Phoenix News Desk

Running 4 Recovery: LA Marathon Motivates Addicts to Achieve

Running 4 Recovery: LA Marathon Motivates Addicts to Achieve

“When I feel like I’m going to break down, I look to those who’ve made it,” says 28 year old Aryeh Robbins, a recovering addict on the team. “This may be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. If I finish this race, I’ll have proved to myself that I can finish the commitment I’ve made to turn my life around.”
LA Marathon Motivates Addicts to Commit to Recovery
Los Angeles, CA – “Running the LA Marathon taught me how to show up for something, how to commit and be part of something.  These are things I had struggled with forever. The only thing I had committed to before running the marathon was my drug habit.” Justin Kirkgard, LA Marathon Runner.
One year later, 32 year old Justin Kirkgard is running the marathon a second time.  He’s now completely drug free and leading other recovering addicts training for this Sunday’s Marathon.  “My hope is to make a difference in other peoples lives and help them to change and inspire them, like others have done for me,” says Kirkgard.  
 
50 recovering addicts will be running by Kirkgard’s side. 16 of them are still in treatment at Beit T’Shuvah (BTS). “When I feel like I’m going to break down, I look to those who’ve made it,” says 28 year old Aryeh Robbins, a recovering addict on the team. “This may be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. If I finish this race, I’ll have proved to myself that I can finish the commitment I’ve made to turn my life around.” 
 
Those Running 4 Recovery include residents who were battling addictions with drugs, alcohol and gambling. For some, their addictions lead to homelessness. What does running the LA Marathon mean to them? 
 
“The unimaginable is possible.” Eric Miller, BTS Resident

“How to be accountable and forge relationships based on a common goal and struggle.”
Alex Nordlinger, BTS Resident

“How to show up. I can accomplish anything if I put my everything into it.” 
 Noah Mann, Recovering Addict & BTS Alumni

“Doing something bigger than yourself is vital to living contently.” 
 Jared Passin, BTS Resident

“It just plain saved my life!  Training for the marathon brought me back from the dark to the light.” 
 David Danberg, BTS Resident

“It showed me the meaning of commitment again!” 
 Nina Jo Shapiro, Recovering Addict & BTS Staff

“One day at a time. I apply the same concept to recovery. Progress not perfection.” Ryan Schiffman, BTS Resident
 
Inspired by the residents, Beit T’Shuvah CEO, Rabbi Mark Borovitz, has signed on.  “It takes commitment to turn your life around, and these young men and women are putting the sweat in to show they have what it takes,” says Rabbi Borovitz. “So this year I’m not just promoting their run, I’ve decided to join them.”
 
At mile 19, their supporters will be standing by to cheer them on to the finish line in one of the largest block parties held at the Marathon. “I know when I see my family there it’ll be hard not to cry,” says runner Chloe Grey. “They’ve watched my struggle to get sober, and running past them will be proof that I really did it and I’m running towards a much better life!”
 
On Sunday Marathon day, March 15th: BTS will host a massive  block party at mile 19 to cheer the team on. Supporters will gather at Firestone Tires 10785 Santa Monica Blvd (north side of Santa Monica Blvd and Selby) where there will be live musical performances and food from 9 am to 3 pm.
 
About Beit T’Shuvah (Bate-t’shoo-vah)
Beit T’Shuvah is a nonprofit treatment center and education institution dedicated to guiding individuals and families toward a path of living well in order to recover from addiction. T’Shuvah translates to repentance and return. Beit means house. Beit T’Shuvah = The House of Return.

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