KickHouse Testimonials: Meet Katie
In honor of mental health awareness month we are sharing some of our resilient #fightfam members stories about how KickHouse has impacted their mental health.
“The past 3-4 years have been the most stressful and traumatic of my life. I have suffered from endometriosis since I was 13 years old. I saw countless doctors in multiple states, many many visits to the ER and the removal of my gallbladder (which my endo basically suffocated.) It wasn’t until 2018 when I was 25 years old before I finally BEGGED a doctor to do an exploratory surgery. 12 years to a diagnosis but unfortunately, he wasn’t qualified or prepared to handle what he witnessed once he had opened me up. So of course, very quickly after surgery my pain came back with a vengeance. I did my own research, looked for another doctor and had spent months seeing “specialists” in Penn Medicine in Philadelphia. By September 2019, I had the urologists and gyn/fertility specialists sit me down and say we aren’t qualified and we can only recommend that your primary put you on a pain management plan, we can no longer assist you. “Call us if your kidney fails.” Is basically what I got because the endo has taken over my bladder, ureter, and right kidney. I left that appointment and felt so defeated and angry and depressed. I had a mental break.
The next month on October 4th I received a goodbye note from my sister via text. I was 4 hours away and had to call an ambulance. She had attempted suicide and I spent the next 6 hours calling hospitals to find her and find out if she was alive. All while driving to her area to find her. Thankfully she survived. And 4 months later came February 8th, 2020. I got the dreaded phone call that my little brother had shot himself. I was on the next flight to Ohio and sat by his bed for 4 days until he passed. That day/week was one of those life changing, soul crushing, time stopping moments. My life became a before and an after. It was an incredibly traumatizing ordeal to go through.
And then the world shut down (Covid) and I was confined to my home while also trying to grasp reality in an already uncertain world. My whole being and world came crashing down. I was so consumed with this incredible grief of my best friend and little brother that over the next 8 months I sank deeper and deeper into my grief, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I could not sleep and when I could sleep the PTSD turned into very vivid night terrors that caused me to scream, kick, and cry in my sleep and even cause sleep paralysis some nights. I sank deeper and deeper until I developed a panic disorder and couldn’t function through normal daily activities. My heart rate constantly sat at 100 or above even laying in bed. My brain was constantly spinning but also just in this blank, shock state. I lost myself in every way possible. I was so pent up with anxiety and sadness and anger that I didn’t know how to live anymore.
I’ve always dealt with hard things in my life. Mental and physical abuse, being molested at a young age, extreme bullying in school that forced my family to move to keep me safe, and my health of course. I had a way of pushing through everything life threw at me and still trying to be a light in the world. I tried so hard not to allow those negative things to define me. I had experienced so much sadness and pain that I worked so hard to make sure everyone around me was happy. I wanted to be a light in the world that I needed. I joked off my pain and suffering so that no one else had to carry that for me. It was mine to carry and I was determined to do it on my own.
When my brother died and everything that came with that I lost everything I knew about myself. The light inside of me was gone and I could feel it mentally and physically. I was completely broken to my core. I couldn’t do it alone anymore and I hated that. Therapy alone just wasn’t going to get me through this one. It took me an entire year to agree to try medication. After about 3 months of meds, weekly appointments with both a therapist and a psychiatrist, and lots of work on my own to pull myself out of a deep hole I found a glimmer of hope somewhere and a TON of clarity.
I started putting myself first and making my own mental and physical health a priority. I feel like I suddenly gained this clarity in my life because I only had so much energy to dedicate each day and if I was spending that energy in places where it didn’t belong then there wasn’t any energy left for the important things like my health, my family, my relationship. And then I found KickHouse.
I was just starting to climb out of my hole. Finding my footing in this new reality. Finding a new version of myself. I was scared to try something new because I’d only ever been to the gym with my boyfriend. So it was a big step out of my comfort zone while also still trying to gain control of my panic disorder and anxiety.
I was terrified the first few days but something really cool happened. I found that once I got comfortable with the moves and the new anxiety of it I could drown out the rest of the world and focus all my negative energy into the bag. If you watch me in class I often have an angry or painful face because I am so zoned out (or in I guess) and try to focus all my negative energy on the bag…and leave it there. I have pictured people’s faces on that bag more times than I can count lol. And I actually walk out feeling 100% better. I always leave with my head held higher and ready to tackle the day.
It has become a second form of therapy and meditation. I get excited to go to KickHouse. It’s not a chore. It’s something I really love doing. For the workout, the mental therapy, and the community. The coaches all are incredibly supportive, helpful, and genuinely care for their members. I remember the first time I walked in for my first official class and coaches that I had not met yet immediately greeted me when I walked in. It made me feel so welcome. And it was something I desperately needed even if they didn’t know it. They weren’t there to just teach class, they all go out of their way to welcome the members, ask them about their family, their lives, their health, anything! It’s the first place I’ve ever been that truly makes it feel like a family.
All the coaches were cognizant of my health and endometriosis and helped me find alternatives until I was strong enough to do some of the ab workouts without it affecting my endo. It’s nice to have a group of like minded people who you can come together and get a great workout in and still laugh through the pain. It’s a group who continually celebrates each other’s successes and supports in their lows. It’s a true family community. I’ve been at KickHouse for 8 months and I have found myself feeling more confident, my posture improved, through the KickHouse Challenge’s I found a healthier relationship with food, and I found myself experiencing more happy days with less anxiety. I truly believe KickHouse allowed me to find happiness again. I will forever be grateful.
You never know what someone is going through. It means so much to me what KickHouse has done without even knowing that they were. KickHouse Warminster will forever be a saving grace.”
KickHouse is a modern kickboxing studio offering a variety of class formats, each rooted in kickboxing but with additional fitness flare added in. The KickHouse mission is to help members and communities take their health and kick it up a level via a consistent kickboxing practice! KickHouse is the perfect kickboxing gym for beginners or advanced athletes. The new kickboxing brand has quickly grown to over 35 locations across the country. To find your nearest KickHouse location visit www.kickhouse.com/locations. To sign up for your first class offer please visit www.kickhouse.com/first-class-free to book your first sweat session with our fight fam.