, unbalanced, and fearful of failure. With infinite patience and kindness, Reggie urged me to lift more, push harder, pull up higher. And with every session, we would learn more about each other and build a new vocabulary (liberation get ups!) that defined a new space. As we shared stories and dreams, we developed a friendship we now hold dear. And, over time, as I was gaining strength and confidence, I was acquiring a deeper understanding of the profound effects of systemic racism and injustice and appreciation of trust, hope, and humanity.


A professor by profession, I am the student every time I cross the ICW threshold. I am inspired to learn and make change happen one person at a time. I asked Reggie what makes a good student and who are his favorite. ‘A person who wants to grow, who listens and does not complain, a person who is willing to learn,’ he said. ‘And when they are happy, they are my favorite.’ ICW provides the space and the conditions for all of us to drop our burdens, pick up the weights, and grow in body, mind, and spirit. And, in the process, we learn how to become happier.”

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