You are hereRunning for a second chance at life
Running for a second chance at life
Most people lace up their sneakers and hit the trail for good health and fitness,
but the AIR Foundation uses running to help fight addiction and homelessness.
Nick Sterner, Executive Director and Founder of the Activity Inspired Rehabilitation Foundation (AIR), came up with the idea of fighting addictions and homelessness through running marathons.
Starting in spring 2007, 15 men from the Denver Rescue Mission were recruited
to run a marathon. These men were recovering alcohol and drug addictions, as
well as previously being homeless. In just three months, Sterner trained these
men and they all completed a marathon.
“At the end of that season, everybody was so inspired by what they had done
that we felt that it was something that could be supported in the community,
that would have a positive impact in the community and in individuals lives,”
Sterner said of his first recruitment process.
One year ago, Dominick Journey moved into the Denver Rescue Mission after
15 years of struggling with alcohol and drug addictions. He met with Sterner
and started training with the Foundation in June 2009. He has already run two
marathons since June. Journey finds himself very thankful for what running has
done for him in many aspects of his life.
“I’m proud of the accomplishment that I did it,” Journey said. “It was hard work,
but the hard work paid off. I was so used to running away from my life, but now
I’m running towards the prosperity of life."
The AIR Foundation uses goal setting for the participants to stay focused on
becoming healthy and becoming productive members of the Denver community.
Journey finds himself setting new goals for his future.
“If I can run a marathon, I can take the steps to having a happy life without
drinking or doing drugs,” Journey said.
He will attend college in January to earn a degree in graphic design.
Running has helped him with his physical health, but ultimately it has given him
a new beginning.
“I will maintain a livelihood that, for some, is easy, but for someone who has
had so many problems and downfalls…life is just the goals that I want to
accomplish,” Journey said.