Recovery Runner Richy
My name is Richy and I am an addict in recovery.
I have been battling addiction for 15 years. During that time, I have been in and out of correctional institutions and treatment centers. During my drug abuse, I ignored my physical health. I was skinny, sleep deprived and didn’t eat. I experienced psychosis from being awake for long periods of time. The people around me were concerned about my physical state. I was constantly stressed; a constant battle finding ways and means to get more. I was angry, and I took it out on everybody that I came across.
April 12, 2016, I stopped using all drugs. During that time, I discovered the importance of fitness in my recovery. There are days when I feel stressed and frustrated. I find that when I focus on physical activity, rather than acting out, I feel relief from stress and anger. I had an opportunity to do a marathon in April and this gave me a desire to want to achieve more physically. I found out about the Canmore X-terra off-road triathlon and I was intrigued. I began training with a friend. I had to undertake swimming, which was a tough task. I hadn’t been in a pool for a long time. The first lap was a struggle, however with practice I can now swim at least 500 meters in a row. I have also been training with biking and long-distance running. I find that these activities have become a type of meditation for me. I need to be in the moment, and paying attention to both my surroundings and to my own body. This has also helped break down the barriers of fear because this is a big accomplishment. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be ready, not being able to swim and ultimately the fear of failure, not living up to my own expectations. Through perseverance I have not given in, haven’t given up. I put in commitment and hard work. Proving to myself that I can do it. This has built my self-esteem and confidence. Being able to achieve what I have already achieved is a big thing. I believe that fitness is an important part of my recovery.
When first coming in to recovery everything seems insurmountable and almost out of reach. I encourage you to reach beyond your comfort zone. Set your goals high. Through perseverance and commitment, I have found that goals I thought were out of my reach I have accomplished and have opened doors to greater accomplishments. I want to bring awareness that addiction doesn’t limit us as addicts/alcoholics. With commitment, we can achieve great success. I have been able to do this by incorporating physical fitness into my recovery program.
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