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There is no question there’s recovery without fitness… The question is would I want anything to do with it?

April 2018

I’ve been in recovery from addiction for 25 years. I’ve been into fitness in one form or another for close to 20 of those – the first three, skip five-ish years, then the last seventeen, give or take.

I didn’t mess around with those five missing years, either. I did it right, they were sedentary. My weight shot up from a scrawny 150 pounds to a chubby-ish 195.

I didn’t know what I had those first few years of fit recovery. As fitness went, I just did what I did and concentrated on fixing what was wrong with me so I could recover. It wasn’t until that second stretch of fitness started – after I’d put some time in and cleared up much of the wreckage – that I was able to grasp what I’d previously taken for granted.

It all started with running.

I didn’t want to be a runner, I hated it with a passion… right up until I didn’t want to be fat more than I didn’t want to run. I never loved running, but that endorphin rush, after having no mood or mind-altering drugs for so long, felt awesome. I did come love that.

Then came cycling and I could have that feeling every time I rode, and I could ride almost daily. For some reason it doesn’t work the same inside, on the trainer, but I rode the trainer through the winter just the same, to stay sane and thin.

Now, cycling is special to me. I do love cycling. I love the toys, I love the mechanics of it, the physics, the friends, and the “want to”…. and I love the perspective and dimension it adds to my recovery.

Recovery from addiction is about coming back from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. Quitting drinking, dope, and cigarettes is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and likely the hardest thing I’ll ever do. I was miserable and beat down when I quit. Over time, throughout my recovery from that hopeless state of mind.  Fitness has provided an excellent balance to my recovery.

There’s no doubt there’s recovery without fitness, but fitness makes recovery better.  I am a pickle and always will be, so recovery is the only option for me that keeps me on the right side of the grass.  I would continue in recovery without fitness – I just wouldn’t like it as much.


  1. capejohn says:

    Cigarettes was my toughest quit. Giving up alcohol was easier I’m sure because I was a social drinker. A couple of drinks at Saturday night dinner. What’s the sense, was my though. I also gave up two of my biggest regrets in life, golf and religion, many years ago. . Now my body feels good and I feel like a better person.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Cigarettes were tougher for me, too. The drinking killed me quicker. I miss golf, and I never had a problem with religion as long as we are excepting bomb chuckers. They suck it.

    • Dra Martha Andrea Castro Noriega, MD WMA FACS says:

      Congratulations, capejohn! Cigarettes was really hard for me too…religion was easy hahahahaha…. I applaud you and admire you.

  2. Dra Martha Andrea Castro Noriega, MD WMA FACS says:

    Aw yes!!! Cigarettes, I agree. I have been cigarette free for 18 years. I stopped in February 2000 and never went back. I have been told by some medical doctors that specialize in addictions that quitting cigarettes is as hard as quitting heroine. So, yeah for us, who were tough enough to leave those cigs behind!

  3. Fully fully agree!!! For me, fitness must be mandatory to maintain my recovery and running is MY favorite. Great post! Thank you!

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