Let the Rage Out
We talk a lot in the addiction recovery community about finding your place of peace and working toward self-control. The prescription for seeking balance and harmony in your life is often a suggested regiment of calming practices like meditation and yoga. While these neo-hippie forms of peaceful calming can certainly have beneficial effects on the mind, body, and soul—especially in regards to cravings—some of us (the warriors) need a little more adrenaline to get through the pains of recovery.
If you’re a guy with a lot of energy and rage, or an athletic or military background, those Eastern transcendental routes to recovery may not be what you need to beat the habit. Sometimes, in order to deal with all the emotions you’re wrestling and the battle you fight every day with addiction, you just need to kick some ass.
Heavy bag training and martial arts have seen something of a resurgence in Western culture these past ten years with the rise of UFC and the popularization of Mixed Martial Arts. A training gym usually isn’t hard to find and they can be pretty inexpensive if you find the locally-owned holes in the wall with a few weight benches and a heavy bag. These are often mostly empty and therefore the best place to cut loose and get into a good workout.
Wherever you find to work out, get into it. Punch the hell out of that bag, funneling all that rage and chaos into every blow. Rock out to some hardcore metal and slay each rep as you build up your body.
Feel the blood that pumps through your body and know that, for the first time in a long time, that blood is pure and clean. No drugs, no booze, just you and your own power. The more it pumps through your veins with those natural endorphins and adrenaline, the more it clears out the cobwebs and puts you in touch with the real, visceral, animal you that lay dormant all that time at the bottom of the bottle.
Calming the mind by sitting still and listening to the Universe certainly has its place and can help you get a handle on your thoughts. But for a young, healthy man (or woman) still full of power and vitality, you can beat your addiction by unleashing your cravings and struggles with your fists and your body.
Punch, kick, lift, sweat, grunt, struggle, and claw your fucking way back to health and recovery. Nothing can hold you down. Not a bottle, not a needle, not a pipe, and certainly not the demons that push you around.
If you’re one of the warriors who battles addiction with fitness training and martial arts, let us know in the comments. Your enthusiasm may help inspire other athletes who need to be reminded that they’re more than those cravings and silly needs.
Be a champion.