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Paying it Forward: Kirstin's Story

In 2014, Kirstin chose sobriety. Then she began the process of rebuilding herself and her life.

Part of her recovery plan included improving her physical health through weight lifting. Soon afterward, she added running. As she integrated exercise into her new life in sobriety, she discovered the many mental and emotional health benefits of her new fitness routine. "It gave me strength I never knew I had. I realized I was strong enough to take care of myself physically and mentally."

She also credits exercise with helping her experience the fellowship of family, friends, and her sober support network. Reflecting on those early years of sobriety, Kirstin said she looked up to those with more years. "They gave me hope." When she moved to LA, she decided it was time to pay it forward. She was ready to offer others the same hope and fellowship she had experienced. Kirstin became a Strides in Recovery volunteer.

Today, she runs with the men of the Chabad Treatment Center, building connections, sharing her recovery story, and inspiring others to believe in themselves and keep moving forward. "It's a good feeling to be an example." she explains. "I like doing something positive and contributing."

Kirstin, back row, wearing a white hat, enjoying a break with the team she supports.

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