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Shelby

Shelby Austin: I was raised in poverty by parents that abused drugs and alcohol. That destructive environment exposed me and my younger brother at an early age to domestic violence. My Mom and Dad would routinely argue over his addiction and it would quickly escalate to physical abuse. We were helpless, and some of my earliest childhood memories include images of our parents screaming and fist fights and destroying everything in our home. My Dad fueled his addictions by stealing from my Mom, his family and friends. He would make me and my brother help him steal anything of value to pawn. Most kids grow up and want to be like their Dad. I didn’t want to be anything like mine. I loved him, but through most of my childhood he was on the run or in jail and I only seen him occasionally as I grew up. He was a lifelong alcoholic and drug addict that passed away from a heroin overdose in 2000. He died alone, living on the streets with no support from family or friends. Drug and alcohol abuse are common on both sides of my family. Nearly everyone has struggled with some form of addiction, and we have all certainly been exposed to it. I hated what addiction was doing to us and I wanted to hide from it. My Grandmother helped raise us and she would comfort me and my brother with her home cooking. Without realizing it, my escape from drugs and alcohol would manifest into food addiction. Food was safety. Food was comfort. Food was a way to celebrate, it was as a reward and I abused it. In 2010 I was obese and desperately needed a change in my life. I felt horrible all of the time and I was leading a sedentary lifestyle that was spinning me into depression. I slowly began a weekly exercise regimen and made an effort to change myself. I entered a short distance 5k run with the hopes that a commitment to a race, something on the calendar, would help keep me focused on losing weight and improving myself. All of my life I had seen my family tear their bodies down with drug and alcohol abuse. I didn’t want that life. I wanted to change myself and be healthy. Since I erased my old habits and replaced them with good, I have lost 50 lbs and feel better physically and mentally. Strong mind meets strong body. Today, I am an Ironman triathlon finisher and have completed multiple marathons and long distance endurance events. It is all hard work and nothing about it is easy. But it can be done with commitment and desire. Take care of you..Shelby

Erik

My name is Erik Rutherford and I am a miracle. I was a violent thief who was addicted to heroine. Today I’m clean and sober. With the help of A2A I've become a stronger more fit person. Not just fit in the physical sense but emotionally, mentally and spiritually as well. I began coming to A2A because it was required of me by the treatment facility I was in. From the first time I attended I could tell this wasn't like any other recovery class or 12-step meeting. I was hooked, I ask if I could be enrolled in the probation required group and was granted permission and I graduated proudly. It's crazy but sometimes I feel like my prayers were answered because I use to ask God for a way out of addiction, I feel like he answered me with A2A. Than you Addict2Athlete!









Justin 

My name is Justin Chavez and my life growing up was very common. My father had a temper and expressed his anger with his hands. He wasn’t a terrible person he just didn’t know how to express himself. I believed as a child and well up into adulthood that I deserved abuse. I started drinking and smoking pot when I was 16. This was my first real taste of freedom because I could drive myself to work and school. I could sneak away and come home late unmonitored. With my parents divorce it made it easier to do what ever I wanted, as one parent would think I was with the other parent. When I was 20 I moved out of the house. With a newfound freedom I didn’t have to hide what I was to my friends or anyone else anymore. I met new friends through work and I tried mushrooms and later tried cocaine for the first time. This was the first time I thought happiness was possible. The happiness substance abuse gave me was a lie. I was always justifying irresponsible behavior and lying to myself. In the summer of 2012 my father came to visit me and we talked I broke down in front of him and showed my weakness and fear. He told me that I needed to straighten up and see the error of my ways. That night he forced me to pray with him. God heard me that night and sent me an answer the next day. My neighbor Rob Archuleta had an Addict2Athlete sticker on his car in big bold letters. I looked it up online and read the testimonials, the site had pictures of clients and success stories. The team looked happy and they were sharing about how Addict2Athlete changed their lives. I stopped Rob the next morning before work and told him about what had happened and he invited me to join him for class on Saturday at 10am. I went to the class and I was so nervous I was shaking. Rob had everyone introduce them selves and say something they really like about him or herself. This was a hard concept for me as I didn’t like anything about myself and never had. Then he called on me to share a little bit and told them how I walked right up to him and admitted I had a problem and stated that I needed help. He said this took a lot of courage. I shared who I was and what I had done and everyone welcomed me. This was the first time that no one condemned me for asking for help. I decided from that day I was done and I turned a corner.

Katie 

I’m Katie Cook, 37 years old and a recovering alcoholic. I discovered alcohol at a very young age. As my life progressed so did my drinking and eventually I used drugs. When I was 32 years old I found myself a divorced mother of two young boys. I had flunked out of nursing school and almost lost my job on numerous occasions. I was broken. I had nothing else to do and nowhere to go. I found a 12-step recovery group and met some people that I could trust. They suggested that I work the steps, so I did, and finally I started to get my life back. I was able to be a good mom, daughter and friend again. It took a lot of work and a faith in something I didn't want to believe in. After being sober for a few years I started to get complacent. I was still smoking cigarettes like a train, and doing no type of physical activity. I was lazy and overweight. When I found the Addict2Athlete program, I was a little critical, but the more I showed up, I started to realize that the group had a purpose. The goal was to help each other through addiction by using healthy addictions as a positive outlet. Since I dove in head first, I have stopped smoking, started to eat healthier and I have lost an incredible 45 lbs. I have never felt healthier and younger than I do today! I run, I exercise, I teach and I show up! I love helping new clients and sharing my experience, strength, and hope with them. I love the friends that I have made, and I am proud to be a positive role model to my children. I am an athlete!





Shawn 

Shawn: I was born with cerebral palsy the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck three times my parents were told that my body had shut down, except for my brain heart and kidneys. The reports were pessimistic that I would never walk or talk or develop normally. For nine years I was in three types of therapy I also had problems with my feet being turn under and inward. I had a series of casts as well as special exercises that made me scream. The first year of my life I communicated by screaming I had to learn sign language I begun walking in a walker around 3 I was walking on my own by 5 I had seizures until 12. I believe I can do all things though Christ. Rob works with my mom and we spoke casually a few times. After getting to know him he invited me to join the group for some runs, I have become great friends with Rob and Sheena and love telling my story to clients about how I persevered. I finished several marathons and triathlons. I also finished an Ironman triathlon without the support of A2A none of this would have been possible thanks guys! YOU ROCK!




Adrian

Adrian: As I read and hear the term "suffer well" it defines much of what I endure in my everyday life. As most people see me I am a strong, determined, positive person, but I was not always this person as many see me today. I have had to conquer many fears to get to where I am. My addiction was my battle with food. For 4 years in high school I suffered severally from eating disorders (particularly from bulimia).  As I had a fear of gaining weight, trying to be great athlete, and managing the everyday stress of life and studies, this battle was one that I held secretly from everyone I knew and loved.  As many look at this as a typical "it was to be thin" was not the case. It was a more of coping with everyday life and finding an escape to try and avoid looking out of place. As this addiction grew stronger and my performance as an athlete continued to weaken, I had family trying to find me help, but I was to ashamed. It was not until my older brother asked me a two questions that made a lot of sense and that was "do you respect and love yourself? If you do why put yourself through this misery?" As I thought this question through I knew that deep in my heart I had to make a change to better myself mentally, physically, and spiritually. As part of my fear I had to face it by letting life take its course. I gained 30 pounds within my 2 years of recovery and took a break from working out (especially running). It was not until early 2012 I found myself wanting to better myself in starting over with a journey of health and fitness. I started eating better, working out by running 1-2 miles a day and began joining more fitness classes at my gym. As I grew stronger and confident my expectations had exceeded. Since those changes and positive outlook in my life I have completed more than what I have expected. I have done several ½ marathons, did an Ultra marathon back in June of 2013, and completed my first half Ironman in October of 2013. I continue to lead a life in a healthy way and continue to set my goals high, my next goal I plan to accomplish within the next year is a full distance Ironman triathlon. What I appreciate out of addic2athlete is the program is unique from others. It is also a comforting thought that this is a program that does not focus on one specific "addiction". It recognizes all addictions and focuses on troubles you face in everyday life. My battle is one I face everyday, but I now think of food as fuel. Truly respecting myself and having support I am able to accomplish more than I ever expected, in life and athletic accomplishments. Now when I "suffer well" it's in a good way like running mile after mile or swimming lap after lap.

BenBen Mayfield: As a child I was exposed VERY early to Chemical dependence and substance abuse. However, it had more of a "Scared Straight" effect on me. Seeing the lives drugs ruined (including mine) I was staying as far away as possible. My older sister (by only three years) was left to fend for herself and her three younger siblings (me included) due to drugs. Needless to say, I was left co-dependent and confused. As I grew older I continued the route I feared so much, only in a different way. Food was a hard thing to come by as a kid. In my house we got small portions and you only got seconds (if at all possible) if you finished your food first. And the only time we went out to eat was for birthdays (maybe). Naturally I began to associate food with family and celebration. I've never been the active type and had NO CLUE about health and fitness. When I began to workout with Rob I weighed 260lbs and couldn't run half a mile in 15 minutes. I lost 80lbs in 6.5 months and am now starting practice with The pueblo Steel Football team and will try out for the for the 2014 season. I got down to 180Lbs. And after weight lifting and continuing my training I'm at 190lbs and can run 7.30 miles. Addict2Athlete has changed my life and I hope I can continue to be here to help others who are where I once was.

Rick

Hi my name is Rick I have been an addict for most of my life. It started back in high school. Using alcohol and smoking pot. In my twenties I started using cocaine. It almost killed me twice. After my second over dose I gave it up forever. It’s not a very pleasant way to die.  18 years ago I was introduced to meth, it quickly became my drug of choice. It made me feel like Superman. I believe part of my addiction was brought on by emotional trauma when my girlfriend left me, the pain was just too much for me to handle. That’s when I lost all control of my drug use. I started getting high every day. It made the pain go away. The meth caused me to lose my job and my children. They moved away with their mother. I missed getting to see them grow up. When I started slowing down on the meth I gained a tremendous amount of weight. Four years ago I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Thanksgiving Day 2010 is when it all turned around for me. I realized I still had two wonderful daughters who loved their father very much and still wanted me in there life. But I was huge, 325 pounds. I was miserable.  So I tried losing the weight but still hadn’t stopped the meth completely. I missed  working out and ate all day long after I got high. Sometime around January I finally stopped the meth. Shortly after I meet Rob he waved me in to one of his spin classes and told me about A2A. The weight has been falling off ever since.  As for my health I am happy to say, I no longer have sleep apnea. The doctor has taken me off one medication for my blood pressure and cut the other one in half, and I only take ¼ of the medication I used to take for my diabetes. I am still a work in progress. I’ve got some more weight to loss, and some carrier choices to make. My goal is to cure myself and make a good living again, and help as many people as I can along the way. I get so much support and encouragement from everyone at A2A. They have made me feel like a part of something again. I know with a lot of hard work, and there support I can do anything. Thank you for making me a part of your family.

ArthurMy name is Arthur Chavez Jr., I am a recovering Meth addict. The last 8-9 years of my life have been pretty much a blur…I thought I was living my life to the fullest with my family and my kids but that wasn’t the real me there with them. That was a different person all together. I was in and out of jail, that was the only time I would be totally clean, because I had to be. There were a lot of broken promises to the ones who were always there for me. My mom would tell me I was mean, I acted like I could take on the world. It wasn’t until I was alone one night and got caught with Meth. It was then that I seen how fast I was on my way to losing my freedom. My girlfriend, kids, mom, and my whole family would be the ones to suffer. I hated the thought of being without them, that’s when I learned about Addict to Athlete from a family member. After the first Saturday meeting I went to, I decided this is what it was going to take to let me spend everyday with my kids. I became more involved. I started running, helping with fundraisers, making A2A car stickers and A2A shirts. My biggest commitment to my sobriety and to the group is my A2A tattoo. Rob soon became not only my friend but a person I could call on anytime. I soon became an active member of the Colorado Meth Project. I spend my time talking to kids at school and volunteering my time to help others. My time means a lot more to me now, whether it be going from one end of town for my sons football game to the other side of town for my daughters soccer game. I can truly say I am an active A2A member who enjoys everyday to the fullest now. There is hope for any addict of any drug. I am living proof!


MariaMy name is Maria Aragon and I’m 29 years old. I am a recovering cocaine addict coming up on a year and 3 months sober. I was active in my addiction for 9 years. Every time I thought I hit rock bottom I would try quitting on my own, I even tried going to rehab, but after a couple of months being sober I always ended up going back out, thinking that I could control my use. I had many reasons I used. Some were to cover up the feelings of disappointment, hurt, guilt, shame, and my depression, just to name a few. I thought the high was the greatest feeling that I had ever felt, and that it would take away my problems. Well it didn’t, it only made my problems even worse for me or even created new ones. I lost the respect that I had for myself as well as for other people. The drugs also put a huge strain on both personal and family relationships, my parents and siblings didn’t even know who I was anymore, I didn’t even know who I was. I had become someone I never guessed I would be in a million years. I did everything you could think of to get my fix. I’ve lied, cheated and stole, among other many things. My use came to an abrupt stop on April 27, 2009 when a using "friend" and I got into trouble. I was looking at 6 to 12 years in prison and being away from my kids for that long. I realized that for the last 9 years of my life I had accomplished nothing and had nothing to show for. I realized that I needed to come out of this addiction alive to be there for my kids and to show them that there is something more in life.

 

After being convicted for forgery in August 2009, I was ordered 2 years probation and drug and alcohol treatment. I was ordered to Crossroads for the 30 day inpatient treatment. I was already 6 months sober at this point when I went in, but I went in with an open mind, hoping that I would be able to take in everything that they were teaching me. While I was in Crossroads I was introduced to the Addict 2 Athlete program, and I felt it was something that I could possibly continue doing after I got out of Crossroads. When I was released from Crossroads on December 2, I realized that I needed to integrate something healthy and positive in my life that would help me to remain clean and sober. I continued to come to A2A on a regular basis and also started helping them out by running the meeting when they were unable to be there. I also starting doing a lot of running and getting myself back into shape by going to the gym. I did my first indoor triathlon in the beginning of 2010 and I placed 2nd in my age group. On March 7, 2010 did my first 5k race for the Spring Runoff and I did it in 31:24 min. On April 18, 2010, I also did the Spank Blasing Run where I did improve my time. I have now just completed another indoor triathlon and now I will begin training to do my first half marathon in October.

 

My recovery is still new and some days are still harder than others. But everyday I am growing stronger and growing further away from the life of using. I am very grateful that there is this wonderful program called Addict 2 Athlete. It has honestly been the biggest contributing factor in my recovery. The founders of this program, (Rob and Sheena), have been such an inspiration to me. They motivate me to only do better in my recovery; I don’t know what I would have done without them there to give me the strength that I need to push on. The program has shown me that I can do something in life that is positive, all I have to do is set my goal and go for it without thinking twice. I have recently been given the chance to be an assistant coach for the A2A program and I feel that this is such a great honor. I believe that it will help me in my recovery because now I will also be able to help other people in their recovery. I believe that God will never take you somewhere where God cannot protect you. That is what I live by everyday. Thank you to everyone from A2A you have truly helped to save my life.

 

JerimiahMy name is Jeremiah and I am 20 years old and I have been struggling with anger problems for years. I would always deal with my anger through self destructive outlets such as breaking personal belongings, distancing myself from loved ones and yelling as loud as I could. When ever someone got a glimpse of my anger or heard noise from my room, they would check on me and I found myself lying to cover up what I had done. I noticed over time that my blow ups were getting bigger and bigger and soon they became triggered by the most simplest and smallest of things. The quality of my life had severely nose-dived and I knew that unless I changed how I reacted to such things, that my temper would and very likely affect my future in a negative way. My anger scares those around me and if I never learned to deal with it and keep myself from exploding, I could for see my anger getting me in trouble with the law and changing my life forever.

 

After a particular blow up, I ended up punching the wall and breaking my hand when my knuckle came in contact with a stud instead of just hitting the dry wall. At that time, I had to have with a cast that covered my right ring finger and pinky. People were asking me what I did to break it and I was ashamed of myself and I tried to lie. Only those who knew that this particular type of break was actually caused by punching wrong knew the truth, but I had to live with the actions of my decisions for a month. Every time I looked at my cast I felt horrible and wanted so badly to change the way I was.

 

I heard of A2A at the gym where I work, Rob had left his business cards on the counter for people to take. I wasn’t sure if A2A would be able to help me with my anger problem until my girlfriend talked to Rob himself. Rob talked to me, and told me that anger was a very common and serious problem, if I didn’t try to learn to manage it. I realized that this might be a helpful tool to overcome my anger. I have never been to an AA meeting or any other type of meet of that sort and this was a whole new experience for me. After my first meeting, he said it was time to work out and I will never forget trying to do a push up with a cast on. I felt enlightened after the whole thing was over, not sure if it was hearing other peoples life experience or the work out that followed it. Either way I definitely wanted to feel that again, and the only way to do that was to admit I had a problem and have an open mind at the A2A meetings.

 

After a few weeks I started to run with the A2A team on Saturdays before the meetings, and realized it intensified that feeling of accomplishment. I competed in my first competitive run at the Spirit Fest 5K run with the A2A team, and finished 14th out of 73. A little while ago I just finished my first indoor triathlon at the PAC and placed first in my age group. I never thought I would use running as an outlet, let alone running every Saturday in the early morning or competing against other people.

 

I found strength in myself that I never knew that I had in me before, and only once I committed myself to changing my addiction was it possible. I knew that after accomplishing all this running and exercise, overcoming my problems and learning to deal with them was not impossible. I have changed greatly so far and will continue to better myself as long as I breathe. When I feel myself slipping I think of everything I have sacrificed and worked for and everyone that is supporting me to get where I am now, and I have decided that I will never give in again.

 

CarrieAlthough my addiction is unique in the program, Addict to Athlete has helped me in the same way as it helps other addicts. I may not be the "norm" for this program, but it still benefits me greatly.

My name is Carrie, and I am eighteen years old. I have a severe eating disorder that has required years of intense treatments, and the Addict to Athlete program has been a great aftercare support team. Being involved in this group provides me with the knowledge that I am not alone, and that I have a person to call when I am struggling. It is extremely comforting and beneficial to interact with the Addict to Athlete team because they understand addiction, abuse, and the problems that arrive from both.

Not only do the founders of Addict to Athlete help me, but attending the weekly meetings has proven to be beneficial as well. Listening to the speakers, other addicts, and supporters has given me more knowledge about addiction and the effects it has on the addict and their loved ones. I have found comfort in the fact that I am not alone in this battle. When I leave a meeting, I feel more motivated to continue to strive toward recovery and persevere through the bumps in the road.

Being involved with Addict to Athlete has been more helpful than other addiction groups because their interests are similar to mine. Addict to Athlete provides physical activities such as running, biking, and swimming, all of which I enjoy. One of my favorite parts of this program is competing in running races, triathlons, and participating in activities I never thought I would be able to pursue. This alone has given me a sense of self-worth and accomplishment. It has proven to me that one can set and achieve goals as long as one puts his or her mind to it.

Through Addict to Athlete I have met many great people and have created life-long friendships. I am not alone in this battle, and because of this program recovery seems attainable. Since joining Addict to Athlete I have found comfort, hope, support, friendship, and most of all, motivation to stay "clean" and "sober" from my eating disorder.

 

JasonI'm one of those people that can't blame my addiction on the way my life turned out. The results of my life were effects of being a SPIRITUALLY dead human being. My addictions were mere symptoms of a progressive disease and lifestyle.

It started back in junior high when I discovered alcohol and pot, I liked the effects they had on me, not only the effects they had on me but the effects they had with others around me. I felt good, like superman, before I knew it I was using and drinking as often as possible. I quit doing all the things I once enjoyed. School became boring and alot more difficult, all I could think about was partying. I dropped out of high school so I could become a "man", I knew everything and you couldn't tell me different.

Unfortunately, I didn't know anything at all, this was the beginning of the end of the life I once knew. My drinking and drugging took over my life, I tried COCAINE.

Immediately I was a god in my own mind. I began to drink alot more because alcohol didn't have the same effect it once did. My life became unmanageable, I went to a faith based rehab in a last ditch effort to regain a life I once had with my fiance, she still left me. I was there for 89 days and came out a new man on fire for the Lord.

When all my attempts to regain the life I wanted failed, I went back to my old behaviors. It took another 9 years before I would seek help again, too much pride I guess, but I finally did it for ME this time. I was not going to take FAILURE as an option.

I went to two different rehabs, then a mens sober living house. I dedicated 1 year strictly to recovery and myself, WOW what a bargain. The life I have been blessed with is amazing. I owe it all to GOD, AA, A2A, family, and friends that never stopped praying or giving up on me.

A2A is one of the best 12-step groups I know. It incorporates 12-step meetings with exercise, what a concept, an amazing way to promote a new lifestyle of healthy living.

Rob is a true soldier, I've known Rob since I was a child, in his good times and at some of his worst. He is a great inspiration for me and so many others. A2A has high quality sobriety and high level athletes. The coaches are great and the dynamics of the meetings are amazing. I can relate to everyone that attends in one way or another,

I've been on top at one or more times (in my mind) and at my bottom which was very low. I recommend A2A to anyone that needs help with addiction or just wants a healthier way to live one day at a time.

Good luck and GOD BLESS.
Jason Casados