Fitness is often something we think about as a means to get healthy; by “get healthy” we often think of this as losing weight, increasing strength, gaining muscle, and toning up. These can all be very healthy things for your physical health, however the mental health benefits of fitness and exercise are far too often overlooked or passed over like an afterthought.
I stopped drinking in June of 1997. I went to AA and counted days off of alcohol. As I endured a roller-coaster of emotions day to day, sometimes hour to hour, I pretended to (and sometimes, genuinely did) enjoy my first sober summer New York City. As the hot days transitioned into cooler ones, and as I was safely past my first 90 days sober and experiencing my first sober everything, I prepared for my first holiday season – and potentially visiting my family – without my buffer and crutch, alcohol. I say “prepared for” because at the time, I wasn’t sure what I would do when the time came to fly home to visit my family.