As I sit in the audience of the PNBA/INBA Pro/Am Zeus Classic body building competition, I wonder at the events that brought me to this place and this time.
I am here to witness a dear friend’s triumph in re-directing an insidious addiction into a healthy and life-affirming new way of living. Moments from now, he will take the stage and compete. More than the actual prize is the dedication and focus it took to get here.
You see, this time 2 years ago, he had a substance abuse problem. Recognizing he needed help, he sought treatment, and lives each day in the program. That is how we learn to be clean and sober— we put in the work every day, no matter what. We don’t pick up, no matter what.
If you were to ask him, my friend would say he is one of the lucky ones… he was able and willing to seek help. So many of us don’t make it. But those of us in active recovery know a better way of living is there for us if we put in the work. And today, win or lose, I get to witness a triumph of spirit, and I am filled with gratitude.
(He took first place in his division and advanced from amateur to pro later that day... his first show ever.)