Our Inspirations:  Phoenix Multisport and Scott Strode

I read a great article in the October 12, 2016 edition of the Philly Voice entitled Recovering Addicts Using Cross Fit to Exercise their Demons and wanted to share it with you.   The article tells the story of Scott Strode who has been sober from alcohol and cocaine for nineteen years.  About eight years ago he founded Phoenix Multisport in Boulder, Colorado.

Scott Strode, founder and operator of Phoenix Multisport, a nonprofit gym that offers free services for people with 48 hours of contiguous sobriety B64813904Z.1 in Newport Beach. ///ADDITIONAL INFO: cu.1119.phoenixsport - 11/13/15 - BY JOSHUA SUDOCK, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER - Phoenix Multisport, a nonprofit gym that offers free services for people with 48 hours of contiguous sobriety. Taking portrait of Scott Strode (founder) and the NB gym operator. Picture made at Phoenix Multisport in Newport Beach, California on Friday, November 13, 2015.

Scott integrated hiking, weight training and other forms of exercise into his own recovery.  Following what worked for him, Scott founded Phoenix Multisport to integrate exercise into on overall twelve-step program.   At Phoenix Multisport people recovering from substance abuse along with anyone else who chooses to live sober, come to train in a gym setting and enhance their twelve-step program.   The types of physical activity at Phoenix include: climbing, hiking, running, strength training, yoga, and road/mountain biking.  Beyond the numerous physical pursuits, Multisport also offers social events which help build a sense of community among participants.

 

Phoenix Multisport has expanded beyond Boulder and presently offers programs in numerous cities in Colorado; Orange County, California; Boston, Massachusetts and  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The organization’s goal is simple: “To expand people’s sober community while creating a safe environment.”   The organization acknowledges: “people choosing to live a sober lifestyle often find it necessary to make changes to many aspects of their lives, including their social circles, in order to maintain sobriety.  Abrupt changes in lifestyle can lead to loss of support networks, and often cause people to become isolated.”   Phoenix Multisport fills a void for someone in recovery by providing  positive social and physical activities that support a healthy lifestyle.   The program helps people in recovery build “a new identity as a sober athlete in place of a

drug addict or alcoholic.”

The inspirational work accomplished by Scott and everyone at Phoenix Multisport has helped save lives and improve the quality of life for so many already in recovery.   At Spiritual Adrenaline we hope to see Scott’s brainchild spread across all fifty states.

If you are interested in reading the Philly Voice article, go to www.phillyvoice.com/recovering-addicts-using-crossfit-to-exercise-their-demons. Also, check out the Phoenix Multisport website at www.phoenixmultisport.org.

If you know of any individual or organization that is using exercise and/or nutrition as part of an overall twelve-step program and would like to share their story, let us know. Send us an email at blog@spiritualadrenaline.me.

Ordinary Recovery, William Alexander – Recovery Spirituality

stinkingthinkingphotoRecovery Spirituality –  Ordinary Recovery, William Alexander

 An incredibly important part of realizing a spiritual awakening is the journey towards that point while dealing with what is often referred to as “stinking thinking”.  This refers to those thoughts and impulses that pop into our heads without forewarning, or any trigger that compels us to return to our old bad behaviors.   Scientists say that average folk have approximately 40,000 thoughts pop into their heads daily.   When I was using and in early recovery, I think the same three or four thoughts popped into my head 40,000 times a day: “Drink”; “Do a Line”; “Act Out Sexually”; or in early recovery, “Eat at the Problem”. Being bombarded 40,000 times a day with these unhealthy and unhelpful thoughts was a huge problem.

These thoughts or impulses had control for a very long time.  By the time I realized the thought or impulse popped into my head, I was already off to the races to make it happen.  There are numerous ways I have successfully dealt with this in recovery. Gratitude, mindfulness and breath are among the tools I used; Buddhists have known for thousands of years, the importance of breath, as a tool to end suffering.

In his book, Ordinary Recovery, William Alexander, an addict in long-term recovery who was ordained a Buddhist Monk, relates how truly simple the solution is to the complicated problem of addiction. I highly recommend you read Ordinary Recovery and attend the once yearly “Buddhists in Recovery” retreat co-facilitated by Bill at KTD Monastery in Woodstock, New York. If you attend, I can almost guarantee that I will have the pleasure to meet you in person, as I am a regular and huge fan of Bill, his book and KTD.

Bill has a number of mindfulness tools in his book, all of which involve “taming the dragon”. No matter what tool you chose to use, Bill’s advice on how to handle stinking thinking is as follows:

Stop.

Breath.

Look deeply.

Express gratitude.

Tell Someone.

 

It truly is that simple.   By focusing on our stopping the stinking thinking and focusing on our breath, we retake control of our mind.   We must learn how to “look deeply” and Bill’s book and other mindfulness teachings can help you with that.  Gratitude then overcomes the thought or impulse and you share about it.  Only your secrets can keep you sick.

The key to to force the mind back into the positive and to gratitude.  An alcoholic or addict that stays in gratitude will not use.  

I highly recommend you check out Ordinary Recovery by William Alexander for more helpful tools to avoid stinking thinking.

We look forward to your feedback on this and other blog posts or questions. If you have used exercise and/or nutrition as a tool in your recovery or know someone who has, shoot us an email or video at: blog@spiritualadrenaline.me.