I'm always looking for reasons to break the stigma of addiction. In fact, I don't normally need a reason, I just come to my blog and start writing. However, in this case, there is a very cool event happening that is perfect for anyone whose life is affected by addiction. I'm also always looking for fun, athletic events to participate in. If you are a person in recovery or know someone who is, you should be running this race. Even if you are not affected by addiction, but you're an athlete who enjoys a good race, and contributing to a good cause, this event is for you.
What is Heroes In Recovery?
Heroes in Recovery is best defined as a movement created by the Foundations Recovery Network. They were shocked to find that although 23 million people each year need help for their addiction, only 3 million actually seek treatment. They're looking to reach the other 20 million who may not get help because of the stigma that surrounds addiction, substance abuse, and mental health disorders. Put simply, their mission is to break the social stigma that keeps these individuals in need of help, from getting it. To achieve this, they encourage people to share their stories of recovery to inspire others and have created a sober community through their website where people are empowered to get involved, give back, and live healthy, active lives. Obviously, I completely agree with their vision and I am excited to be a part in spreading their message.
Why a 6k?
Everyone asks me this. Why is it a 6K and not a 5K race? One of the main events Heroes in Recovery organizes around the country to break the stigma of addiction, is the 6K race. They chose a 6K instead of a 5K to highlight the extra effort (extra mile) it takes to sustain recovery -- it's a life long battle. Additionally, each kilometer represents one letter in the word "Heroes."
What if I don't live in Florida?
The race I'll be running is located in Coconut Creek in South Florida on April 25. Each 6K has a different charity that portions of the race proceeds benefit. South Florida's charity beneficiary is the Susan B. Anthony Recovery Center located in Pembroke Pines, Florida. It's a residential treatment facility that brings hope and healing to mothers and their children, teaching them how to live responsible, drug-free lives. Susan B. Anthony is the only residential treatment facility in Broward County that allows mothers to live with with their children, removing the main reason for women to not enter drug and alcohol treatment. This also prevents the women's children from being placed in foster care. This is a great cause to be contributing to, in addition to breaking the stigma of addiction.
If you don't live in Florida, that's ok! Due to the popularity of the Heroes 6K event, there are several of them taking place throughout the year around the country. Here are the other Heroes 6K events scheduled to take place:
-Memphis, TN, May 25
-Atlanta, GA, July 25
-Louisville, CO, Aug. 1
-Leiper's Fork, TN, Sept. 12
-Charlotte, NC, Sept. 26
-Malibu, CA, Oct. 17
-San Diego, CA, TBD
I encourage you to sign up for a Heroes 6K event that is near you. It's up to us to put a face to recovery, addiction, and mental health issues. Your story and your inspiration could change someone's life and be the trigger they need to get help. See you in Coconut Creek, FL on April 25!