Eric Dilley’s life was not going as he had hoped. A self-described addict and thief, he alternated his time between being in jail and being homeless.
“I would quit and relapse and quit and relapse,” Dilley said. “I lived healthier in jail than I did on the streets. I worked out daily and ate three meals a day, but every time I got released I eventually fell into the same destructive pattern.”
Then, he found a group gave him the support he needed to turn his life around – but it wasn’t a typical support group. It was the CrossFit Alpha Pack.
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that is best known for its affects on one’s physical health. For Eric Dilley, however, it was more than that. CrossFit helped him channel his addiction into something more productive, replacing pharmaceutical highs with personal bests. It’s had a greater impact on his life than he anticipated when he was first encouraged to give a try by SOMC Personal Trainer Andrew Cline.
For nearly two years, Cline has visited the STAR Community Justice Center to show others how CrossFit can help them overcome addiction. It was there that he and Dilley met.
“Most of the people there have realized how much drugs have wrecked their bodies,” Cline said. “I think this leads to them not wanting to touch the stuff anymore. CrossFit helps them do that by giving them a positive way to make themselves feel good.”
Although he was initially skeptical, Dilley gave CrossFit a shot – and found it to be everything Cline had promised and more.
“Once I got there, my first impression was that I’d found my home,” Dilley said. “As a former high school athlete, the CrossFit ‘box’ – which is what they call their gym – was just like the place I used to work out. I was surprised by how non-judgmental and encouraging everyone was. Some people there get more excited for other people’s personal records than their own.”
Dilley still struggles with the highs and lows of sobriety, and admits that during the lows he thinks it might be easier if he fell back into old habits. When that happens, he thinks of his family – both at home and in the ‘box.’ It’s worked for him, and it’s something he’d recommend to others who are living a life that doesn’t feel like their own.
“When I do something that I know is wrong, the longer I do it the more pain it causes,” Dilley said. “It’s like holding a cup of water out in front of you. It never gets any heavier… but the longer you hold it, the heavier it feels. It will continue to get heavier until you put it down.”
Eric Dilley knows firsthand how difficult it can be to put that cup of water down – and he knows how rewarding it is to pick up the weights instead.
For more information about the CrossFit Alpha Pack, visit www.crossfitalphapack.com or call 740-356-7650.