On today’s episode, Duane speaks with Mike Grant about his recovery story and how he used running as a tool to help him through his recovery process. 

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Mike currently works in the health care system as a licensed clinical social worker. He primarily works with people stuck in addiction. He’s an alcohol and drug counselor and the author of (Re)Making A Sandwich: An Addiction Case Study. As a lover of ultra marathons, Mike started a local running club for people in recovery and they have organized runs and done races together. 

Mike grew up with some anger issues as a result of things that happened in his home. He started drinking at 13 years old and thought it would help him for many years. Instead, drinking at such a young age stunted his emotional development. He lacked the emotional skill set he needed to make good decisions in his life.

Part of Mike’s story was being a habitual DUI offender. After being placed on county probation due to multiple DUI offenses, Mike finally realized that the consequences of his drinking could negatively affect his son. He got tired of backtracking his life with law issues, financial issues, and everything else he couldn’t juggle or keep straight because of his relationship with alcohol. Knowing that he needed mandated treatment for himself, Mike did a three-year diversion program that changed his life and he has been sober ever since. The diversion program was more of a life management program to him than a non-drinking program because he learned how to live life in a lot of ways.

Ultimately, working with people in active addiction allows Mike to connect with the rawness of what addiction really is. There’s no romanticizing it from the side of recovery because he knows what it’s really like. 

In this episode, you will hear:

  • Mike’s alcohol addiction and recovery journey
  • How he invested in his progress through running
  • How to make the huge mental shift from “I can’t” to “I can”
  • How running helps some people in recovery
  • Why grit is a transferable skill you can bring from addiction to recovery 

Key Quotes:

[07:02] – “I would make some progress in something and then alcohol would knock me back or my behaviors while drinking would knock me back.”

[12:04] – “I’ve shifted this perspective of shame-based thinking where I can’t do something to why can’t I?”

[13:27] – ​​”If you actually enjoy the work that you’re doing, it can make a workweek more tolerable.”

[14:31] – “Running is a metaphor for so many things. You have to do it. No one can do it for you. Set goals. You get out there and do it.”

[19:01] – “When you’re in recovery, building grit is so important because you’ve got to weather some difficult things.”

[19:28] – “​​Grit is a transferable skill from your addiction…if you can use those skills that you learned in your addiction and bring to your recovery, that grit will get you far.”

[22:33] – “Life doesn’t have to be changed overnight. You just do little consistent things and get back to it, and monumental things can happen in 10 years.”

[26:09] – “Life is messy and beating yourself up over it isn’t going to help.”

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Supporting Resources:

(Re)Making A Sandwich: An Addiction Case Study