BENEFITING: PHOENIX MULTISPORT
EVENT DATE: Aug 03, 2014
THE BIG EVENT:
Tomorrow, I will be toeing the line for Ironman Boulder. For those unfamiliar, Ironman is a one day event involving a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride, topped off with a 26.2 mile marathon.
Like many silly ideas, this one has evolved over time from… “Maybe someday” to “Let’s DO this!” to “What the hell was I thinking?!” My training log tells me that, in the last five years, I’ve covered upwards of 12,000 miles in pursuit of this goal. (A pittance by Boulder standards. But for we, mere mortals…?)
To be clear, I’m doing this for myself. That said, wouldn’t it be awesome if all those miles amounted to something more than a few saddles sores and a reduced resting heart rate?
An epidemic of opioid addiction is killing tens of thousands in this country annually. In one recent four month period in Massachusetts, 185 people died from heroin overdoses. Compounding this tragedy is the fact that those most affected are often teens and young adults.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, of the 23.5 million of those who needed treatment for alcoholism in 2009, only 11.2% were able to access it. Even those who could afford a program were more likely than not to relapse within a year of leaving treatment. Why is that?
Believe it or not, the research suggest that a significant contributor is their circle of friends. Many of the names in addicts’ cell phones are the same people they drank and used with when they were “out there,” most of whom are still mired in the disease. How supportive are those old contacts likely to be of a commitment to “get it right this time?”
ONE PART OF THE SOLUTION:
First, Phoenix Multisport is not an alternative to 12-step programs, treatment or counseling. We strongly encourage those in recovery to seek out, and participate in, a program that works for them. What we are is a community – a unique community of people in recovery, those who choose to lead active lives in an effort to leave behind the self-destructive behaviors that were slowly, but just as surely, killing us.
Phoenix members regularly run, ride, hike, climb, lift weights, do yoga, CrossFit, boxing… activities that can contribute to feelings of accomplishment and self-worth. In any given week in Colorado, there are roughly fifty Phoenix “events” in which our members participate. And, because those who are recently sober may struggle, financially, all these activities are free - including use of our facilities and equipment, and all instruction and coaching! Anyone who has 48 hours of continuous sobriety, and has made a commitment to living sober, is welcome at all Phoenix events. So, no matter where a person is in their journey, someone who gets involved with Phoenix can quickly replace their toxic contacts with scores of new friends who, like them, have made a decision to live sober. Together, they participate in activities that transform their concepts of themselves – from addict to athlete, from alcoholic to friend / family member. The researchers call it “social capital.” Phoenix calls it “sober, active community.” Whatever you call it, it works. Phoenix members who stay active are less than half as likely to relapse as those who do not.
After seven years in Colorado, we’ve finally opened a chapter in Orange County, CA. And, if all goes according to plan, we’ll be opening in Boston in early 2015. Our vision is to eventually have a presence everywhere there is a need. But we need your help to finance this growth.
So, the best way you can show your support of my upcoming bid to complete Ironman Boulder is to go to click the "DONATE" button and make a contribution to Phoenix Multisport. Think of the miles I’ve covered, and of what I’ll be attempting to accomplish on August 3. Think of all those you’ll be helping. Then, pick a number you’re comfortable with. Any amount is appreciated. (In fact, an anonymous donor has recently issued a challenge grant. Every dollar Phoenix raises between now and September 30, up to $200,000, will be matched, dollar for dollar. So your contribution will have double the impact.)
If you’re still reading this, thank you for your time and patience. And if you’ve made a contribution, thank you for your generosity and willingness to help this wonderful organization.
Wish me luck. I’m gonna need it!