In 2011 I thought of a way to kick start my life as I undertook a new job as a therapist working with people struggling from addiction and searching for a purpose in their lives. Having a history of addiction myself and being clean for 16 years I thought back on how I had done it. Through support and running I recalled the relationships built and spirituality found on the trails of the Wasatch Mountains that resulted in erasing addiction and replacing it with a more excellent way of life. I knew that if a non-runner like myself could become such, so could they.
I started a free community group called Addict II Athlete and it quickly gained momentum. As Head Coach of this remarkable team I began to witness the inner strength these Athletes developed as we put in miles on the trails together. After one challenging race, I asked one of our Athletes how hard the climb to Windy Pass was, toward the end of the Squaw Peak 50 Ultra. He replied, “It was hard, I wanted to quit, but then I thought about when I was sitting in the Utah State Prison for multiple DUI’s and how trapped I felt, and now, here I was on top of the world, free from prison and addiction. Yea, it was hard, but not impossible.”
Addict II Athlete’s vision is to assist these new Athletes in recovery from all addictions and get on the path of healing and achieving goals in what could be described as a new path in an Ultimate Direction. A brilliant name for a company that must have the same thought in giving the Athlete the best gear for their journey. When I was added to the trailandultrarunning.com group, I saw runners living the life Addict II Athlete is establishing for our new comers. From our first 5k two years ago to running the 2013 Badwater Ultra Marathon, these former addicts leave that life behind and become so much more.
For me the real accomplishment in ultra and trail running is experiencing the highest summits, longest stretches and the mental negotiating that proves we can do hard things. Even more inspiring is when you have a group of people others called drug addicts running alongside you because you know they can do hard things as well. Because nothing’s impossible…it just may take a bit longer. Please go HERE to cast your vote for Blu to win the Ultimate Direction Scott Jurek Ultra Vest. Comment on the post with “I vote #2!” Thank you!!