How community and fitness can inspire recovery.
Sarah Roberts is a Cape Cod native. Growing up in Falmouth, she enjoyed sports and excelled academically. Despite experiencing success in school and sports, there was always a nagging restlessness and self-consciousness that created challenges when it came to feeling comfortable in her own skin. Sarah says “I spent a lot of my youth feeling out of place and in desperate need of acceptance. My feelings fueled a painful shyness and shame that created even further feelings of lack of self-worth. When I found alcohol and drugs, life finally felt okay for once.”
After graduating high school, Sarah began a brief experience in college in Vermont but shortly thereafter ended up in Boston. While in Boston, Sarah’s budding alcoholism eclipsed the things that had held importance to her including school, work, and close friendships. By the age of 28, Sarah had been through multiple detoxes and out-patient programs. What started as a way to let off steam at the end of a workday had turned into an around-the-clock daily addiction that left Sarah feeling helpless and alone. “Addiction is insidious, and it creeps up on you. I didn’t understand powerlessness until I accepted I was completely out of control and couldn’t stop on my own”. Sarah began her recovery journey shortly after this realization on July 4, 2014; today she has over 6.5 years in recovery.
Sarah credits in-patient treatment, sober living, exercise, and most importantly the recovery community for her ability to stay sober. She found women who inspired her and gave her hope that a life of recovery was not only possible, but it could be fun and exciting as well.
Sarah got involved with WellStrong at its inception in 2017 and began volunteering yoga classes. Over the past 3 years Sarah has grown in her position, becoming the program director in 2020. In addition, Sarah has participated in and coordinated group events from a triathlon, a Ragnar relay, a half and a full marathon, while leading a run club and continuing to teach yoga weekly. “What makes me so excited about WellStrong is the supportive community we’ve built. We’re a group of men and women who truly see the benefits and necessity of wellness to recovery and who support each other in the fight to overcome our ailment. It’s a beautiful thing to feel seen and understood while also doing activities that support our physical, emotional and mental well-being”.
Sarah was inspired by Connor’s cross-country ride and decided she wanted to do a long-distance running event to celebrate a similar sentiment. Through the freedom she has gained in her recovery coupled with the support of the community she has built; she has been able to make the daily commitments needed to achieve such a goal. Running 270-miles over two weeks will be a challenge for Sarah, but she knows she is being fully supported. She wants to show that there is a huge life full of amazing opportunities on the other side of addiction if we feel supported, ask for help, and can take it one day at a time (or one stride at a time.).
This run will serve as a symbol of the power community and daily commitments have over not only recovery but a 270-mile running adventure. Much like the way Connor inspired Sarah, we hope Sarah’s journey will inspire those in and out of recovery alike to question their limits and the thinking around the ways they can push the boundaries of their own life to inspire those around them.