There are numerous roads that can lead to the ownership of an affiliate, and Rob Best's is an odd one — but a poignant narrative of resilience and redemption. The Barbell Saves Project, founded by the Arizona native and part of the global society , is a non-profit organization in Phoenix dedicated to providing persons in recovery with a fully free location to embrace community, feel supported in their sober lifestyle, and improve their lives through movement and exercise.
Best, who had spent much of his twenties addicted to opiates and in a "out of control spiral," was ultimately able to get sober at the age of thirty-one.
"I attempted the 12-step program. I went to all of the other regular programs. "But, one factor that may have distinguished my rehabilitation from that of others in my surroundings was that I just naturally gravitated toward fitness," Best explained. "I didn't know why at the time, but I now know that there's data to back up the usefulness of exercise in battling and combating anxiety and depression."
He went on to reveal that he used to believe that "I'm not that type of person that exercises every day," however, "I realized that remark was inaccurate. I knew I could do whatever I wanted, wake up with whatever intentions I wanted, and be whatever I wanted every day. All I have to do to be the type of person who exercises every day is wake up and workout every day."
This commitment to consistency and a fitness habit was the game-changer for Best. "When you have strong relationships with other people, you can finally take care of yourself (and) start to build on your own internal self," Best explained."Because that's what I was doing when I was trying to tell my parents, 'I don't know why I'm driven to do this,'" she says. The discipline is more important than the workout and endorphins. I'm getting up at 4 a.m. to do this nonsense because the old me never did. I'm going to invest in myself and tell people no because that's something I've never done. I knew I was doing something to lay the groundwork for being a good employee, a good husband, a good father, a good brother, and it all started there. I wanted to acquire discipline and responsibility, and exercise served as an excellent model."
Carrying out this new identity, Best built a gym with his now-wife in his early 30s, and it didn't take long for them to start helping people in similar situations to what he had gone through.
"All I was doing was going to these AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings and bringing guys back and giving them an hour class for free. "I didn't consider it a non-profit or anything; I simply thought it would be a fun way to give back," Best explained. "Then a professor from the Arizona State University (ASU) social work school came in one day; there's like ten people performing this workout and they're all in recovery.
The physical location is now registered as a healthcare provider, and it collaborates with rehab clinics throughout the valley to provide access to functional fitness programs four hours per day, five days a week, to people who may greatly benefit from it. Furthermore, all six coaches on staff are full-time, salaried professionals who are also in recovery.
"Anyone that identifies as someone who has suffered with drugs and alcohol and has 48 hours or more of stated abstinence, they may attend those programs, no questions asked, no insurance, none of that stuff. "It's just free classes," Best explained.
Having a network of a sober global society is essential to a recovery because it will keep one on track even on the hardest days. Many people are reluctant to meet new people, but it's important to understand the value of having other people in life that are there to hear and support one. This way of thinking helps as a starter for all kinds of problems and is therefore a good hint for the achievement of general Sustainable Development Goals.