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Wins from an Ordinary Day

Updated: Nov 5, 2019

September marks my one year anniversary with Wings as a Direct Care Coach. Throughout the past 12 months I have staffed both night and day shifts, weekdays and weekends. Some days are harder than others and all require intentionality and preparation on my part. I work with amazingly supportive coworkers and up to five survivors that need our support and encouragement on a daily basis. Recently we were blessed with the opportunity to spend the afternoon bowling. The women were really looking forward to this. It was a 30 minute drive and spending time in the van is a great opportunity to talk about a lot of seemingly ordinary topics. The women share struggles, celebrate completed goals and on this particular day discussed our renewed dedication to drinking more water. These kinds of conversations may not seem extraordinary and for the women we serve at Wings, they can be. These are relationship and trust building exchanges with each other and myself. We work hard to model what a safe environment looks like and many of our women have not experienced that safety before. Not knowing how familiar the women were with bowling, I observed the discussions and tips they offered each other. We had fun picking out a ball and then another one when the first one didn’t work for us. There was support of the less successful attempts and cheers when there was improvement. No one broke 100 on the first game and no one cared. It was unanimously decided to use the bumpers for game number two which led to more laughter as some of us still managed to miss the majority of the pins. A new mini competition sprung up to see who could find the right angle and speed to bounce off the bumpers and knock down the most pins. By chance we had the place to ourselves and we surely entertained the staff with our antics and laughter. We headed back to the house stuffed with pizza, laughing about our gutter balls and strikes.  Bowling was a success that day. Everyone reached their water goals with lots of positive encouragement, we all consumed at least two too many slices of pizza, and best of all, no one broke their newly manicured nails (a gift from a generous salon owner). The bowling was fun and the support and acceptance they felt that day was genuine. Celebrating wins is important at Wings and a fun day of bowling, pizza, and laughter was just that, a win.

by Julie Atkinson

Direct Care Coach


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