Last March as Blu was transitioning into his new position at the County Health Department he had an idea brewing. All the individuals whom he works with seeking recovery are required to attend a 12 step meeting in the community to help them with their recovery from addictions. After much thought he proposed an idea known as Addict II Athlete. This program would incorporate his erase and replace philosophy, meaning erasing the addiction and replacing it with something of greater value, that being athletics.
While working at one of his last programs Blu really enjoyed the physical activity piece that the young men were asked to be a part of, which was triathlons. The young men would go through training and competing in community triathlons. And anyone who’s ever done any kind of race understands the feeling of accomplishment once you cross that finish line. Let alone the growth in self esteem, decreased depression, and improved health to name a few.
The clients could choose to attend an Addict II Athlete group in place of one of their three required 12 step meetings weekly. They would meet as a group for 30 minutes to process the philosophy and anything they are currently struggling with in recovery, then they go running as a group. Well, after a year of growing and promoting he has assembled around 50 athletes that have competed in local races. Some competed in 5K’s, 10K’s and even a half marathon with many more races to come. Blu has also registered them for a community recreation basketball team which he coaches.
This evening we wanted to commemorate and show off the athletes, to others struggling and supportive family members, and the work it took to achieve these goals. These individuals have increased their chances for recovery, accomplished insurmountable goals and are doing things they never thought they could.
What we thought was just going to be a simple meet and greet turned into quite the affair. From a light dinner, that was organized by the athletes, to speakers, awards, and a slideshow presentation of the athletes from the five original players all the way up to the multitudes.
It was so amazing to see something that he created turn out so well in such a short amount of time. Giving these individuals whom society has tossed away another chance to show how strong and capable they truly are. As his wife I was in tears hearing their stories about how Addict II Athlete has changed their lives and what they have given up in order to erase their addictions and replace it with love, compassion, goal achievement, and a new direction. One gentleman smoked for 25 years and is now running half marathons and planning his first full marathon this summer. Another was in a coma less than a year ago from a drug overdose and is now running 10 to 15 miles a week.
I couldn’t be more proud of my husband for the love and compassion he shares in doing all he can to help these people change their lives.
One of the most amazing things that happened was following the special night. We’ve had some overwhelming support come to Blu and this program. Help to promote this program are now beginning to flood in. Currently we are looking at starting a softball team and doing triathlon training as well. We can foresee this becoming a very amazing program and are excited to see what the future has in store for Addict II Athlete.