Finding strength in recovery

When Melody Schofield was trying to enter recovery, she said she was doing it in an isolated way.

She said she would go on a “two-week bender” and then justify that with fitness.

“I was always a fitness fanatic even in my addiction,” she said. “Oh, if I run 15 miles, I’m fine.”

Schofield — who has been in recovery for a little over a year and a half — said CrossFit fell into her lap and immediately she noticed the sense of community surrounding the workout.

Scott Strode, a person in recovery from Boulder, Colorado, started Human Strength, a program within the Phoenix Multipart franchise, which provides free fitness to people who are dealing with addiction.

He was inspired to start Human Strength, which is a free CrossFit program for people with 48 hours of sobriety. They have 5-6 locations across the country, including one at Fearless Athletics, a gym in South Philadelphia. The South Philly program started in October.

“[CrossFit] gives you a sense of community, that something to do that is that social interaction that a lot of people are missing when they get sober,” she said. “I know a lot of people when they get sober they have to find something new.”

Gavin Young entered recovery at 25. He said he was never athletic, spending most of his time drinking and doing drugs growing up, he said. Young got into CrossFit about 5 years ago after his brother was heavily interested. He saw him doing handstand pushups and wanted to give it a shot.

He became a coach two years ago.

“Right now, I’ve just been spreading word of mouth through meetings and social media,” Young said. “I already work at a recovery community center. We’ve grown in Philadelphia so fast and we’re trying to get more programs in the week started soon.”

One of the only caveats to the free program is that you must be sober for 48 hours.

“It gives people enough time that they are not intoxicated and are healthy enough to do something like a CrossFit class,” he said. “You’re welcome back after that 48 hours, it’s not long enough where they feel isolated again.”

About the author

Emily Scott

Emily Scott is a junior journalism major and history minor at Temple University. She works as the Features Editor of The Temple News, editing and covering people, places and things around campus and the city. Contact Emily at tuf39703@temple.edu.

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By Emily Scott