I recently had a conversation with someone about their experience with alcohol and addiction. They expressed excitement about just finishing a workout, which is a common theme in recovery.
As a personal trainer with 25 years of experience and 17 years of sobriety, I understand how fitness and sobriety can go hand in hand. However, it’s important to acknowledge that addiction to alcohol has been around for centuries, and many people still struggle with it.
It’s inspiring to see that the sober and sober-curious movements are gaining momentum – creating safe spaces for people to share their stories and seek support.
I personally found my journey to sobriety challenging, but it was a transformational experience that gave me my superpowers. As a fitness professional, it allowed me to better understand the challenges my clients might face and even led me to become a certified sober coach.
My journey to sobriety began before my career in fitness. I faced various traumas, big and small, which eventually led me to become a blackout alcoholic. The turning point came when I woke up on the kitchen floor, not remembering what had happened to my one-year-old son.
What I did remember was that I told the nanny she could leave for the night. I remember giving my son a bath. I did not remember anything after the bath. I didn’t remember if I left my 1-year-old in the bath when I had passed out. I didn’t remember if I took him out and put him to bed. I did not know how long my blackout was and how long it had been since that bath. I ran to the bath. He wasn’t there. I ran to him room. There he was. Asleep. Safe. Safe from my blackout.
That was the wake-up call that I needed to make a change.
I did the work, went to rehab, and never drank again. However, the problems that were there before my sobriety remained. But now, I had no escape from them.
Fitness became my outlet, replacing the need to drink to cope with my problems. Fitness and weightlifting cleared my mind and helped manage my stress and anxiety, which were major triggers for my alcohol use. The dopamine and endorphins were what I needed. It also helped me build a new support system of like-minded individuals who shared my passion for healthy living. These individuals became my tribe, supporting me through my sobriety journey.
As we just recognized Alcohol Awareness Month in April, it’s important to recognize how fitness can play a crucial role in recovery. Incorporating fitness into your routine can be fun and enjoyable, whether it’s trying a new workout class or working with a personal trainer or fitness coach. It can help you connect with others and build new relationships, leading to a healthier and happier life.
If you’re struggling with addiction, know that there is help available, including support groups, counselling, or working with a sober coach. If you’re already in recovery, incorporating fitness into your life can help you stay sober and create a brighter future. As a certified sober coach, I am privileged to help others discover their own superpowers through fitness and sobriety. Remember, you are not alone, and you can do this.
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