It all began when I was only 9 years old. That was when, at a family party, I snuck a little bit of Aguardiente, a popular Colombian drink, and got drunk for the very first time. I didn’t really like the taste, but I did like how it made me feel. That night, one of my older cousins found out and covered for me, making me promise I wouldn’t do something like that ever again. It wasn’t long before I had broken that promise.
I had the best parents anyone could ask for, they always wanted the best for me and my siblings. They even left their country, Colombia, at a time in which it was very unsafe due to drug cartel activities and civil unrest, in order to give us a safe childhood and a better future. By the time I was 14 I started to smoke marijuana, and at 19 I was already doing more hard-core drugs like meth, throwing away the future my parents had worked so hard to give me.
When I was 23 I got sentenced to two years in prison for drug-related charges. While in prison I joined AA and NA, and though I did it only to have an excuse to get out of my cell, at the end of the day it was a very gratifying experience. There I found the motivation to turn my life around.
Getting sober was hard. Detox was especially tough. Luckily, I had people that helped me every step of the way, and there were some things they suggested I do in order to make my recovery more bearable. One of these things was exercising, which ended up helping me in ways I never imagined it would. It made me happier, it boosted my self-esteem and I started having fun when I thought I wouldn’t have fun again. If you’re thinking about starting to exercise for recovery, here are 5 things I learned during my experience that really helped me, especially at the beginning.
- Know Your Limits
Having an obsessive personality like I do can be counterproductive at times. For instance, when I got out of prison I managed to get a job and I gave it all I had. But I gave it a little too much and got addicted to work, which made me depressed and almost led me to relapse. When I started to exercise though, I tried not to push my limits this time in order to make it right and really allow it to help me.
If you haven’t exercised for a while, chances are you’re not in the best fitness state. I recommend you to start with low-intensity exercises a few times a week and build from there, instead of trying to start too fast. You need to remember that exceeding your capacities when it comes to exercise, especially at the beginning, can lead to serious injuries.
- Work With A Professional
Whether it is getting a personal trainer or joining a gym or a sports class, I would highly recommend you get some guidance when you’re starting to exercise. A professional will make sure you’re working out according to your capacities and abilities. They will check that you’re doing the exercises right in order to avoid injuries. You can ask them questions and ask for …