Opening the door to the gym, Ryland flipped on the light, illuminating rows of weights and equipment.
He felt at home here. Confident and strong.
Before Ryland picked up his first weight, he took a deep breath and looked over at the mirror. The young man staring back at him looked much different than the boy who arrived at Eagle Ranch last year.
Ryland came to Eagle Ranch struggling with anxiety, panic attacks and depression caused by a variety of family issues. He refused to go to school for nearly two years, and most days Ryland would be found alone in his room.
“I would stay in my room nonstop and sleep,” said Ryland. “I don’t even remember most of the days. It was a cycle I was stuck in.”
Desperate for help, Ryland’s family found Eagle Ranch.
The small class size at Eagle Ranch School eased Ryland’s anxiety, and he soon discovered his academic strengths. Counseling helped him identify areas in his life where he struggles, and physical activity has become one way in which Ryland works through his depression.
Fast forward to now, and Ryland looks like a new person – physically and emotionally. Eagle Ranch’s triathlon training is a normal part of Ryland’s days, while working out in the gym and playing basketball are among his favorite activities.
From sleeping most of his days away to becoming one of the most physically active kids on campus, Ryland has experienced a major shift in his life.
“Life is better now. I’m happier, have less anxiety, and I work out all the time,” said Ryland. “I’ve learned the signs for when my anxiety or depression is coming on and how best to deal with it when it does. My family spends more time together, and I have much better relationships with my siblings.”