For the past two years, Andrew Cline has gone to a local rehabilitation center to teach CrossFit to recovering addicts.
Cline is the Affiliate of CrossFit Alpha Pack in Porstmouth, Ohio an area where many residents have been affected by heroin or an addiction to pills. “The area we live in, it’s a smaller area, so everyone I think is somewhat touched by the pain pill epidemic. It’s probably impossible for anyone to say that they don’t have a family member or a friend that’s been somewhat hit by that and that issue,” said Cline.
When he was asked to teach at the STAR Community Justice Center, Cline thought it was going to be a one-time thing. But both he and the residents enjoyed it so much, they asked him to come back once a week. Now, they’re thinking about adding on another day.
“I don’t know if these guys have ever really had any fitness plan or fitness routine. Obviously, rehab is a great thing for them. But I think too much rehab is focused on the mental side of things and they don’t give guys a physical outlet to turn to when they get out of there,” said Cline.
One member who has benefitted from Cline’s visits is Eric Dilley, a former addict turned CrossFit Alpha Pack member, who told his story to The Jackson Times-Journal. According to the local newspaper, Dilley found a home in the CrossFit Box. And while he still struggles with his sobriety, he told the newspaper that the workout program has helped him overcome his addiction.
Though he only visits STAR once a week, Cline said that he’s become invested in each of the residents of the rehab center. And through the workouts, the residents realize how the drugs have affected their bodies, causing them to become invested in themselves.
In addition to working at the rehab center, Cline and CrossFit Alpha Pack find other ways to serve their community. Whether it’s a toy drive at Christmas or a Thanksgiving canned food drive, the Box is making it a priority to give back. “Just think outside of the Box, how you can reach out to the community and how you can help,” said Cline. “I don’t think most people think of a drug rehab facility as a place you can go help out, but I think those guys are more than willing to take in any knowledge [from] a CrossFit instructor, and it doesn’t have to be CrossFit … anything for these guys to get ahold of and that will help them fight that addiction that they have.”