by Tara Henry

15 months ago my life changed. 15 months ago I nearly died of an accidental drug overdose. I spent two weeks in the hospital and afterwards agreed to go into detox/rehab. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make. I was always known as the “strong one.” I was the one that never cracked under pressure but rather thrived on it. What everyone didn’t know, what no one could see was how desperately I did not want to be like that. I wanted them to understand how desperately I wanted to cry in the presence of someone, to collapse into the arms of someone. I wanted them to know that their assumptions became my criteria. They became the expectations that I live with. There is a lot of pressure in just a few words. Once they called me strong, I could never be anything less. I want to stop being defined, I want to be able to have a weakness … and agreeing to go to rehab, I showed my weakness and my strength at the same time.

After being discharged from rehab I was often asked if I wanted to start taking drugs again…the obvious answer was yes. I missed drugs. I missed the routine. I missed waking up every day and knowing exactly what I needed to do. 15 months ago I was a mess….then I came across an advertisement for Spartan Race. Instantly I became curious and noticed there was a race in my area in a matter of a few months. I signed up immediately. I began training and quickly realized I was replacing my drug addiction with working out and becoming a healthier me.

Race day came and I was nervous, I felt far from ready and felt as though I had set my bar way too high. I am happy to say; even though I was slow, and was running with a fractured foot I crossed the finish line. I also realized that I would much rather do 100 burpees than go through detox again! I have said it many times but I honestly believe Spartan Race helped save my life. It became my new drug…a much healthier one that is. I have no words to express how much the Spartan community has helped me and let me push my limits further than I ever imagined! I will not pretend that drugs are acceptable; most people who become addicted to drugs never get to leave. I’m lucky to be born with the desire that I have, I’m lucky to remember what I wanted before consuming. And what I want from life is much bigger and better than a time of “high.” I encourage all of you to push your limits. Go further than you ever imagined possible!

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