Lift Your Spirit



By O. R. Marv

Recovery has given me a life beyond my wildest dreams.

It is the single greatest thing I’ve ever done in my life…better than making a lot of money in my past….better than earning my degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science….better than getting accepted into Grad school to earn a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (spoiler alert I never went as my addiction overruled that one, but I did get accepted to my dream school!).

The point is, today I am GRATEFUL I went through the decade of pain and suffering in my addiction to drugs, alcohol, sex, approval from others, etc. to be where I am at today.

Now, that is a scary statement to make, but today that is absolutely 100% true.

I wouldn’t change anything I went through so long as it all contributed to me being the man I am today.

The only thing I regret is all the pain and suffering I caused my family and loved ones, but I can’t undo the past which is why I live my life as a living amends today.

The single greatest gift of my Recovery is the gift of self-worth.

That’s something I never had even as a child and it has totally changed my entire perspective on life.

It’s given me the courage and fortitude to walk through some pretty tough situations with my head held high and I feel I handled them with some dignity and self-respect.

It’s also allowed me to reduce the drama in my life, leaving toxic relationships, leaving a toxic work environment with the gumption to start my own company from scratch and become self-employed, and more….all of that is related to my self-worth.

And now today, I aim to spread the message that your physical health can and SHOULD be a part of your Recovery through the use of fitness.

Now I know you’ve heard me preach this more than once (well wait a second, isn’t that the whole point of this article series?!?) but let me show you how easy and fun it can be to make the two go together.

Case in point was my day yesterday.

A group of around 20 people in Recovery met up at 8 AM to go for a hike. 

Most of us knew a few of each other, but no one knew everyone, so it was a blast getting to meet new people all connected by this common bond.

We got to chat about life, recovery, and the beautiful scenery after record setting rains down here in San Diego, CA.

Pictures were taken, new friendships were formed – it was the perfect start to our day.

Normally when we do such hikes we pause at the summit and do a gratitude circle, but schedules kind of got in the way so we had to skip it as the hike turned out being a little more challenging than most of us expected; but again that’s just another way to enhance the Recovery aspect of such a get together.

Later that day a good buddy of mine met me at the corporate gym down the street from my own workout studio/gym and we lifted weights together.

To say we pushed each other was an understatement and we both left there completely spent and drenched in sweat.

We came back to my place where we cooked a “smart” dinner.

We ate boneless skinless chicken breasts, sweet potatoes, and zucchini – all seasoned amazingly and cooked to perfecton.

Now I know that sounds like a lot of work but I am about to blow your mind – only the chicken was cooked on my stovetop, the rest was simply microwaved using either paper towels or Orka steamers to prepare perfectly cooked veggies.

So within 23 minutes from beginning to end we made a “smart” and delicious dinner together.

We wolfed it down fast.


Well we then headed back to the short term intense behavior modification program (aka treatment center) he and I went through to carry in a 12 step H&I (Hospitals & Institutions) panel to hold a meeting and share our experience, strength, and hope.

So as you can see, in one day I managed to get in a hell of a lot of fitness in combination with a hell of a lot of Recovery.

My fitness enhanced my Recovery and vice versa.

And that’s the whole point I want to get across.

Getting and becoming fit and healthy can be a process that is enjoyable and can also be a way to strengthen our Recovery process.

I know without fitness my Recovery process would be incomplete.

Hopefully you agree and are working to do the same!