by Danielle Nick

Melody Schofield and Gavin Young came to our class on Tuesday to discuss a program called Human Strength. Young explained exactly what the program is and how one man’s idea came to fruition. Young explained how Scott Strode, the owner of Phoenix Multisport, struggled with addiction. He eventually got involved in rock climbing, and he found a sense of community that he desperately needed. Strode realized that this same type of community would benefit other addicts. So, he created a non-profit gym for people in recovery. Human Strength is a new, crossfit offshoot of Phoenix Multisport, with multiple locations. Like Phoenix, Human Strength is also a place for people in recovery to find a sense of belonging.

Schofield and Young are the coaches at the Philadelphia location of Human Strength, located at 11th and Fitzwater. Human Strength is important to them, as they are both in recovery. Schofield opened up to our class about her addiction. She explained how she thought her past would always be something she would hide and be ashamed of. However, the opposite is true.“I didn’t expect to be open about it [her addiction], but it felt natural,” Schofield said. When looking back, Schofield explained how even in the midst of her addiction, she always loved fitness. Today, she has been clean and sober for over a year. “This is who I always wanted to be when I was in my addiction, I just didn’t know how,” Schofield said. She is thrilled to be a coach at Human Strength, where she can help others who have faced similar struggles.

Young also shared his battle with addiction. Young’s recovery began when he was 25, but it was not an easy road. He explained that after recovering from an addiction, many people struggle to find things to do. In fact, without drugs and alcohol, some people in recovery might not even know their own interests. Young considered himself one of these people. He tried a few different activities, such as yoga, and eventually found crossfit. He fell in love with exercise and found a supportive community. However, he did admit to being addicted to crossfit. Young said, “I can take fitness to an unhealthy extreme.” He explained how finding the balance is difficult. However, he loves being a coach at Human Strength, where he can foster a supportive community. Young emphasized how great the group dynamic is with crossfit, particularly at Human Strength. “We want everyone to do this together, and at the end, they’re accomplishing it together,” Young said.