In-Zone Fitness is a gym in Pueblo, Colorado, that has become a hub for a diverse group of former opiate addicts. Some come voluntarily, others have been ordered by the Court to go to In-Zone and work out. I love it: Being court ordered to work out as part of a recovery plan. Rob Archuleta, a former crystal meth addict and founder of Addict2Athlete, stated:, “Intense exercise works.”. Rob admits to non-stop days of crystal meth drug binges that went along with his party lifestyle. In June 2015, after some years in recovery, Rob competed in an Ironman contest in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. This is his fourth Ironman competition since entering recovery.
Given Rob’s success with utilizing exercise in his overall recovery plan, he founded the organization Addict2Athlete. You can visit their website at www.addict2athlete.org. Addict2Athlete uses the twelve steps, a two-month curriculum of addressing criminogenic behaviors, coping skills and exercise to treat addiction.
When asked why this works, Rob states: “You’re in a fight for your life with addiction and you want to use anything you can to kick it. As addicts, we did anything we could to get high. So we need to do anything we can to stay sober. We’re sparking dopamine levels when we’re high. As addicts we want that instant gratification. With exercise we’re teaching people to use that dopamine in a constructive way; to work toward a goal in the gym and outside of it, to see that we can use that primitive urge as energy to create a healthy life.”
What Rob and Addict2Athlete are doing is music to my ears. Everything about Rob’s program makes sense to me and is consistent with the principles of Spiritual Adrenaline. By working the body, the collateral positive effect is improvement of the mind and spirit. Rob completely gets the linkage between a physical and mental recovery and the importance of creating positive hormones to enhance our chances of success and a long-term recovery.
Exercise is actually a relapse prevention tool, and, in fact, is among the most potent of relapse prevention tools.
Rob also advocates setting a goal, which I totally agree with. Early on in my recovery, my goal was to trim down and get rid of the “muffin top” that I developed in rehab. It then morphed into wanting to achieve six-pack abs, and now has grown into competing in physique contests around the country against other people my age.
As I progressed, my goals changed and progressed along with me. I learned discipline in my nutrition, in time management, and in my spiritual program to make my increasingly challenging goals become a reality.
To avoid self-sabotage, I always made sure my goals were realistic and achievable as long as I put in the work. However, my goals were challenging. Each and every time I set a new goal I give it my all and totally commit to achieving it. I enhance my self-esteem and confidence regardless of whether or not I actually achieve my goal.
I encourage you to follow the example of Rob and Addict2Athlete and utilize the tools of Spiritual Adrenaline.
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