Hello, my name is Scott and I’m an addict.

Drugs? Prescriptions pIlls? Work? Alcohol? Belly dancing?

On December 31st, 2015 to January 1st, 2106 was the last time I was drunk. Like wasted or as we say back home wicked shit faced or hammered.

New Years eve. I listened to loud music. I drank too much. I rang and sang in the year 2016. Did I have fun? Yes. I ate shitty gas station pizza. Stayed up until 3 in the morning. Woke up hung over and that was it.

A friend of mine in the first few months of my sobriety,

( I went 7 months completely alcohol free )

mentioned to me that I may have traded one addiction in for another. Drinking for running.

It stung a bit. Let’s be honest it stung a lot. In a really good way. It caused much reflection. Nobody wants to think about or admit they have a drinking problem. The bars and liquors stores are full of deniers. Honestly, I don’t think we like to admit we have any problems at all. Never show weakness right? We seem to have an interesting rule book on drinking. Socially acceptable to drink. Social taboo to be a drunk. Nice little game we play here on planet earth. I thought about what was said to me, I sat with it, and here is where I ended up.

Drinking has caused me a lot of problems. 

A long list of them. Just a fact. So by that definition, I had a drinking problem. Life without it or the occasional glass of wine or beer is fundamentally better. I have significantly fewer problems. My life is infinitely better without drinking or the occasional drink. My apologies to beer, wine, and assorted shots and mixed drinks.

I’m not a saint, a martyr or a monk. I wouldn’t mind the monk thing to be honest. I’m not standing on a soapbox or writing this from behind a pew. I spend zero time or energy thinking about anyones drinking habits or consumption. Drink as much as you want. I do however openly and passionately support the sober and their incredibly challenging daily journey.

 

“There are all kinds of addicts. We all have pain. And we all look for ways to make the pain go away”.  – Sherman Alexie

 

So what is my new addiction? Running? Training? Spartan racing? Ultra marathons? Trail racing? Weight training? Watching the Lifetime channel?

The truth is this, none of them. I’m addicted to being alive. Maybe that sounds silly to you. It sounds a bit silly to me. But it’s the truth. I love being as fully alive as I can, as often as I can. I’ll even list the things that feed my addiction.

 

I’m addicted to being passionate. To being obsessed. To quiet, solitude and peace that I find in my head and in nature.

I’m addicted to vulnerable, soul-searching chats on the trail.

I’m addicted to honesty. Friendships new and old, beauty, and awe.

I’m also addicted to exploration both physically and mentally as well as internally and externally.

I’m addicted to travel and napping on the couch after a 20 mile run.

I’m addicted to trees, all trees, anytime of the year. But I love them most during the winter months when they look like sky skeletons. They are so vulnerable and beautiful.

I’m addicted to snow, rain, mud, sun, clouds, shade, sunrises, sunsets and chia seeds.

I’m addicted to single track, horse trails, service roads and outside as a general rule. I’m also addicted to mountains, lakes, rivers, and obstacles of all shapes and sizes.

I’m addicted to the sound of my own breathing going up a hill and the absolute emptiness in my head when I am fully present in the moment.

I’m addicted to 100 mile runs and everything below that number. I’m also addicted to the idea of what is on the other side of 100 miles.

I’m addicted to anything with the word ultra in it. I’m addicted to going further. To finding out what I am truly made of. I’m addicted to tears of joy, if you don’t believe that then show up at one of my 100 mile races.

I’m addicted to challenges and to facing fear. To people who get the fuck after it. Who inspire. Who are humble. Who challenge themselves and me.

I’m addicted to 4 A.M. wake ups, blisters, snow beards, warm hearts, teammates, race t-shirts, the day after ultra limp, Zumbro, Killington, races I don’t know, falling down, carrying heavy things, hill repeats, water crossings, being cold, being hot, being muddy, wet, bruised and being me.

I’m addicting to toeing starting lines and crossing finish lines and all the unpredictable madness that happens in between. To pinning numbered bibs to my shorts. To silencing the quit voice in my head.

I’m addicted to training, racing, eating right, long runs, short runs, pulling a tire, 45 plates, barbells, dumbbells, going to bed early and watching other people succeed at their highest level.

I’m addicted to discipline, soreness, pain and joy equally.

I’m addicted to buckles and death marches. 

I’m addicted to happiness, fulfillment and purpose.

 

“We love the things that destroy us. Because in that destruction we truly feel alive” – Robert Pobi

 

 

I didn’t trade one addiction in for another. I traded one in for a million new ones that feed one big one. This list causes me zero problems, other than I feel more alive than I ever have. I love feeling alive.

Nobody likes being called an addict. It is the root of much shame. So I guess I’ll just call myself one.

Like I said, my name is Scott.

I’m an proud addict.

26 Comments

  1. Your love and addiction for loving your best life is something I gain strength from every day. Your story has given so many gifts to many of us and for this and other reasons I say thank you. You know I believe that we are all placed on each other’s path for a reason. I am beyond grateful to call you my friend.

    Like

    1. Karen Eastwood Fikar thank you 🙏 for reading and your extremely kind words. I’m the lucky one. I get to know you. Everything you said is a two way street. Your fearlessness makes me braver. Your vulnerability makes me more open. Your love makes me more compassionate. I am so grateful to be in your orbit. Namaste 🙏

      Like

  2. Love this post! Thank you for sharing! Your list of addictions sounds pretty awesome! You are an inspiration Scott! Keep being the addict you are!

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    1. Thank you for reading, very grateful. Shame has a good punch. It has sucker punched me a lot in my life. I just keep getting up off the canvas. It’s all we can do. Much love my brother. Namaste 🙏

      Like

  3. So proud of your addictive life you are living you are truly an inspiration to all who know you
    I wish you continued success as you start another year of doing what your so passionate about
    So proud to be your Mama Bear 🐻 🧡
    Love your face —— TOLD
    Namaste

    Like

  4. I am so proud of you and wish you more happiness in this new year as you continue on with your new addictions. I love reading you posts and these badass stories. Love you and your family…💙

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  5. What an awesome, and inspirational, message. I can relate on so many levels. I traded in my addiction to alcohol to total physical fitness (but not to the level you have), traveling, seeking adventure, and spending every spare minute I have with my children and grandchildren. I also devote much of my time going out of my way to help others…because one day, almost 13 years ago, someone grabbed my hand, and never let go, when I entered a room and said “Hi, my name is Wendi and I’m an alcoholic!”

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  6. Scott your a beautiful addictive humble human with a heart that is so big it makes mine smile.. I knew your were a special long before we met.. You have a light that shines so bright.. Keep being you are a gift 💝

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  7. Scott,
    Absolutely love your story. Your Journey is inspiring to all your light touches. Its hard to express in words how inspiring it is.
    As a woman raised by an alcoholic, addict has always been associated with shame. thank you for giving me another version of an addict. I know the road is not always easy , but the people around you benefit from your journey. So just wanted to say thank you ❤️💪🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind and beautiful words they are insanely humbling.

      Shame is a heavy weight.
      Thank you for seeing that in this piece.
      I didn’t want to beat anyone over the head with that but I couldn’t leave it out.

      Much love to you.
      Namaste 🙏

      Like

  8. Scott, we didn’t know each other in Boston during our advertising time there, but I feel I know you now thanks to your very well-written and inspiring piece. You are living your life which has to make you feel good. And by living it I mean you are embracing all that there is to enjoy. The precise articulation of where your joy comes from is what I found profound. It leaps off the page because it leaps from your heart. Your insides are on the outside and I personally want to thank you for sharing.

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    1. I’m at a loss for words. This is a deeply humbling and kind note. All I can say with my whole heart is thank you for reading and thank you for sharing your words with me. They have made a deep impact on me. I’m just feeling incredibly grateful and humbled by them. Much love. Namaste 🙏

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  9. Scott!
    Thank you for so eloquently describing your journey. It just sounds like you. ( a very good thing)
    I love how you describe moving forward. How there’s no desire to judge others or waste time with that stuff. All we can do is manage ourselves right?
    Besides there’s too much new stuff to see.
    My experience has been similar in a lot of ways. Minus the ultra running and flipping over tires…
    But it’s been almost three years since I’ve had a drink and every day the journey gets better, the view more clear.
    I’ve learned a lot, mostly about myself-:) but about life in general too.
    For me it’s kinda like how gaining elevation gives a clearer view of the landscape.
    Not sure I could’ve gotten a perspective like that without a big change.
    But no doubt, what I’ve gained eclipses everything left behind.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    VC

    Like

    1. Thank you for these beautiful words and for sharing them with me and anyone who sees them. They are insightful and genuine. Many thanks for reading my words and sharing your kind words. Very humbling. Seek high ground! Namaste 🙏

      Like

  10. I am always inspired by people who confront their demons and commit themselves to transforming themselves.

    NOTHING is stronger or more compelling than the human spirit; particularly when it’s tested.

    You have proven that you have the spirit of an ultramarathoner.

    I admire your commitment to change and your passion for living in the moment…appreciating the abundance that so many take for granted.

    Like

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my words and more importantly taking the time to share yours. They are extremely kind and humbling. Change is hard but I’m doing my best to keep evolving and growing. I do my best to try and keep gratitude at the center of everything in my life. Not an easy task but I’m trying. Much peace and love. Namaste 🙏

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  11. Scott: Your brutal unabashed honesty always hits me hard and I love it. I always feel an intensity in my gut when I read your posts and this one is no exception. You are so raw and so unafraid and so confident. Shit. Your drive to be fully alive and present is beyond engaging and very contagious. Your sprit burns very bright my friend! And to read your descriptions about nature and how you see it and how it makes you feel – it really strikes a chord so thank you. I want you to know you have had a huge impact on me (and I bet many others), and how I feel about myself and how I view my life. You make me want to push myself to be the best version of myself I can be, and to really see what is within me and around me with a much clearer and more thoughtful perspective. You demonstrate through your past struggles and your present determined, yet peaceful clarity that life is so fucking beautiful and how lucky we all are just to be here breathing and taking it all in. As always, thank you. Be well my friend. 🙏🏻

    Like

    1. Humbling. Just humbling words. I am at a loss. I will just say thank you. A deep heartfelt thank you. For reading, for yourvwords, and for allowing me into your orbit. Much love. Namaste 🙏

      Like

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