Running for Recovery

Every event brings thousands of participants to our start lines from all walks of life and each individual has a different story. We are fortunate enough to not only host events that celebrate the sport, but at times allow for the opportunity to celebrate how this community brings people together. Today’s post comes from Curtis Lobsinger, a runner and supporter of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Vancouver charity partner John Volken Academy.

At around twelve years old I started to build my relationship with alcohol. The people I looked up to drank and when drinking seemed to be having the time of their lives. I wanted that experience. It wasn’t long until I was getting drunk at every chance. By grade nine I was a full-blown weekend warrior, getting “pass out” drunk and experimenting with marijuana. Once grade ten hit I started trying stronger drugs. I loved being out of control, not feeling emotions, and the reputation that went along with the life style. Once I tried cocaine and ecstasy I fell in love. I felt powerful, attractive, and unstoppable. I felt I had the world in the palm of my hand and everyone was bowing down to me.

My life was spinning out of control. I lost my grasp of reality and became an addict. I needed to be intoxicated by some sort of substance and could not stand to be in my own skin. One morning after a weekend of partying, I landed myself in the hospital from an overdose. Once stable, I was shipped off to a detox center for a week. This opened my eyes to the recovery world, but I hadn’t had enough hard times yet to fully give it up. My life continuJVA_Curtis Half Marathon2ed on this path for many years. I would use, something horrible would happen, I would detox and sober up for a couple weeks and then use again. I needed to do something and the most rational decision at the time was to jump on a plane and move across the country to Burns Lake, BC.

Life was good for a short while, but quickly I realized the problem didn’t reside were I was living; it resided within me. The same old routine followed. This time I lost my driver’s licence and my truck was impounded. One day after losing my licence a friend and I decided to drink off what had happened. We wanted some cocaine, but he said he was too drunk to drive and pick it up. I didn’t even make it 5 minutes down the road before I crashed his truck. I don’t remember much of the rest of the night but I do remember the next morning.

I woke up in my house all alone feeling defeated. I stumbled downstairs to get a glass of water. It was then I saw a note sitting on the kitchen table. It was a suicide note that I had written to my infant nephew telling him not to end up like his uncle and that I loved him with all my heart. At that moment I told myself that I needed to get help and that I was going to be around to help my nephew through his life struggles. Fast-forward two months. I enrolled myself into a long-term addiction recovery program in Surrey, BC called the John Volken Academy.

Within the academy I discovered who I am in a safe and supportive environment. I also had the opportunity to learn valuable life skills and became an apprentice, completing all my hours in the skilled trade of meat cutting. I also learned healthy ways to exert pent up stress and emotions that would otherwise lead me to using. I became involved in physical fitness and developed a passion for running. From long distance runs to wind sprints, I love the feeling that running gives me. It helps me find the inner calm within myself and allows me to see life in a clear perspective. Since enrolling in the John Volken Academy I have taken place in two 10k races and two half marathons. One day in the near future hope to run my first full marathon. Physical fitness will always be a crucial part or my recovery and life. I am now in the last month of my 24-month treatment program and my graduation date is May 3, 2015. I am looking forward to grabbing life by the horns and living it how it is meant to be, not taking anything for granted, loving as much as possible, and passing on the message that recovery is attainable.