Thursday, November 15, 2012


Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

The picture above is of a former bodybuilder named Kenneth Wheeler.  In the 1990's, Wheeler came in 2nd place in the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding contest an amazing 3 times.  He was once described by Arnold Schwarzenegger as, "the greatest bodybuilder he ever saw."  High praise from Mr. Olympia himself!  Wheeler eventually retired from bodybuilding competitions in 2003 due to a hereditary kidney disease that required a kidney transplant.  He is in full health today.  

Why do I put up a picture of  bodybuilder on a substance abuse recovery blog, you might ask?  Several reasons come to mind.  First, Mr. Wheeler is/was known as 'Flex'.  It's his stage name.  So, it coincides with our topic of flexing your courage muscle.  Second, Mr. Wheeler has had to 'muscle' up his courage many times over his career as well as with regards to his personal health.  Now, Flex is an advocate for drug-free bodybuilding.  That takes courage given the amount of steroid use in professional sports much less professional bodybuilding! 

Many of you might think that Mr. Wheeler went a little overboard with his emphasis on personal muscularity.  Be that as it may, I think we can all agree that it takes a certain level of courage to pursue a dream that very few people are successful in accomplishing at the end of the day.  His dream required not just a flexing of physical muscle but rather it required a lot of emotional and mental flexing as well.  It's hard to get up and train 4-6 hours a day every day and to maintain a diet of 5-8,000 calories a day depending on what your body needs.  That takes courage.  Failure can seem imminent.  Competing in professional bodybuilding is a constant invitation to flex your grit and determination in the face of adversity.

And so it is with addiction recovery!  It takes courage to admit you have a problem.  It takes courage to admit you are overwhelmed and unable to fix the problems that have overcome your life.  It takes courage to go to rehab, join an I.O.P (intensive outpatient), or go to a counselor as well as attend 12 Step meetings.  It requires courage to look embarrassment, shame, guilt, and other people's opinions about you directly in the eye and choose to go forward despite what they say.

We see this kind of courage every day at The Coleman Institute.  It is a pleasure to see it in motion.  Every day at our facility, men and women come in on their last bit of hope riding on the fumes of their courage hoping that it will work. It is our pleasure to show them that their courage is worth believing in and taking that step of faith was a wise move!  

Today, let me encourage you to flex your 'courage muscles'!  Just like Flex Wheeler above, if you want it bad enough, you can change.  If you're willing to flex your belief, your faith, and your courage in the recovery process, you will find a brand new life waiting for you.  Perhaps, you need to check yourself into a residential treatment facility?  Maybe it is time to start attending 12 Step Meetings.  Remember that courage is not the absence of fear but the choice to continue in spite of the fear

At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in helping people get clean clean and stay clean from alcohol and drugs.  We love to see the courage our clients bring to our facility when they decide they are ready to fight and win against addiction.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiatesalcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869).  Help, hope and healing begin here!

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