The hardest part of kicking booze was the whole “kicking booze” part… Sobering up for a day wasn’t so bad. Two was even reasonable from time to time… three, though, that was pushing it. Four sucked, and I only got to five a couple of times. I managed two weeks one time. A day later, oblivion.
When I made the decision to quit drinking, I went at it wholeheartedly. My bargain with God was, “I’ll give sobriety everything I’ve got, if you’ll just help me”. By the time I woke up the next day, my desire to drink had been lifted – it appeared my Higher Power was willing to live up to His end of the bargain first. I’ve always looked at this as a small miracle.
After I’d been sobered up for a bit and found there was more to life than just meetings and working a program, I decided to get into fitness. In-line skating first. I was light and exceptionally fast. Back then I could hold a pace just slightly slower than I can on a road bike today. The guy I skated with regularly was a family man. He wasn’t a drinker, so he was safe for me to be around early in sobriety.
Eventually, as the story goes, I got into running, then cycling. All of my good friends, riding and running, have been some form of sober or exceptionally light drinkers.
Getting to the Title, while there’s no question fitness is of the utmost importance to my recovery, the recovery came first – and it’s always remained first. There is a very simple, but powerful, explanation for this distinction: Without recovery, there is no fitness.
Without recovery, my addiction(s) consume everything. There’s no wife and kids, no job, no house and cars… there’s no happiness, no friends. I will flush all of that to stay drunk. Always have, always will, and if I don’t remain vigilant in my awareness, my addiction is in a cage in my brain doing push-ups and pull-ups, just waiting for a chance to open the cage door that has no lock.
There’s nothing good in my life without recovery.