If you think about it, recovery is built around the fundamental theme of health. Cleansing the body of toxins, rejuvenating your inner being and, truth be told, getting your physique back into fighting shape. At Valley Recovery Center, exercise is an essential component of that process; which is why we were excited to see that message go viral. Earlier this month, SELF Magazine published a well received article which highlighted fitness, sobriety and the journey of one brave recovery advocate.
Louise Green authored the piece and delved deep into her battles with drugs and alcohol. But more importantly, she chronicled her path to healing and how simple regimens like running steered her toward success.
But perhaps what Louise found most rewarding about these new fitness experiences was the sense of accountability that accompanied them.
“When I made the decision to get sober, I sought the help of a recovery program,” Louise wrote. “Then a year into my sobriety, I started running. I found a positive, healthy community where I began to feel accepted and confident. With every run, I left behind pieces of shame and believed in myself just a little bit more. I had found my new high.”
Green went on to write about her 10k marathons and her eventual choice to become a personal trainer; all sparked by a new sober lifestyle. But perhaps what really made her article catch fire, was the helpful list of how fitness can turn a recovery graduate’s life around.
Number one on Louise’s list of exercise benefits was the new communities that it can open up. Surrounding yourself with health-conscious people can be extremely beneficial and reduce the urge to use. Green also described the incredible support system that arose from her new circle of running friends.
Self-esteem was also at the top of her list. As Louise began challenging herself with harder runs, her confidence began to grow in both her personal and professional life. She also described how exercise gave her a new sense of purpose.
“Before, in my drinking days, I really didn’t have any direction—so this was new and exciting,” she wrote. “I started to take on an identity of someone who had ambition, which was all new to me. Running gave me something constructive to focus on.”
But perhaps what Louise found most rewarding about these new fitness experiences was the sense of accountability that accompanied them. These types of regimens require precise start and stop times. There are also group activities, where teammates depend on each other. Adhering to those types of rules literally changed Green’s life and we’re confident it can do the same for many others.