“It’s like when I took a step, I took a lot of them,” Chris recalls his decision to enter rehab, which is the moment that began turning his life around in a positive direction. “If I hadn’t gone to rehab, I never would have found Back on My Feet and I never would have been in school. I don’t know where I would be right now.”
Between not being able to find work, selling and using drugs, and spending time in jail, Chris found it hard to believe that his life could change. Even when he decided to stop using, he was still hanging around the same troubling crowd. “My life back then…it’s hard to put into words,” he shares. “I was a mess.”
Chris first heard about Back on My Feet at Surge Recovery. An alumni member of the program, Lou, introduced him to Back on My Feet and encouraged him to join. Although he didn’t think he was healthy enough to run, Chris quickly found out that with a little practice of getting out early in the morning and running with his team he could finish 2, 3, 4+ miles.
“It gave me the inspiration to not quit,” He explains how Back on My Feet changed his outlook on life. Things that seemed impossible now didn’t seem too far out of reach. Like, going back to school.
When Chris stopped by the Back on My Feet office, he picked up a brochure for the Philadelphia Technician Training Institute (PTTI), and knew it was the right route for him. So far, he has completed three months of the six-month welding program and has obtained four of his certifications.
“I really didn’t want a job, I wanted a career and Back on My Feet helped with that. Now, instead of me needing a job, the job will need me.”
Even though his days are busy with school, Chris still makes time to run with his teammates and attend races. Being a part of the running community has given him the opportunity to meet new people, accomplish new goals, and it has motivated him to continue changing for the better.
Once at a race, Chris had the humbling experience of being passed by an older gentleman. “He flew right by me! And I thought, wow if he can do it, I can do it.” Attending races all over the city has allowed Chris to feel inspired and motivated by individuals of all ages, abilities, races, and socioeconomic status. It has opened up his world to a whole new group of people, his new crowd.
“It’s been a blessing for me. I never thought I’d be running or exercising at the age of 48. Back on My Feet has helped me a lot, and it helps a whole lot of people.”