There is certainly a sense of accomplishment and serenity that occurs when you trek to the top of a steep mountain. And interestingly enough, a recovery program in Colorado is using those practices to help steer people away from drugs and alcohol. TheFix.com recently profiled a program called 2xtreme, which challenges its newly-sober members with 10 months of rigorous hike training. It all culminates with the climb of a 20,000 foot mountain.
As the group’s participants explained on the site, the program works because it combines several essential recovery elements. There’s the physical component, which requires discipline and focus (channeling one’s energies away from using). Then there’s the mental preparations, which include confidence building and an emphasis on self-esteem. Finally the teamwork factor comes into play, teaching members to build trust with each other and assume accountability when it comes to training exercises.
Several 2xtreme climbers spoke to TheFix, emphasizing how this unique approach to sobriety changed their lives.
“Ten months ago I was really heavy into drugs. I didn’t have a good relationship with my parents and they sought out to find a program that could turn my life around,” a participant who goes by “Luke” told the site. “Through 2xtreme, I learned a lot of life lessons about being a man, taking responsibility, dealing with guilt and failure, and celebrating my successes.”
Naturally, you would think the Colorado setting would have these members scaling local trails in the Rockies. But no. True to its name, 2xtreme takes its participants far beyond that. After the 10 months of training is complete, these groups have tackled historic peaks like Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mt. Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe.
The program is actually catered to young men and makes a point to only include fully capable members on these challenging trails. For those who still want to be part of the experience, 2xtreme offers other physical outlets at their facility. These include everything from sports athletics, to indoor climbing, to biking and skateboarding.
And one other very notable point about this org is their charitable work. When visiting exotic locations in Africa and South America, members partake in local community service activities (which included a recent visit to an orphanage in Peru).
“The sobriety this program brought me has really allowed me to mature,”another member named Nelson explained. “I’ve met incredible people. I’ve had incredible experiences and now I’m going to be halfway across the world hiking building relationships with people that I’m going to have the rest of my life.”
You can watch a segment on the powerful work being done with 2xtreme below…