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Personal Recovery Training

Every now and then, we encounter a global recovery story that truly moves us. And this week, BBC News published an inspiring article that quickly went viral around the world. It concerns a British fitness coach who has transformed the sobriety experience with weights, cardio exercises and 10k marathons.

Gary Rutherford runs an extremely popular gym in Berkshire called ARC Fitness. And though members can virtually guarantee weight loss, strength improvement and better eating habits, they also get one added bonus: support for sobriety.

Rutherford himself is a recovering addict, who lost his family and nearly his life to alcoholism. At his lowest point, Gary’s addiction left him newly divorced and with a broken back following a car accident.

“The first conversation I remember about having a problem with alcohol was when I was 17,” Rutherford told the BBC site. “That just continued when I went to university where I had no ties with my family. I had freedom, but it spiraled and snowballed. I thought I had reached the end point so many times. I had nearly died in a car accident, I lost part of my thumb, I had dislocated a shoulder, I had broken ribs.”

For many, a story like that can lead to tragic consequences. But back in the early 2010’s, Rutherford began his journey into treatment. Now eight years sober, he is using his inspiring story to turn others’ lives around.

Interestingly, Rutherford was not a fit athletic type earlier in his life. It was only after treatment that he began to channel his energies into the gym. As he told the site, Gary began running on a daily basis, then evolved into CrossFit and eventually hardcore weight training.

Now with his ARC Fitness program, Rutherford is pushing regular exercise onto his growing list of clients. Everyone who trains with Gary is a recovering addict. Some newly out of treatment and some still going through it.

As Rutherford explained, his gym has a regimen that includes twice a week evening classes as well as high-intensity weekend work. Clients leave motivated, supported and in phenomenal shape.

Gary also added that confidence building is a huge component of his program. “I want to find the strength in that person and draw it out,” he concluded. “I want to make that person feel like a person, empower them, make them thrive, encourage them. Somebody found the strength in me to let me see that I was actually okay, there was hope and I was worth something – it saved my life.”