ROCHESTER, N.Y. — It is a long road for people in recovery, taken one day at a time.
“Recovery is not a linear progression. It’s messy,” Jonathan Westfall, ROCovery Fitness executive director, said. “It goes around in circles.”
ROCovery Fitness is a gym free to anyone with 48 hours of continuous sobriety. The group outside is training for the gym’s biggest annual fundraiser. The class, appropriately named Couch To 5K.
“I love Couch to 5K,” Westfall said. “Because I’ve seen it transform people into runners.”
After folks undergo treatment for substance abuse, or however they find sobriety, ROCovery is like a bridge to their recovery.
“That's, that's a really hard transition, right, without some kind of support there,” Westfall said. “We are non-clinical, community-based support for folks to reintegrate into their lives in a different way.”
Since it doesn’t charge for memberships, ROCovery relies on private donations and government grants, and its annual 5K, which this year is being held on Sept. 18.
The 5K is a celebration of life’s victories. It’s also a tribute to those lost to addiction, including co-founder Patrick Mullin, gone since 2017, but never forgotten.
“Nobody's story is for nothing, and I’m getting choked up even talking about it but, even those that we've lost had an important story to tell,” Westfall said. “And in that story is about the hope of recovery.”
Life’s road is never straight. There are many twists and turns. It often gets bumpy, but with strong support, it is much easier to navigate.
“That is really motivating to be able to do it with other people who are in the same position you are in, achieving it together. I mean that's what Rocovery is all about,” Westfall said.