My experience at Endorphin is a life-saving one. I do not choose those words haphazardly. If you didn’t already know, I am a recovering drug addict and an alcoholic. I have a disease called addiction. It has nearly killed me on many occasions, and to put it mildly, it used to really suck. Fortunately, addiction is a disease that can be treated. I now work a program of recovery on a daily basis, and it keeps me alive. I am not being overly-dramatic here. If I stop working my program, I am sure to fall prey to the demons that we addicts live with every day. I assure you, those demons are all too real, and they play for keeps. So I take my medicine every day, which keeps them, and my disease, at bay.

Endorphin is a huge part of my daily medicine. The endorphins I get from each workout provide a high that feeds the junkie in me, and keeps him from getting restless. The sense of accountability I feel toward the instructors and the other 5:00 am regulars helps me to stay disciplined. I had to chuckle when Endorphin adopted the “Movement is Our Drug” slogan. I thought, “How’s that for irony? It was drugs that ruined my life and almost killed me, and now a drug is keeping me alive and making me a better person every day.”

I think it was November 2010 when I first got my butt handed to me at Endorphin. I was probably 25 pounds heavier than I am now, and at that time, I thought I was in decent shape. (Boy was I wrong.) I had lost 15 pounds since getting sober, and I was pretty full of myself. Then just 30 minutes into a Warriors class in the old Ryders room, (“Half turns toward the beach!”) I had to stumble off the bike and go puke my guts out. The first time I met Nick Spinosa was when he found me lying on the floor of that little hallway in the back trying not to barf again. The funny part is that he just said in his usual cheery voice, “Hey there, Buddy!” and stepped over me like it was an everyday occurrence that some poor bastard is lying on the floor about to die. Which of course, it is.

Fast forward a few years and who-knows-how-many-hundreds of classes later (or is it thousands yet?), and I find myself quietly cheering on the new people I see. I think, “Hang in there, new person! It gets easier if you just keep coming back!” But who am I kidding? It doesn’t really get all that much easier does it? Chris, Bri, Nick, Rod, Sarah, Jeff and all the other fine instructors have a knack for continuously challenging my limits. Be it a subtle pat on the back accompanied by a gentle whisper saying, “Come on, I know you have more” or a humiliating call out in front of the whole class, “David! Why did you even get out of bed today if you aren’t going to work?!? Pick it up!” I know that I can count on Endorphin to keep me from plateauing.

I’ve been sober for more than five and a half years, but I’m still an addict. I always will be. But I know I can count on Endorphin to provide me with my daily drug of choice – movement. Movement is my medicine. Movement opens up the doors to all that this life has to offer. Movement is my drug.