Our Relationship with Superman: In Memory of David Clark, a founder of the Sober Active Movement…

By: Rob Archuletta & Scott Strode

I’d love to tell you David Clark and I were good friends, but we weren’t.  Like many others, I stood in awe of David from the sidelines.  I watched his videos and read his Facebook posts. I first met David in 2012 when my wife Sheena was running an Ultra Marathon to benefit victims of the Aurora Colorado shooting.  David not only ran the race but won it.  Afterwards, he took the time to speak with Sheena and the rest of the Addict2Athlete team.   David shared his story with us.  The members of our team shared their stories of addiction and recovery as well.  From that point on, it became clear that we were all cut from the same cloth.  When David was attempting to break the world record for the longest treadmill run, we made Addict2Athlete t-shirts with his photo on them.

The shirt had a silhouette of David running with a Superman cape flowing behind him.  He indeed was an example of holistic recovery and unwavering dedication.  As years went on, David and I had many conversations about Veganism and Buddhism.  David was a wealth of knowledge but was always careful to say: “That’s just my opinion.”  Regardless, his words touched my soul.  I would frequently transition between being a vegan and following a paleo diet.  Every time I called him for plant-based diet pointers he would say: “Well, well, the prodigal son returns.”  Of course with a laugh and he never stopped helping.

I am a four-time Ironman, but after my fourth Ironman, I started to struggle with anxiety.  I dropped out of several races including a half and full ironman.  After a year of rest, I signed up for my fifth Ironman to honor a few friends who had passed on.  Finishing the race meant the world to me.  The night before, I was stuck with terrible anxiety and spent most of the night crying and scared.  I was going to drop out.   But just then, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a post from David.  I was filled with envy of his fearlessness.  I reached out to him in the middle of the night asking him about anxiety.  He responded in typical calming David fashion, and told me: “I do have anxiety.  I enjoy all of it.  I try not to win internal arguments; be in the moment you’ll be fine.” I took his advice and finished the race.         

David has spoken at several Addict2Athlete events, and when I tried to help him sell books his goal was always to get books to the people who needed them rather than those who could afford them.  A hand-full of us started the active recovery movement.  Like the others, I have a vast amount of people who look to me for guidance, or at least experience strength and hope.  I am incredibly grateful to have had David to lean on. In retrospect, I now see that it seems like David was holding all of us up.  In one of the last conversations I had with David we discussed Buddhism, leadership, and recovery.  The last message David sent to me regarding recovery and leadership was: “The path is authentic communication with self through meditation and action.”  David, although I didn’t get to see you often, I already miss you.  Your teachings will live on through everyone you touched.  You truly were Superman!    

Rob Archuleta 
Co-Founder of Addict2Athlete

Rob’s words tell the story about the type of person David Clark was. I’m sure if you asked other endurance athletes and folks in recovery, you would hear a similar story of a time where David took a moment out of his life to be there to help lift others.  He always expressed the desire to do more, to help more, to carry the message of hope to even more people. 

Now we have a chance to do more for him in his memory. Please give what you can to support Davids’ family in this heartbreaking time. If David was the one here asking to help support another person in the recovery/endurance/athlete community, I’m sure he would be running 150 miles across the Mojave Desert trying to raise $20,000.00.   He would do anything to help support the family of someone he barely knew because he felt in his heart it was the right thing to do. Please, give what you can to help his family through this difficult time. 

The sober active movement certainly has lost one of our heroes.  I will miss your smile, laughter and big hugs.   But most of all, your beautiful spirit and eternal optimism.  Rest peacefully David Clark.  We will feel your energy in the moments of the marathon of life and recovery, where we all need to find the courage and strength to endure. “We Are Superman!” 

Scott Strode

National Executive Director & Founder

The Phoenix

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To donate to the family of Superman a/k/a David Clark, click here:: https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-memory-of-david-clark?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link-tip&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet

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